Saturday, January 14, 2012

HP Envy 17 3D (Envy 17-2290NR) Review

The HP Envy 17 3D 2290NR is a stylish, 17.3” screen desktop replacement model that features an aluminum case design and Beats Audio. Inside the box you will find a sleek professional looking laptop without all the stickers you typically find on a Windows machine fresh out of the box. Call it taking a page out of the Apple playbook or just being customer friendly, either way it’s nice not to have to worry about removing stickers and glue remnants from a laptop you spent $1,500 on. The Envy 17 2290NR comes standard with an Intel Quad Core i7 processor and switchable graphics. The hybrid graphics makes it possible for this laptop to double as a gaming machine by using its high mid-range AMD graphics and also function as a battery friendly work machine by running on Intel integrated graphics when you need it to. The Envy 17-2290NR machine can be found on HP.com for $1,499.99. In my case I ordered a custom built model with the following configuration on my Employee Purchase Program for $1,466.21 before taxes, and free shipping:
HP Envy 17-2290 Specs
Processor: Intel Core i7-2670QM (2.2 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz
OS: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Screen: 17.3" diagonal Full HD HP 3D Ultra BrightView Infinity LED Display (1920×1080)
Graphics: 1GB GDDR5 Radeon(TM) HD 6850M Graphics
Memory: 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
Storage: 1.5TB 7200 rpm Dual Hard Drive (750GB x 2) (Raid 0)
Battery: One 6-Cell (around 3 hours battery life) and One 9-Cell (around 5 hours battery life) Lithium Ion
Optical Drive: Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner
Ports: 4 USB (3 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0, one of the USB 2.0′s is a shared eSATA port), HDMI, VGA monitor out, mini Display Port, 1Gbps Ethernet LAN, 1 Headphone, 1 Headphone/Mic
Dimensions: 16.38" (W) x 10.83" (D) x 1.25" (min Height)/2.15" (max Height)
Weight: 7.82 lbs
Webcam: HP TrueVision HD Webcam
Wireless: Intel 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth with Wireless Display Support
Keyboard: Backlit Keyboard with numeric keypad
3D Glasses: HP 3D Active Shutter Glasses

Envy 17 3D Reason for Buying

When I embarked on finding a replacement laptop for my broken 17" HP DV7 3160us, I looked at the 17” Apple MacBook Pro, Dell XPS 17 and Sony Vaio FE. Although nice, I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on the MacBook Pro 17, it starts at $2,499 and was simply above what I wanted to spend. Another downside for buying the MacBook Pro or Sony VAIO FE was the fact I multi-boot several OS’s and having dual drives is a very appealing feature to make that easier, the MacBook Pro and VAIO FE do not offer dual drives while the XPS 17 and Envy 17 do. With the Apple MBP and VAIO FE out of the picture that left the HP and Dell. Priced slightly lower, I ultimately chose the HP Envy 17 3D because I preferred the look over the XPS 17. The Envy looks like what I expect in a high end laptop, while the XPS 17 is somewhat frumpy and inelegant. I love the sleek design of the Envy 17 and also appreciate the lack of clutter caused by stickers.

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