You must have heard about NVIDIA’s latest 3D technology but let me tell you that it is not the only company that has been offering you this innovation. There is a bundle of new Notebooks which have been placed over the store racks and consist 3-D technology and I’m sure you might have been through with one of them. Well, The HP Envy 17 3D pair ATI’s Mobility Radeon HD 5850 with a resolution of 1080p and sporting an LED backlit screen. That’s not it, ENVY 17 3D also gives you active shutter glasses and supports Blu-Ray to give you a big and beautiful multimedia laptop that does 3D as well. But when we say that it is one of the hottest laptops ever, trust me, this is not just a compliment. You’re yet to know what this little monster is capable of doing, supporting multimedia features to the fullest.
Although this edition of laptop features the same beats audio as per Envy 14 Beats Edition, the one we glanced at recently but it is not branded to excess in the same way; that means, it is only having a beats logo on the screen bezel and by one speaker with the key tops in a usual white color (Quite clearer than low-contrast red color, honestly.) As this is the keyboard’s backlighting. You would fall in love with this sleekly designed stylish aluminium case with chassis wrapped in a chrome strip and a very fancy looking pattern immortalized on the bronze finish on the lid and palm rest. The looks of the keyboard do not look fake and yes they look original, not like made up of a plastic material as what we have seen in most of the laptops. Also the keyboard matches up with the color scheme at the screen and creates a good combination of colors that hopefully you may like. HP has kept the same substantial hinges and also the rubber lip that it makes this case a bit sturdy. Although, we missed out on noticing the flex on the screen. The whole unit looks like a 17 inch laptop, in fact the ENVY would have not looked bulky if it had been made available in 15-inch screen but it is still on the heavy side.
Instead of the almost too regular layout of this laptop, the keyboard has indeed made a create use of the space on a 17-inch system and it holds such balancing position in this gadget. You will feel sufficient amount of space between the keys, a very logical layout for secondary keys and also, a separate numeric keypad for gaming purpose. (If you’re serious about bashing numbers on to the spread sheets then you would love the numeric keypad and your fingers would jabber with maximum speed) The indicators light have been built into the keyboard, which keeps the look minimal and another type of light shows up just when you switch off the touch pad, which can be done by tapping the light rapidly. The function keys are placed to give you additional options and number of activities can be controlled through them like, volume, wireless, screen brightness and keyboard Back light but no media playback keys have been integrated in this machine. Unlike the lid, there is no such flex on the keyboard but the action is firm and positive, ready to give you fast and furious typing while you’re gaming.
The most noticeable thing is the contrast between the very textured palm rest and the touch pad itself. The sensitivity is very high and it does have a responsive sensation over it. The touchpad is a single flat surface with a widescreen ratio. You can click anywhere with it and feel the same positive action as the buttons. The marking on the buttons are just printed and there is enough space between the keys that you’re unlikely to make fumbles while typing, not even when you’re not looking at the screen and typing. The touch pad has been set up a couple of millimeters above from the palm rest and holds such a balanced position that you can easily put your hands on the palm rest and play around with it. There is a distinct wedge shape that u will see underneath the chassis; these things together give you a nice angle of typing.
Although the touch pad is having full range of gestures but as usual we could never get this 3 fingers combination gesture to work at all. Two-fingers pinch zoom was indeed responsive and the two finger scroll seemed slightly slow while responding. We also spent some time while customizing the settings to get the best outcome.
The Envy 17 is having a bit slower Core i7 720 QM and 6GB of RAM instead of 740 QM and 8GB of memory, as what we have seen in most of the gaming laptops and really, calling it a station where you can have endless fun with 3-D gaming wouldn’t be unfair. Also, you can watch 3-D movies over to this laptop in full swing that means you don’t have to go to a 3-D cinema all the time, if you really want to get the pun out of your favourite movie. Mean while, the Core i7 processor comes with its own taste with such demanding softwares that enables it to use all the cores efficiently but it still saves up some power for any application that you want to run and GPU acceleration for Photos and Videos editing. Browser like Internet Explorer 9 works really well on these blistering fast laptops. It has surely beaten the Asus NX90 as per the performance. One of the main growing concerns about this machine is that, the front left corner would warm up to a temperature that you would only fancy to type on in winter just for playing music over the local network. Also, sometimes the rear vent feels exactly like a heater and I’m sure this aspect would daze you big time. At this point, even the fan noise starts to get louder and you could hear it very clearly.
