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Posted by on Sep 11, 2012 in Featured, Reviews |

Review: HP ENVY 17

Review: HP ENVY 17

At first glance this is a laptop that can arouse envy, its design is striking, its performance is better than good and the entertainment options that make it ideal even have to share with someone else, assuming you want to do, but not all icing on the cake, its size and weight make it portable just like any other laptop of this size.

Now what you are looking for mobility, light weight and high performance at the same time, something that ultrabooks are getting daily reach, but of course, and would like an ultrabook have graphics card that has the ENVY 17.

As with all equipment is good and bad experiences, now we present our experience as a user of this machine.

Specs

  • Operating System: Windows ® 7 Professional (64-bit).
  • Microsoft Office Preloaded: Microsoft Office Starter 2010
  • Processor: Second Generation Intel ® Core  i7-2670QM 2.2 GHz
  • RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2 DIMM)
  • Hard Drive: 1 TB 5400 RPM with ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
  • Display: 17.3-inch diagonal Radiance Full HD 3D Infinity LED lighting
  • Graphics: Radeon  HD 7690M with 1024 MB GDDR5 XT.
  • Sound: Beats Audio with six speakers and a subwoofer. HP Wireless Audio.
  • Expansion/Connectivity: 3 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed, one USB 2.0, 2 DisplayPort, 1 HDMI, 1 RJ-45 (LAN) 2 headphone outputs, 1 output microphone.
  • Card Reader: Digital Media Reader for Secure Digital cards and Multimedia
  • Notebook Camera: HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated microphone
  • Input Device: Keyboard Full-size Radiance backlit with proximity sensor
  • Networking: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n Bluetooth ® with WiDi
  • Dimensions: 14.2cm x 51.21cm x 34.19cm
  • Weight: From 3.34 kg
  • Adapter power: 120 W
  • Battery: Lithium-ion 6-cell 86 WH
  • Color: Brushed aluminum in natural silver
  • Optical Drive: Blu-ray player and SuperMulti DVD burner
  • Price: $27.999 USD $1,799 (approx) $1,799 (approx)

Design and Display

Outside, the black aluminum cover makes it look elegant, thin, slightly rounded edges give style and also looks smaller than it actually is, but everything changes when opened completely. If voltearas sideways to see the screen or keyboard, you would not think that viewing a PC (or in this case a laptop), the first thing that would come to mind is the following question: Is that a Mac? And, well being honest, the internal design of the is very similar to the extinct Mac Book Pro 17 inch. It’s not a bad thing, in fact on the contrary, many people became fascinated with this design, but it is inevitable to mention the resemblance.

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Virtually the entire body of this computer is aluminum except for the edges of the screen, a small strip on the back of the webcam. To hold feels tight, well-armed, does not sound anything, though, because of its weight, you will not want to drop it and never is that however good the material, I doubt it can survive a fall from a table or a chair.

The design is very clean and that is gradece, on the outside you can only see the HP logo that glows beautifully at power up, even below the design team is very clean, only has slots for ventilation and safe to open the battery cover / hard drive, no stickers or expansion ports varied as was customary. By the way, I have to tell a complaint about this aluminum finish and is sadly the black paint seems a magnet for fingerprints, every time you open your laptop, close it or borrow it, returns with a collection worthy of CSI; go, it’s nothing that will not clean a cloth, but with daily use the fat accumulates in your hands.

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Inside, the keyboard leaving aside for the moment, we only find three buttons, the power, the audio is the largest and also striking that has analog volume control that works pretty well and then a smaller one is to mute the computer.

The display is told as 17.3-inch Radiance Full HD 3D Infinity LED, in other words is a large display with excellent lighting and equally amazing image quality. The detail of this screen is that the finish is glossy, I mean bright. In a dimly lit bedroom or living room, wherever you want, but it is dark, the images are clean, in fact, if you climb all the glitz to the movies look amazing (while not 3D content), the problem is that light, the screen reflects everything around you and become bothersome.

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Because all the time you are working in full HD, suddenly feel that you have a huge desk … in fact, when compared with the other lower-end laptop working in 720p, if you have it. Here you have double the space on the desktop which is a plus if you are someone who leaves everything there irrigated.

3D Technology

Continuing with the screen, if you’re watching movies or any 2D game experience is pretty good, of course as long as you are not under the sunlight or any intense light source. When viewing 3D content everything changes radically.

This laptop offers technology that lets you view three-dimensional content such as a Blu Ray movie or video game. The 3D effect is quite good and the advantage is that the lens can move my neck to the side, you can lie, you can if you like headbanging and not lose the feeling that 3D. You can also convert all 2D to 3D video in some cases, add effects that really jump off the screen and in others, there is only a tiny improvement.

