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HP Envy 17 (2020) Evaluation

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Desktop-replacement laptops are sometimes huge and heavy, however they often make up for his or her lack of portability with roomy 17-inch screens, upgraded CPU and graphics efficiency, and loads of ports to attach your whole peripherals. All of that is true of the HP Envy 17 (begins at $899.99; $1,439.99 as examined). It’s a desktop-replacement design that’s been round for a number of years, nevertheless it has been up to date for 2020 with a number of modern options, notably some minimalist styling and an optionally available 4K show. However not all the pieces about it’s an evolution: The laptop computer is sort of heavy by in the present day’s requirements for a 17-incher that is not a gaming machine, and it suffers from some build-quality points, making it appropriate just for consumers who will not often transfer it from their desks.

A Good-Wanting 17.3-Inch 4K Display screen

The Envy 17’s star attraction is its 17.3-inch LED-backlit show, obtainable in both full-HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) or 4K (UHD) native resolutions. Our overview configuration has the latter, with dimensions of three,840 by 2,160 pixels. It’s attractive, with razor-sharp textual content and never a touch of pixelation wherever when your eyes are at a snug viewing distance of some toes. Such a big display deserves a excessive decision, and whereas it lacks help for high-dynamic vary (HDR) shade or OLED expertise, it’s nonetheless an improve we’d extremely suggest for the Envy 17. Sadly, the panel lacks contact help, a function that’s solely obtainable on the full-HD mannequin.

Most mainstream laptops today have display sizes between 13 and 15 inches, and the 17-inch class is more and more unusual exterior of gaming machines. You’d anticipate such a big show to require an equally giant and heavy chassis, and within the Envy 17’s case, you’d be proper. The laptop computer measures 0.76 by 15.7 by 10.2 inches (HWD) and weighs a startling 6.02 kilos. I began to really feel my wrists pressure after lower than a minute of holding our take a look at unit.

Tipping the scales at greater than 6 kilos isn’t unparalleled, particularly for gaming laptops, nevertheless it’s turning into more and more uncommon. Even some 17-inch gaming rigs weigh considerably much less, together with the 5.02-pound MSI GS75 Stealth. You possibly can even discover a non-gaming 17-incher that qualifies for ultraportable-laptop (under-4-pound) standing: the LG Gram 17.

So the Envy 17’s weight is a little bit of a throwback, and it turns into much more anachronistic when you think about the laptop computer’s inside elements, which must require little or no in the way in which of cumbersome cooling tools. The configuration I examined features a tenth Technology, quad-core Intel Core i7-1065G7 with a base clock pace of 1.3GHz, and a low-end Nvidia GeForce MX330 graphics card with 2GB of video reminiscence. Although the MSI GS75 Stealth is much dearer, it manages to suit a much more highly effective Core i7-8750H and a GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q into its thinner and lighter chassis. Contemplate this, and you actually start to query the necessity for the Envy 17’s weight and girth.

Maybe an even bigger concern, although: The decrease portion of the Envy 17’s case isn’t notably well-engineered. The laptop computer’s base feels fairly sturdy, however I famous some oddly behaved flex if you carry the laptop computer in sure spots: It forces the touchpad to click on by itself if you maintain it close to the perimeters with one hand. Any laptop computer this huge and heavy goes to have at the very least a small quantity of flex, to make sure, so the touchpad design itself is probably going liable for the undesirable clicking. It’s notably annoying for those who occur to maneuver the laptop computer to a different location in the course of a job—a film may resume enjoying, or—a lot worse—you could possibly make an undesirable edit to a doc. I felt the touchpad click on each time I picked the Envy 17 up with a single hand greedy the decrease left nook. This shouldn’t be a priority on a laptop computer that prices practically $1,500.

An Enviable Minimalist Aesthetic

Regardless of the load and the build-quality points, the Envy 17 is undeniably handsome. HP has endowed it with a minimalist aesthetic, which implies it can mix in with nearly any trendy decor. The clear traces and squared edges complement the silver shade scheme, and considerate design thrives embody hiding the cooling vents within the show lid in order to not mar the in any other case uncluttered surfaces.

I additionally recognize the design of the backlit keyboard. The important thing switches aren’t notably sturdy, so the important thing caps wobble a bit, however there’s satisfying journey distance and the labels use a easy, giant font that makes them straightforward to see. The keyboard features a numeric keypad, a vital function for desktop-replacement laptops, and one which spreadsheet jockeys will particularly recognize.