You would love its design and how neatly it has been vamped in a shape with simplicity. Like the design, even the ports have been arranged in a neat order but not very conveniently. It goes like this, on the left hand side you will see an HDMI, Mini Display Port and VGA ports have been placed with less room but the Gigabit Ethernet port is kept in the middle of them all, it would have been better if they’d placed it somewhere on the right hand side or maybe next to the power socket. You’ve been given two standard USB 2.0 ports on the right hand side along with the memory card slot. Moving on to the left hand side, it gets you to a combo USB eSATA port and another Superspeed USB 3.0 port (Keep in mind that this port is much faster than the one you’ll find at the right hand side) If you’re having an urge to listen to the blaring sound of this laptop with headphones then you might want to try out the marked headphones ports and get them connected here. The machine also includes, a DVD burner and Blu-ray that has the capability to run 3-D contents. We knew what we were going to find out about the web cam quality and off-course it is another coolest aspect about this laptop. Just like its previous edition, even Envy 17 features the same excellent webcam with 100% real color vibrancy. You will actually love to record videos with it and they give you a detailed result. Next to the webcam, you will see infra-red link that actually syncs the battery powered XpanD active shutter glasses. You might want to try out this, do one thing, put them on and fire up any 3-D content and the shutter will automatically open and close to give you alternate frames to each eye. We have been largely disappointed by the frame rates that are being offered for gaming and it could have been made better, you’ll have to do some extra setup to make it work. But still, HD movies can be played with full swing ; sometimes the images turn rather more brighter than what we see on Nvidia systems.
The standard 2-D content looks very good, being run on an Ultra bright screen, which is having full high definition resolution. Talking about the colors, I’d throw you a list of compliments because they are rich, bright and the details are very much crisp and clear. Although, you will notice that sometimes contrast will not be properly set but this only happens in a little low dark areas. We also tried streaming HD 1080p videos from the Internet and it was detailed and ran smoothly. Also, we played 720 HD video from a local network and even then no issues erupted out but we will regret upon missing the upscaling soft wares on systems like ASUS NX90 which adds detail level while playing 1080p HD videos.
The sound quality wouldn’t disappoint you by any mean and it is excellent although it cannot be matched with what we had seen in ASUS NX90 and Dell’s XPS 15, these two laptops has sound which is much more richer and brighter than what we are having in front of us. We were unable to ear the bombastic bass coming out of Envy’s speakers. The volume is actually a little on the low side but still the sound does not distort at maximum volumes and you can hear some details in the music with bass blaring out from the sub woofer.
Considering the fact that battery life has disappointed us largely and left us in grief. As often on the Notebooks, if things are going really well with them, they would break your heart when it comes to battery durability and the same thing happened with this lappy. In the recommended balanced power mode, playing music over Wi-fi turned on and along side, doing web browsing or watching a DVD video clip with Wi-fi ran the whole battery down in almost an hour. If you act smart enough and turn off each and everything, no wonder you’ll get 2 hours to work over this machine.
You will get a bundle of soft wares and they’re pretty much similar to the Envy 14 ; the highlights are Photo shop and Premier Elements. Also, you will be able to get Microsoft Security Essential rather than a more bloated anti-virus program that slows down your PC speed.
I guess I have written enough on this new HP’s ENVY 17 which is a blistering fast premium machine with flaws. You won’t be finding notebooks with this kind of 3-D outcome and I’m pretty much sure, once you start watching Blu-ray contents on this machine, you wouldn’t think about buying any other Notebook. This machine does have heat issues but let’s just not forget, if it is happening once in a blue moon, it is more like something to forget about very easily. I’d reckon buying this laptop as it has everything you need to be fully entertained.