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The problem of lens technology is that, in the particular case of this team, only you can view 3D content unless your partner miraculously have a pair of sunglasses identical to yours. Another problem is the resistance of your eyes to 3D, there are people who tolerate the feeling for a long time and other than the 15 minutes they have a terrible migraine, not to mention that the lenses remain incommodious and very cumbersome to use.

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Keyboard and Trackpad

Just as the interior design of the laptop is very similar to Apple, so are its keyboard and trackpad.

The keyboard takes great space that gives you have a 17-inch laptop is comfortable to type on and the keys are backlit (if a Mac), which helps you to work in the dark or, play with lights off, obviously has a pretty handy keypad for use in the office and fortunately were saved using the “extra” features often place where very few people use, for example: direct access to your email or browser.

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I think what most resembles the MacBook is the track pad. As you can tell, is a single piece with a thin line indicating an area where the left and right buttons.

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Just as in the MacBook and many laptops, there are several touch gestures to departure and approach of web pages, using fingers instead of buttons, slide the bar of the browser, etc.. Generally have good accuracy but for its size may sometimes hinder you his own hand while writing.

Overall the feeling is identical to that offered Apple just with a horizontal line but (because of course there must be a “but”) the track pad sometimes does what you want and paste suddenly zooms huge wings pages web and when you are going away to the point of reducing everything to a minimum. This does not happen all the time but sometimes happens and it becomes annoying.

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Software and user experience

Since you open the box and take out the computer, HP is offer a premium experience. The first thing you notice when trying to extract this laptop is that it comes in a protective case so far, made to protect your equipment from scratches while transport it, then the 3D glasses also come with its protective cover and finally your charger.

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Unlike other companies that include birth certificate to the CEO of the company that sold you the computer, HP only includes a sheet the size of your laptop with simple instructions on how to use the track pad and where the computer is turned on.

Fortunately the ENVY 17 is not saturated with a thousand useless programs that nobody asked, of course, is difficult to avoid as you touch a Norton or McAfee antivirus, but otherwise there is nothing to be very serious.

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In fact out of the basic tools to test the 3D performance of the system and configuration of HP Wireless Audio, experience is fairly intrusive and I must say, thanks, but also strange not seeing thousand proprietary programs starting the same to set your screen, power, speakers, entertainment center, etc.. With this I am not saying do not exist, just not simultaneously attacking you as if life depended on it team.

One function of this team that I spend more unnoticed and that makes all the difference is CoolSense technology that prevents the computer from overheating. How it works? Broadly these are temperature sensors that constantly monitor inside the machine, if you put it to work very hard or have it in the sun, or is in your bed or on your lap, or on the carpet or any other warm place, the system activates its fans to dissipate the high temperatures, not only the processor but throughout the interior, remember, a computer that does not overheat is a happy computer.

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Beats Audio as you can imagine is the heart of the music in the ENVY, has an equalizer that you can customize as you need it can be from the basics through advanced features for recording audio, even change the direction in which you want to work analog volume control.

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Speaking a little more than Beats Audio, is fair to say that the speakers are very good team, when compared with that you can include with any laptop, but do not expect to have crystal clear sound. Overall the quality of the audio is that it is almost as good as a HDTV, is powerful and perfectly even cover a room or even a room, even at 100% volume audio bursts (unless you force it via software ). If you’ve seen on TV where according Publish for your HP Beats Audio makes all the difference in the world, the reality is that not true, if you want good audio best buy some additional speakers.

Performance

One thing is what the numbers say and what else the computer can actually do on a day to day.

I decided to load the memory with the common user programs that use on a normal day to see how much we stress the processor and RAM of ENVY. Some of the programs that were opened while Rockmelt, Explorer, Chrome, two VCRs different one with a Blu Ray movies and other digital video in 1080p HD, a muxer, Photoshop Elements and uTorrent, for that of the saturation hard disk.

This particular model has the space for a second hard drive (by size for that and more) but unfortunately does not. Why do we want another hard drive? Well, check for additional storage, because believe me, sometimes 1TB is not enough, but also with a hard drive (SSD) could significantly improve team performance in both speed boot like the speed at which applications open .

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Although this team is capable of running games, not exactly a gamer equipment. Battlefield 3 and we tried to run without any problem with all visual settings to “medium” but beyond that began to fall horribly framerate. If you buy a game that consumes many resources can be sure that you can play but do not forget you can not set it to 100% of their performance.