Practically all the Envy 17’s ancillary buttons and standing lights are built-in into the keyboard as nicely, additional enhancing the laptop computer’s clear aesthetic. These embody run-of-the-mill controls like the facility button and audio controls, in addition to the fingerprint reader to allow passwordless logins to your Home windows account. There’s even a nifty button that prompts an automated webcam privateness door. Press it and the door instantly clicks into place, shielding you from hackers and snoops.

The automated digicam privateness door might be the Envy 17’s most modern function, and it feels fancier than sliding the door closed your self—as is widespread on Lenovo laptops—and extra reassuring than the facility kill change on different some HP laptops, which disconnects energy to the digicam however doesn’t bodily block the lens. The buttons for the webcam door, the audio mute, the microphone mute, and the facility button all have built-in LED indicators to helpfully let you understand after they’re activated.

Verify This Indicator Earlier than Shifting the Envy 17

There’s one indicator that’s not often seen on laptops anymore, situated all by itself on the laptop computer’s left edge: a drive entry LED. It tells you when the Envy 17 is studying or writing information to the boot drive. This indicator may come in useful for those who configure the laptop computer with a platter-style onerous drive (which continues to be an possibility right here), in an effort to confirm it’s not in use earlier than you progress the Envy 17. With the SSD-only configuration of our overview unit, it’s much less helpful, since an SSD has no shifting elements that may be broken in transit by thumps and bumps.

Along with the drive entry mild, the Envy 17’s left flank additionally features a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Kind-A port, an HDMI 2.0 output, a combo headphone/microphone connector, and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Kind-C port that helps DisplayPort video output. On the precise edge, you’ll discover a full-size SD card reader, two extra USB Kind-A ports, and an influence port to simply accept the barrel-style AC adapter. The port choice is beneficiant by normal laptop computer requirements, although about common for such a big laptop computer. Assist for Thunderbolt 3 is noticeably absent.

Although the Envy 17’s four-cell, 55-watt-hour battery may be charged through the USB Kind-C port, HP solely consists of the older barrel-style energy adapter within the field. Ditching the devoted energy port and including a second USB Kind-C port would make extra sense as increasingly gadgets transfer to USB Kind-C for each information connections and energy supply.

Wi-fi connectivity on the Envy 17 consists of Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0.

The Envy 17 has loads of room for an honest sound system, with its twin audio system projecting sound up via a generously sized horizontal grille situated between the keyboard and the hinge. As on most midrange and premium HP laptops, the Envy 17 bears Bang & Olufsen branding. Whereas the audio high quality isn’t notably nuanced, it’s a lot loud sufficient to fill a big household room with quantity to spare.

Entry-Stage Configuration: Not Unhealthy for $899

The entry-level Envy 17 configuration options an Intel Core i5-1035G1, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, which isn’t unhealthy for $899. Along with the upgraded Core i7 and 4K show, our overview unit additionally options 16GB of RAM. Additional upgrades embody 32GB of RAM (overkill for many customers), and a doubling of the video reminiscence obtainable to the GeForce MX330 from 2GB to 4GB. You may also configure an Envy 17 with a 1TB SSD or a mixture of a 1TB onerous drive and a 256GB SSD.

Because of its discrete graphics card, the Envy 17 is better-equipped to deal with 3D graphics and video enhancing than are most different mainstream laptops, which function Intel’s built-in graphics options. Whereas the GeForce MX330 doesn’t qualify the Envy 17 as a gaming laptop computer, it’s best to be capable of comfortably get pleasure from some demanding AAA titles so long as you play at decrease high quality settings and display resolutions.

To guage the Envy 17’s efficiency, I pitted it in opposition to just a few different comparably-priced methods with giant shows on our benchmark checks. Along with the 17-inch Gram 17, I’m additionally evaluating the 17-inch HP Omen 17 gaming laptop computer, the 15-inch Lenovo Yoga C940 2-in-1 convertible, and the 15-inch Microsoft Floor Laptop computer 3.

Whereas I observed no lag or sluggishness throughout extraordinary productiveness duties and putting in apps, the Envy 17 did carry out barely decrease on the PCMark 10 benchmark than its opponents did. PCMark 10 assesses general system efficiency for office-centric duties similar to phrase processing, spreadsheet jockeying, internet looking, and videoconferencing. (See how we take a look at laptops.)

