HP + Pretty Much Amazing

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I read a tweet the other day that said, “The remaster of Pretty Hate Machine as mp3s over laptop speakers sounds worse than the original cassette copy did in my parents' car stereo.” Normally, I’d be tempted to agree with him; laptop speakers compare about as well to traditional stereos as tinny $15 earbuds do to over-the-ear noise canceling headphones. I always figured that was the trade-off for portability, and that laptops, by definition, have to have bad sound. Now, I’m not so sure — I’m starting to think that it doesn’t have to be that way. See, HP hooked PMA up with a Beats by Dre laptop and asked us to play with it for a couple of weeks and share our experience with you all. We're also giving away a pair of tickets to see The Roots and John Legend live in NYC, again, courtesy of HP.

I listen to music all the time, probably ten hours a day, minimum. And sound quality is key. I used to listen on junky headphones and not know or care the difference. I’ve grown up since then and come to appreciate a well-mastered album and a sweet sound system. Now, I crave that deep bass and crisp treble. Honestly, the HP Envy 14 with Beats Audio is the only laptop with bass that even merits mention.

I’ve been fooling around with the computer for a couple weeks now, and I’m very impressed. The computer is fast and powerful, and is one of the more visually stunning laptops I’ve seen. From the packaging to the red backlit keyboard, things are clearly really well thought out. Carrying this laptop makes me feel cooler than I am. Plus, every time I open it up, I just want to yell “BEATS!” as loud as I can. True story. Gets awkward in Starbucks.

There’s some cool new tech on the laptop, which is fun to mess around with. The Windows Live Essentials' suite has robust social networking tools, and there are some really cool photo editing programs, which will work nicely for concert shots and the like. The display is large and bright, and makes working on the comp a breeze.

In the end for me, though, it all comes back to the sound. If you’re looking for a laptop that doesn’t sound like you’re listening through earmuffs, the Beats is pretty untouchable. There’s no distortion in the upper or lower registers, and every note rings clear. I can’t say enough about how good this laptop sounds. Throw on a pair of Beats headphones when you’re on the run, and you’re good to go.

The special edition Beats computer isn’t the only one with the audio tech, so there are lots of options for getting the crisp lower range on a laptop you can afford. Check out the whole line of HP PCs with Beats Audio.

But there’s more to this post than me just raving about this computer. HP also hooked us up with a pair of tickets to an invite-only concert with The Roots and John Legend next week in NYC. I’ll be there – enter below for a chance to join me on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at the Highline Ballroom, courtesy of HP. Doors are at 8pm.

To enter for the chance to win a pair of spots on our guest list for this exclusive concert, just follow us on Twitter and tweet the following, desperate cry: I want to see The Roots & John Legend in NYC! Please @PMAblog @HP_PC pick me! http://t.co/Seoy98t

It doesn't end there, we are currently working with HP to bring together a sweet project that will eventually put one of these laptops in a lucky reader's hands. More on that later.