Our Review: HP Envy 17T
The HP Envy 17T does not strive to deliver the ultimate laptop or a one-size-fits-all. There is flexibility with the configuration options to cater to the storage and display nuances of every user, and most importantly their pocket sizes.
What is constant across the board is the sleekness of the design and the impressive keyboard. Hp reinforces the sophistication of simplicity with the Envy 17t.
Our review unit comes with the quad-core Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor and the Nvidia GeForce MX330 graphics, both of which are powerful but not spectacular.
The Full HD display is great, even though 4k could be better, at the huge cost of battery power. This is essentially a laptop that leaves you spoilt for choice…or hard choices.
Design and Appearance
For the design of this laptop, Hp adopts a minimalist approach that is still striking despite the lack of highlights. The surface of the chassis sports an anodized aluminum finish that seals it shut against fingerprint streaks. At first glance, it looks like it has been dipped in silver and then brushed to fineness.
The hinges are rigid and robust in all the right places, they steady the display at any viewing angle. Any attempt to go full-circle on the hinges will be met by firm resistance at the 120° mark, at that point you either do a 360 or risk the chances of getting a laptop split into two damaged halves.
At 2.7 kg, it could easily rank among the heaviest notebooks around, but with a thickness of just 19.3mm, you could be forgiven for calling this laptop anything but unwieldy. One look at the working operation of the drop hinge and our worst fears come to life; this laptop is better suited for the desks than on your lap or your hands.
Ports and Connections
The Envy 17T is well stocked for ports; there are the HDMI 2.0 and USB-C ports which both support the connection of multiple displays. And then there are three USB-A ports in addition to an SD card reader.
Although there is no thunderbolt 3 to add to the solitary USB-C port, there is just enough here to do the job. Look no further than the left-sided USB ports that support the Hp Sleep and Charge feature for convenience targeted innovation. Accelerated speed is what you get with the Wi-F 6, the latest technology in wireless networking.
HP ships the Envy 17T in a couple of configurations, one has a standard 1080p IPS panel, the other comes with a 1080p touch panel, and then there is a 4k panel that has no touchscreen option.
The 4k panel has its draws and a couple of drawbacks, you get a display that is bright, crisp, and sharp, with an average brightness of 382 nits and decent response times. On the other hand, the glossy surface is a real bummer in sunlit places, the screen becomes too reflective and the resultant glare becomes a glaring problem that will leave you straining your eyes. And let’s not even talk about its massive power draw.
The Full HD IPS panel might not give you the color reproduction or accuracy that you get with 4k, and the glossy screen remains a problem, but the 15.6″ screen size will compensate for that. In turn, you get an equally brilliant display with excellent viewing angles and snappy refresh rates. The touch screen is the clincher, with responsiveness and sensitivity that is uniform across every breadth of the screen.
The Bang and Olufsen branded speakers occupy an extensive area between the keyboard and the hinges, enough coverage for the pretty decent sound that you get. They might sound better if you switch things up a bit in the B&O utility, but it might make little difference on the pitch of the bass.
Overall the speakers give a good performance.
Keyboard and Input Devices
The drop hinge slightly props the keyboard upwards when the display is flipped open, this makes typing on the keyboard even better and reduces the problem of flex. In addition to that, the sizable and well-spaced keys have all the right qualities; excellent feedback and tactility, decent travel distance, and good feel.
There are some notable black spots, the power button is in no man’s land and the right ctrl button has been replaced with the fingerprint scanner.
The touchpad is large, with integrated mouse buttons that have no visible right and left click press area delineation. The clicks are firm, and the surface gives satisfactory cursor control. Lastly, a configuration of this laptop comes with a touch screen panel and a gilt-edge stylus that glides over the screen without leaving color streaks and trails.
The Hp Envy 17T is no gaming laptop, but that is not a get out of jail free card, and luckily for us the MX 330 takes no prisoners with its performance. Its 2GB of GDDR5 MX330 is armed with just enough oomph to take on even more demanding tasks. It can still execute your video and photo editing requests and play a decent number of 3D games at a competitive 60 frames per second. The caveat Is that you might have to tune down a little on your graphic power settings.
Gaming county is not exactly this laptops’ neck of the woods, it will not blow you away, but it is still decent. To enjoy some of the modern titles, some compromises in resolutions and graphical settings will have to be made. Now that may be disappointing to many, but for want of better options, you might just have to stick with the older and less demanding titles.
4k display, for all its crystal clear visuals, is a power guzzler, and this laptop is not exactly stocked with abundant battery power. Its 55Wh battery is not wired for sustained workload, and its tiny size reinforces that fact.
The runtimes are disappointing, the lights go out at 4.5 hours of active Wi-Fi usage. Its 15 hours of normal working operation might be flattering, but the curtains are drawn before the stage is set for heavier tasks like video encoding or high-resolution gaming. Now that might be slightly exaggerated, but it is no further from the truth. The Full HD display will give you a little respite, but you still have to keep your power adaptor in close range.
Heat and Noise Emission
By their manner of operation, the fans under the hood of the Hp envy 17T exemplify the extremes of the typical laptop fan behavior. They stay silent during light tasks and go guns blazing during gaming or multimedia editing.
The fan noise reaches full pitch at 44dB(A) which is within earshot but not loud, and then it accelerates into a din under sustained workloads, annoyingly so.
You can tweak the fans’ speed and noise levels in the Hp command center, but this might make your CPU performance take a hit.
The general system temperature is mostly tolerable during normal operation. The hotspots that appear on sustained and intense workloads are matched by the intensity of the fans in full swing.
The 10th generation core i7-1065G7 CPU is no workhorse, but it packs in all the punches that are minimum requirements for a normal working operation, and then It does even better. Its peak clock rate of 3.9GHz is not exactly top shelf, but it is still enough to take on most office or school work without breaking a sweat. And even when it is firing on all cylinders, it does not leave a disturbing trail of hot spots on your keyboard deck.
The problem with this CPU is its sustaining power under the pressure of very demanding applications and games. You might need to make appropriate concessions In speed and power If you want to take on the big guys in gaming and creative tasks.
The Hp envy 17T is a decent laptop, despite its little flaws. The Ice Lake Core i7 CPU and its GPU counterpart; the Nvidia Geforce MX330 are both well suited to take on sessions of seamless media streaming and middleweight gaming.
But this laptop offers the flexibility and storage capacity that is the envy of most multimedia laptops. On the balance of things, this laptop just about edges upwards.
10th Gen Intel i7-1065G7 1.3 GHz, up to 3.9 GHz, 8 MB L3 cache, 4 cores
16GB DDR4 SDRAM
1TB HD+256GB NVMe SSD
NVIDIA GeForce 4GB GDDR5
17.3 Inches FHD / WLED Backlit / 1920 x 1080
Win 10 Professional
4.5 hours – 15.5 hours depending on usage