Because of its quick PCI Categorical NVMe SSD, the Envy 17 was extra aggressive on the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark.

In relation to multimedia enhancing, the Envy 17 ought to carry out equally to different laptops geared up with Intel’s tenth Technology “Ice Lake” processors, together with the LG Gram 17, however considerably slower than these with upgraded H-series ninth Technology processors like these within the Omen 17 and the Yoga C940. The outcomes of our multimedia enhancing checks bear this out, together with rendering a 3D picture in Maxon’s Cinebench, making use of a collection of filters and results to a picture in Adobe Photoshop, and changing a 4K video file to 1080p utilizing Handbrake.

Our 3DMark and Superposition gaming benchmarks verify the Envy 17’s mid-level gaming standing. These benchmarks render and pan via detailed 3D scenes, measuring leads to a proprietary rating (for 3DMark) or in frames per second (for Superposition). As anticipated, the Envy 17 carried out barely forward of the Gram 17 and the Floor Laptop computer 3, however considerably behind the Omen 17 and the Yoga C940, with their peppier (Yoga) or gaming-class (Omen) GPUs.

Throughout many of those efficiency checks, the Envy 17’s fan spooled up, turning into clearly audible in a quiet room. I hardly observed the fan in any respect whereas looking the net or performing different fundamental duties, although. Through a pre-installed HP app, you’ll be able to set the laptop computer to Consolation mode, which can decelerate the followers and throttle the CPU, however may additionally have an effect on efficiency. I left the laptop computer within the default Really useful mode throughout testing.

Lasting for practically 9 hours on our battery rundown take a look at, the Envy 17 gives admirable battery life for a laptop computer geared up with a power-hungry, 17.3-inch 4K show. However because you’re unlikely to journey a lot with this hefty laptop computer, or at the very least use it for lengthy intervals whereas in transit as a result of its measurement, it should not stray removed from an influence outlet for too lengthy, rendering its battery life a secondary consideration.

A Respectable Alternative for Your Desktop

The Envy 17 is an honest desktop substitute laptop computer. Our key quibbles with it (its bulk and its construct high quality) shouldn’t be points if it spends most of its time in your desk. It additionally gives typing consolation, a superb optionally available 4K show, and satisfactory efficiency and connectivity choices. As soon as upon a time, all of this is able to have made the Envy 17 a no brainer for followers of big-screen machines.

In 2020, nonetheless, you’ve gotten higher choices than desktop-replacement buyers of yesteryear did. If big-screen efficiency is what you’re after, you may get extra bang on your buck by selecting a 17-inch gaming laptop computer, a few of that are thinner and lighter than the Envy 17 (and some of which will probably be even cheaper than our take a look at mannequin, albeit minus the 4K show; take for instance the 17-inch model of the Acer Nitro 5). In the meantime, if you’d like a actually huge display however don’t need to sacrifice portability, the comparably priced Gram 17 gives roughly the identical measurement show at about half the carry weight.

Lastly, if cash’s no object and also you’re after the final word giant laptop computer, our present high decide for high-end desktop-replacement machines is the 16-inch Apple MacBook Professional. Its display is barely smaller, and it’s significantly dearer than the Envy 17, nevertheless it’s additionally way more succesful, and the construct is rather more stable.

The Backside Line

Engaging, minimalist styling and an optionally available 4K show are upsides, however the HP Envy 17 is a merely satisfactory desktop substitute laptop computer as a result of its overly heavy chassis and a few quirks with the touchpad design.

HP Envy 17 (2020) Specs

Laptop computer Class Desktop Alternative
Processor Intel Core i7-1065G7
Processor Pace 1.3 GHz
RAM (as Examined) 16 GB
Boot Drive Kind SSD
Boot Drive Capability (as Examined) 512 GB
Display screen Dimension 17.3 inches
Native Show Decision 3,840 by 2,160
Contact Display screen No
Panel Expertise IPS
Variable Refresh Assist None
Display screen Refresh Price 60 Hz
Graphics Processor Nvidia GeForce MX330
Graphics Reminiscence 2 GB
Wi-fi Networking 802.11ax, Bluetooth
Dimensions (HWD) 0.76 by 15.71 by 10.2 inches
Weight 6.02 lbs
Working System Microsoft Home windows 10
Examined Battery Life (Hours:Minutes) 8:52

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