HP Envy 17 3D: Does the Makeover Help?

HP initially launched the Envy 17 3D notebook sometime last year in its premium range of offerings. Aimed primarily at avid gamers, the original Envy 17 3D went up against veterans in the game like Asus and Alienware. But it didn’t find as many takers the first time around, and HP ended up drawing a lot of flak for the clunky design and heating issues. Has HP finally managed to get it right after giving the Envy 17 3D a much-needed makeover?

Said to be inspired by the 17-inch Macbook Pro, the Envy 17 3D is designed to be the ideal choice for multimedia and gaming. With a Blu-Ray player, stereoscopic 3D and high quality sound provisions, it can be considered a formidable competitor to the Dell XPS 17, which also has a 3D version. The very first impression of the Envy 17 3D is quite striking – an all black metallic body with a unibody design also feels sturdy and solid to hold. However, on the downside, the semi-matte finish of the top cover is a bit of a fingerprint magnet, so you need to keep a cloth handy to polish it to a shine often. Weighing 3.34 kgs, it is slightly bulkier than your average laptop, but for its size and features, you don’t mind the weight at all.

The Envy 17 3D package includes active shutter 3D glasses, which you can use on the notebook’s full HD screen. AMD HD3D and TriDef 3D Ignition lets you view movies and games in 3D. On the inside, the Envy 17 3D is powered by a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM to give you an exemplary gaming experience. An AMD Radeon HD 7690 chip powers the graphics, but you also have the option of switching to Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 3000 for greater power efficiency. By default, the Envy 17 3D has a 750GB HDD, but you can choose to upgrade to various combinations of HDD and SSD drives as well. Also included is a 1MP “HP TrueVision HD” webcam as well as a built-in mic.

The Envy 17 3D has 3 USB 3.0 ports as well as 1 USB 2.0 port along the sides of the notebook. One of the best features of this notebook is the presence of 2 full-size DisplayPorts so you can connect it up to multiple monitors simultaneously. You also have 1 HDMI port and a memory card reader on the side. Powerful connectivity options including Intel Centrino’s Ultimate-N 6300 wireless network adapter for superfast Wi-Fi as well as a Bluetooth 4.0 adapter will leave you lusting after this notebook even more. A high capacity 6-cell battery can provide power to the Envy 17 3D for over 5 hours, which is far more than you can expect for a laptop of this configuration.

The Envy 17 3D comes with a limited 2-year warranty, which you can choose to extend by signing up for HP’s “Care Pack” Services. The starting price of $1449.99 might be considered slightly on the steeper side, but for all that it packs within it, we think it’s just right.… Read the rest

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