HP Envy 17 3D 17-2000ee

The HP sports a full QWERTY keyboard along with backlit keys for working in low-light conditions

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HP Envy 17 3D 17-2000ee The Envy sports 3D capabilities though it's not glasses-free 3D unfortunately
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  September 14, 2011

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Key Specs

Audio: Y
Card reader: Y
Display adapter: AMD Radeon HD 6850M with 1GB memory
Display screen: 17.3-inch
Internal storage: 2x 1TB

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HP's Envy 17 3D is a desktop replacement machine that packs 3D capabilities and is based on Intel's Sandy Bridge platform.

Out of the box the Envy 17 3D certainly looks expensive; the machine is finished in a tasteful mix of gray and silver and almost every surface, save for the area surrounding the keyboard, has an interesting design made up of tiny shapes. Up close the shapes look like individual, scattered art but seen from far, they make up larger, more interesting patterns and shapes.

Being a desktop replacement the Envy 17 is massive in terms of dimensions and equally, tips the scales at nearly 3kg. If these proportions don't put you off considering traveling with the machine, the battery life certainly will. In our intensive Imtec Battery Mark benchmark the machine managed to stay alive for just 59 minutes and 46 seconds when running in the ‘High Performance' power profile. You'll likely get about two hours of life in the real world given that most software won't require 100% of the CPU's attention.

Thanks to the machine's large size however, the HP sports a full-size QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard sports backlit keys, which is useful for working in low light conditions but, compared to the Pavilion dv6-6090ee machine that we reviewed last month, this keyboard exhibits a good deal of flex when keys are pressed. Flex aside the keyboard is comfortable to use and the same can be said for the machine's relatively large trackpad.

As is obvious from its rather telling name, this Envy machine sports 3D capabilities and as such, a single set of 3D glasses ship with it. Like most 3D glasses we've tried to date the Envy 17 3D's glasses are quite chunky but thankfully were reasonably comfortable to wear. Due to its bright and large 17.3-inch LCD screen the Envy managed a fairly immersive and believable 3D experience with a reasonable amount of depth.

Expectedly, the best results are experienced from straight-on so if you're planning to have your friends over to watch a 3D movie, anyone who isn't sitting as close to centre as possible, isn't going to see a great deal of depth.

In terms of performance the Envy 17 3D returned decent application numbers thanks to its strong hardware; the machine managed PCMark Vantage scores of 6,648, 3,634, 4,585, 6,196, 7,003, 5,887, 6,320 and 3,414 in the PCMark, Memories, TV and Movies, Gaming, Music, Communications, Productivity and HDD test suites.

Moving to gaming the Envy struggled managing figures of just 48.66fps and 12fps in our Street Fighter IV and World in Conflict benchmarks when running in high detail at the LCD's native 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. If you're a gamer then you're better off with the Pavilion dv6 rather than this Envy machine.

Pros: Application workhorse, manages to create immersive 3D experiences, comfortable to work on.
Cons: Extremely large and heavy, not a gaming machine.
Verdict: Given its positioning its disappointing that the Envy lacks gaming grunt. If gaming isn’t a concern however, you’ll find the Envy 17 a capable app machine and an immersive 3D entertainer.

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