HP Envy 17 3D Review

By on June 10, 2011
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HP’s flagship notebook brings power in style.

Good: Simple and pleasant design, Powerful in both computing and games, 1080p 3D LED screen, Full sized backlit keyboard, Beats audio speakers are great
Bad: Mouse pad doesn't register all gestures, Supplied GPU is a bit weak for games in 3D at 1080p
Price: AED 8,499
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

There are many laptop manufacturers that come out with high-end machines that are more focused on power than aesthetics. In terms of brilliant engineering by bringing high power in a robust yet eye catching chassis is concerned, none have beaten Apple in this regard with their MacBook Pro lines. The MacBook Air are also quite a marvel when it comes to beautiful laptop designs, but that’s a topic for later discussion.

What we’re here to look at today is HP’s Envy 17″ 3D laptop sporting the new Intel Sandy Bridge processor. Obviously, there have been significant updates to other hardware components, the display as well as the chassis itself. So let’s take it from the top. On the outside the Envy 17 is covered with laser etched brushed aluminum with a slightly funky design pattern of squares in different shapes and sizes. That, coupled with the metallic grey finish of the brushed aluminum gives it a very suave feel. Inside the area surrounding the full sized keyboard and the track pad is in the same design as the top. On the sides you have silver colored plastic. The keyboard is a comfortably spaced chicklet sized layout with backlit keys. It’s nothing flashy, quite simple in fact, but the overall design resonates a smart personality about it.

Inside our test model packed the Intel Core i7-2630QM CPU @ 2GHz with 8GB of DDR3-1333MHz ram that kept everything running nice and smooth, while the 2TB HDD (running at 5400rpm) provided ample storage space. This model also comes with the AMD HD 6850M graphics card with 1GB GDDR5 memory for all your gaming and editing needs. The 17″ LED monitor is vibrant, and also provides 3D display with the accompanied active shutter glasses. The Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit also comes with a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0 and Adobe Premiere Elements 8.0 preinstalled.

Accompanying all of this hardware are a number of ports, namely VGA, HDMI, LAN (10/100/1000), DisplayPort, eSATA, Audio ports, two USB 2.0 ports and a USB 3.0 port. The final piece of the puzzle is the Bluray reader & DVD writer combo drive. The ‘beats audio’ speakers are subtly hidden in the rear and only show slightly on the front panel via the grills. For laptop speakers, these are some of the better ones I have heard in a  long while. Great for games, music and movies. Don’t expect much thumping bass, but there’s a slight oomph to it for sure.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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