HP TECH TAKES
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HP ENVY 17t Laptop: A Complete Review
August 1, 2018
Are you looking for a laptop that’s portable but still has a larger screen size and most of the features that your desktop PC offers? Are you also a multitasker who uses your devices for just about everything? If you answered yes to either question, then the HP ENVY 17t deserves your attention.
Countless laptop fans are drawn in by this device’s stunning look, and with good reason. It’s one of the most innovatively designed models available, and yet there are some considerations to make before you buy.
Are you using it for work? Do you want a laptop geared for gaming? An informed purchase can help you know just what you are getting, and our HP ENVY 17t laptop review will explain just what this device can offer.
Durable build with innovative design
There are many options in the marketplace for laptops that look as good as they perform, but few can match the HP ENVY 17t.
Its beautiful aluminum case exudes professionalism and style, and it’s matched by the brushed steel keys that sport a modern font that’s pleasing to the eye and easy to see in low light.
Even the speakers, which are cleverly seated between the keyboard and hinge, have a geometric design allowing for better sound quality without interfering with the careful architecture.
Whether you’re taking it to a board meeting or streaming the newest releases for family and friends in your home, the HP ENVY 17t has a smooth, refined aesthetic that’s easy to keep clean and looking pristine no matter where you travel.
This device also grants users the ability to treat it as a mobile workstation. Weighing in at 6.63 lbs, its frame is substantial enough to house all the goodies a multi-tasker will need, such as the 17.3-inch diagonal screen, a full numeric keypad, SD card reader, and DVD-writable optical drive.
Since many of these accessories are add-ons with competitor models, HP® has taken great care to house all of the upgrades in the body without making it too heavy to carry in a backpack or briefcase.
The fan-favorite feature has to be the unique hinge, though. It’s designed to provide the space you need to type, click, and navigate your way to better productivity, all with more airflow than traditional builds.
There’s good news for gamers, audiophiles, and movie buffs alike, because the HP ENVY 17t has a surprisingly balanced suite of software and hardware features. They make it easy to enjoy just about any game, movie, or streaming music channel you happen to discover.
The included Bang & Olufsen dual speakers produce a rich sound that rivals any integrated speakers. You can watch movies without headphones at full volume in a standard-sized room without audio noise or muffling. The B&O software is intuitive as well and allows for basic sound engineering to help create the best sound experience for digital audio editing, gaming, and other tasks.
The visuals definitely match the sound quality. Edge-to-edge glass with only a slightly beveled design always looks great, and HP® has made every inch count with its Full High Definition (FHD) IPS WLEC-backlit screen.
At 1920 x 1080 resolution and 8 million pixels, the display makes movies appear vibrant, games crisp, and photos sharp. This screen makes an impression as one of the very few glare-free surfaces that does what it says. In high or low light, colors remain rich and bold without the need for a screen cover.
The included 3-cell, 55.8 Wh Li-ion battery is built to last, too. It provides more than nine hours for standard tasks and just shy of eight hours for video playback, so you get through an entire day of travel with all your favorite movie titles at your fingertips. The FHD screen proves to be very efficient and doesn’t compromise battery life for playback quality, either.
Fast, faster, fastest?
You can’t have an HP ENVY notebook review without talking about speed.
As soon as you begin using it, the HP ENVY 17t exceeds expectations with a super-reactive HP Imagepad that lets you point, drag, drop, and click with the flick of a wrist and no lag between actions. The gesture support option is helpful as well and allows you to customize several motions such as pinching or swiping to improve productivity with less strain on your wrists and forearms.
The HP ENVY 17t’s boot-up time is impressive, too. It takes seconds to go from powering up to the welcome screen, and during our tests, restarting was just as rapid. That’s because it’s not bloated with unnecessary trials or accessories, but instead comes standard with essential software preloaded on the laptop, including your choice of Windows 10 Home or Windows Home Pro.
The latter gives you added security, networking features, and encryption technology that’s perfect for those working from a home office, traveling in less secure areas, or needing to meet industry communications standards where these features are required.
The credit for a seamless start-up also goes to the high-performing Intel® Core™ i7 processor, an industry favorite for its four cores and up to 4GHz 8MB cache. Because this quad-core performer is on the slimmer side, it can work at peak efficiency without the noisy fans, uncomfortably hot temperatures, or lagging speeds that some dual-core laptops struggle to overcome.
Simply put, the processor is fast, but this piece of hardware isn’t the only reason the HP ENVY 17t is a fan favorite. Without the NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 video card featuring 2GB of dedicated memory, those games and video editing projects just wouldn’t run as smoothly as they do. You also start with 8GB of RAM and have the option to move up to 16GB.
HP laptops come standard with some of the most recognized security perks on the market. Between the software and LoJack features, your laptop can be secured when you’re taking it right out of the box.
If you want to take your security a bit further, the HP ENVY 17t has some great additional features. Among them is the biometrically enhanced HP SecurePad, which uses a fingerprint reader to identify users. It’s located right within the trackpad, so it’s out of the way when you don’t need it.
As if all of these features weren’t impressive enough, power users should know that there’s even more to this laptop than meets the eye. With plenty of ports available on this workstation’s sides, it’s a good buy simply for the compatible laptop accessories and expansion potential.
Let’s say you want to enjoy a true multimedia experience or expand your display’s real estate. With the HP ENVY 17t, you can connect up to two external 4K monitors by using the included HDMI or USB-C ports.
For extreme storage needs, you can go beyond the included 1TB 7200 RPM SATA internal hard-drive and upgrade to the SSD or Intel® Optane™ options.
If you plan on bringing the laptop to a gaming event, the ability to choose between standard 802.11 WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 MIMO, or Gigabit WiFi is a welcome option for those who need that extra speed boost.
For meetings, catching up with family, or simply chatting with friends, the integrated HP Wide Vision FHD IR Camera is a nice addition.
Its dual array digital microphone keeps conversations clear without picking up distracting background noise. With these features, you won’t need to purchase additional equipment to film a web show, host a podcast, or enjoy a video chat.
Much, much more for the money
The latest HP ENVY 17t model has made some significant improvements over other 17-inch screens and includes pretty much everything a desktop workstation has to offer.
You can game, do graphic design work, burn DVDs, edit, and entertain, all from a laptop that’s still portable, beautiful, and quiet. HP® has removed many of the headaches of a laptop - overheating, noisy fans, lack of ports and adapters - to create one of the finest models on the market.
The great battery life, brilliant display, and full-size keyboard with number pad all make it incredibly easy and fun to get any task done, too. It no longer feels like a chore when you have to pack up and move from your desk or a stuffy airplane cabin to your next location.
This stunning, thoughtfully-crafted laptop is great to look at and an inspiration to use. Match it with one of the HP Powerup Backpack laptop bags, some headphones, and a portable printer to have everything you need to get just about any job done, wherever you go.
If there’s one thing our HP ENVY laptop review proves, it’s that this model will feel like the best kind of investment you can make.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.