HP Envy 17 3D review

  • £1599

This big-screen 3D laptop is a highly desirable entertainment machine

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Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • ATi 3D technology
  • Decent performance
  • Strong graphics card
  • Good screen
  • Beats sound technology
  • Storage

Against

  • Battery life
  • Flawed touchpad
  • 3D tech not as good as Nvidia's - yet

HP has updated its Envy 17 laptop to include ATi's latest 3D technology, a direct competitor to Nvidia's 3D Vision, and the result is a desirable media machine that is perfect for keeping the family fully entertained.

ATi has used the same stereoscopic system as Nvidia's 3D Vision, with glasses that use active shutters to produce the 3D image. There's no external dongle to clutter your USB ports, as the 3D technology is built into the chassis.

ATi's technology is currently not as widely supported as Nvidia's, with just over a dozen games currently compatible, including major titles such as Modern Warfare 2 and World of Warcraft. We suffered no discomfort wearing the glasses for extended periods, although they're not flattering.

However, we were highly impressed watching 3D video as the picture is a lot brighter than with Nvidia's technology, as well as pleasingly crisp.

Credit for the great picture goes to the 17.3-inch widescreen display which, along with the Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G, features a Full HD resolution.

The Envy's speakers feature HP's Beats technology and they also impress.

The Intel Core i5 580M processor may not be quite as powerful as the Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G and Samsung RF710-S03UK's Core i7 CPUs, but is still capable of multi-tasking with resource-heavy software.

The dedicated ATi Mobility Radeon HD 5850 graphics card produced good graphical performance and is ideal for intensive photo and video editing software, and HP has even bundled a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements to start you off.

Flawed touchpad

The Envy has a firm and highly usable isolation-style keyboard, but we found ourselves frustrated by the touchpad with its integrated mouse buttons. Pushing the corners of the pad to simulate left and right mouse button clicks is a stiff and irritating experience.

The HP's minimalist, all-metallic chassis is solid, although, at 3.7kg, it's not one to carry on a long journey. The 123-minute battery life narrowly beats the Asus N73J, but falls behind some other big-screen laptops.

A whopping 1.5TB of storage beats most other media centre laptops and should keep you going for the life of the laptop, while the Blu-ray drive can be used to watch films.

HP envy 17 3d

Plenty of ports are available, including a DisplayPort in addition to VGA and HDMI connections. Four USB ports, including a speedy USB 3.0 option, can be used to connect peripherals.

The Envy 17 is a fantastic 3D-ready media machine with incredible graphics and display. 3D compatibility may not match Nvidia's 3D Vision at present, but we expect the gap to quickly narrow.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelMobility Radeon HD 5850
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeBlu-ray Reader/DVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
eSATA/USB ComboYes
DisplayPortYes
Product FamilyEnvy 17-1100
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli7-720QM
ColourCarbon Relic
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i7
Screen Size43.9 cm (17.3")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory6 GB
Weight (Approximate)3.41 kg
Cache6 MB
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedBD-ROM/DVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyUltra Brightview
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Height38.7 mm
Width416 mm
Depth275 mm
Screen ModeFull HD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series17-1100
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product Model17-1195ea
Product NameEnvy 17-1195ea Notebook
Pointing Device TypeClickPad
Product LineEnvy
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberXE532EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

Experience truly luxurious computing. The HP Envy17 offers technology enthusiasts an expansive canvas for all their needs (and wants). An ultra-wide display, powerful processor and deluxe software and feature package make it the ultimate choice for mobile computing.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Envy 17-1195ea Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Limited Warranty1 Year