We ran some synthetic tests to evaluate the performance of the team, where PCMark 7 indicates the performance of the platform working in unison, showing a balance result of reproduction and coding of high quality video, Internet browsing and processing capacity during image editing:

Futuremark PCMark7 Playback video coding (Frames per second) Processing web pages (pages per second) Image manipulation (Mpx by seconds) General
Lenovo U300s 1.23 8.19 6.39 3117
Sony VAIO Series E14P 23.04 12.44 9.14 2287
Lenovo U310 23.04 3.10 8.24 3451
HP Pavilion m6- 1076la 22.97 10.88 11.47 2005
HP Folio 13 1.23 8.32 6.5 3170
Samsung Series 7 Gamer 23.04 14.99 9.51 3456
HP ENVY 17 23.04 15 9.63 2391

We see figures approaching the Samsung Series 7 Gamer, although the overall score of the ENVY drops sharply.

In Cinebench R10 evaluate the response of the central processor, in each core alone (Single CPU) and with all four working together (Single CPU), along with a preview of graphics performance (OpenGL).

Cinebench R10
Single CPU
Multi CPU
OpenGL
Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3-581TG 3352 7000 4449
Toshiba Portege Z835 3611 7190 4620
SONY VAIO 3D VPCF215FL 4529 17121 3859
Sony VAIO VPCCA17FL 4621 9768 4793
Sony VAIO Z 4573 9819 2058
Samsung R480 2362 5494 2924
Samsung 530U 3513 6195 3743
Samsung R580 2795 6268 3350
Samsung Series 7 Chronos 4688 14070 5607
HP Pavilion dm4 3081 6852 2036
HP ENVY 14 Spectre 3622 7211 4677
HP Pavilion DV6- 6185LA 4582 16983 5490
Lenovo U300s 3544 7137 3724
Sony VAIO Series E14P 4910 10376 6980
Lenovo U310 4378 9085 4049
HP Folio 13 3626 7294 4481
Samsung Series 7 Gamer 4810 18051 8643
HP ENVY 17 4769 17844 7697

The results are quite good, with a remarkable result in muti-tasking. The graphics also stand out on most of our table, except the Samsung Series 7 Gamer. We review now the graphic:

Futuremark 3DMark 2006
SM 2.0
SM 3.0
CPU
TOTAL
Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3-581TG 4800 5267 2440 10854
Toshiba Portege Z835 1422 1690 2440 4114
SONY VAIO 3D VPCF215FL 2462 3063 3231 7060
Sony VAIO VPCCA17FL 2473 3074 3129 7054
Sony VAIO Z 1598 1975 3199 4761
Samsung R480 3183 3167 2216 7547
Samsung 530U 1170 1461 1931 3454
Samsung R580 3178 3273 2498 7726
Samsung Series 7 Chronos 2978 3266 3454 7946
HP Pavilion dm4 655 856 2763 2120
HP ENVY 14 Spectre 1187 1468 2000 3498
HP Pavilion DV6- 6185LA 4063 5341 5048 11877
Lenovo U300s 1186 1408 2412 3484
Sony VAIO Series E14P 2030 2512 3405 5976
Lenovo U310 1196 1634 2958 3838
HP Pavilion m6- 1076la 2851 3418 2815 7692
HP Folio 13 1195 1414 2023 3444
Samsung Series 7 Gamer 7559 8195 5451 18461
HP ENVY 17 3869 4675 5320 11006

Battery and charger

Obviously the energy consumption of this equipment is high, around 120 watts, the battery barely gives for two hours, two and a half hours (despite what you say Windows), that a moderate consumption of resources, ie , a browser running on some tabs, with the Wi-Fi turned on, the monitor brightness down and, very important, changing the use of video cards. If you stop running the ATI card uses more power, the good thing is you can switch to Intel chipset to save but obviously this implies much less graphics performance.

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Conclusions

In general, this machine will leave a good impression. Responds well, you can do work hard with many tasks and nothing happens (only suffers the battery) is very good in regards to entertainment and if you care, you’ll team at least for about 3 or 4 years.

Highly recommended for a professional, especially working with audio and video, whether editing, just as for professional designers working in the field of marketing and advertising.’s Not practical to carry, its almost 3.5 kilograms feel and if you are a student, adds books, notebooks, headphones, charger, lenses usually throw it in your backpack.

Another problem is that it is very expensive, at least in Mexico, its price is a little high and not even the best model ENVY 17 in the U.S. because there is already a version with Intel Core i7 third generation.

The ENVY 17 is such a treat for the eyes but bitter medicine for portfolio, if you do not mind the price or much power you really need, then you will be very satisfied with your investment, but if not, then it’s best to look for something else economic performance with more modest.

What Imperdible:

  • Its aluminum design
  • Its excellent HD screen for watching movies
  • Its protective case that is included

The unpresentable:

  • Your processor is second and third generation
  • That its price will not include an SSD
  • The video card does not change automatically when not connected to electricity.
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