HP Envy 17 review: It’s good for getting actual work done

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Updated: December 10, 2015 1:24:34 PM

From the display to design, audio to performance, everything is near perfect in HP Envy 17

From the display to design, audio to performance, everything is near perfect in HP Envy 17From the display to design, audio to performance, everything is near perfect in HP Envy 17

Our smartphones and tablets have got so powerful that we have turned less dependent on our PCs, but that does not mean PCs have become obsolete yet. In the case of PC manufacturers, the trend has been to build great desktop replacements and today we have one such offering from HP for review.

HP knows building laptops better than most other OEMs—it has been building them since 1984. Despite the decline in PC sales, it has been able to hold its ground with great offerings both in the consumer space as well as enterprise. From playing graphics rich PC games to MS Office, HP Envy 17 is built to handle them with ease. But is it the perfect desktop replacement notebook? We try to answer in our review.

What is good?

The best thing about the device is its design and build quality. HP has used the best possible materials to build this laptop and rather than giving it a clunky desktop replacement look, HP has chosen the same design theme seen on its Pavilion and Spectre range of notebooks.

A good desktop replacement must nail the display. Even nice wouldn’t work and I believe HP has got it spot on.

Rather than concentrating on just pixel density, HP has made sure that other aspects of the display are done right.

The Envy 17 comes with a 17.3-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. It is definitely not crisp when set to zero brightness, but that is acceptable for a device that is going to stay indoors.

For long Windows has had really poor trackpads, they have not even been half good as the one found on Apple’s Macbook line but PC makers have really done well lately. HP’s Envy 17 has a large track pad that responds nicely to most gestures—from two fingers scrolling to pinch-to-zoom—most gestures work perfectly well. HP has partnered with Bang & Olufsen to offer the best sound experience on a notebook and it doesn’t disappoint.

HP Envy 17 shines the most when it comes to PC gaming. It is one of the best laptops available right now for gaming. From playing Project Cars to Grand Theft Auto, HP Envy 17 shows that it is a mean machine. If you are not introduced to the concept of PC gaming on Steam, HP Envy 17 would be a good place to start.

Last but not the least; HP Envy 17 comes loaded with all the necessary ports. It has four USB 3.0 ports – two on either side of the notebook. .

What is not that good?

While HP has got trackpad right—I have mixed feelings for its keyboard. The island style keyboard is well spaced something one can expect from a 17-inch laptop but the keys don’t really offer very good travel. While the keys are backlit, it lacks ambient light sensor to turn on automatically.

HP Envy 17 also features fingerprint reader for signing in with biometric but in my time with the device, it didn’t work even once. HP Envy 17 is readily upgradable to Windows 10 and the store listing claims the device to be shipping with Windows 10, I found Windows 8.1 off putting.

While desktop replacements are not meant to be portable; HP Envy 17 is too heavy at over 3.3 kg. Had HP trimmed the size to make it lighter at under 3Kgs; this one would have appealed to more buyers. Also that steep R1 lakh price tag could make this a slow mover.

Should you buy?

HP has really put in lot of thoughts behind this one. From the display to design, audio to performance, everything is near perfect here. Yes, you should really buy this if price is not an issue. There is no other Windows laptop that can do the job of desktop replacement as well as this one.

* Dimensions: 415 x 281.3 x 29.3 mm
* Display: 17.3 inch FHD LED BrightView anti-glare screen
* Processor: Intel Core i7-5500U (2.4 GHz with Turbo Boost Upto 3 GHz)
* Operating system: 64-bit Windows 8.1 OS
* 4 GB Nvidia GTX 950M
* 16 GB DDR3
* 2 TB HDD
* Battery: 6-cell, 62 Wh Li-ion
** Estimated street price: Rs 1,07,990

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