HP Envy 34 overview: A classy, however costly, widescreen all-in-one PC

HP’s use of the ‘Envy’ model identify has typically appeared to smack of hubris — particularly when used with one thing as mundane as an inkjet printer. However we will not assist admiring the sheer, all-out extravagance of this newest addition to the Envy vary. In addition to boasting an attention-grabbing 34-inch curved show, the Envy 34 is bursting on the seams with high-tech options designed to entice the well-heeled shopper or enterprise government who’s in search of the final word desktop standing image. It comes with a fairly hefty price ticket, although, so we had been curious to see if the Envy 34 might earn its maintain and supply extra than simply eye-candy.

Widescreen marvel

The standout characteristic of the Envy 34 is, after all, that imposing 34-inch curved show, and it actually delivers the ‘wow’ issue while you sit down in entrance of it for the primary time. The 34 inches refers back to the diagonal measurement, however the elongated widescreen show — with 21:9 side ratio — nonetheless measures a full 31.5 inches extensive, which makes it some eight inches wider than a standard 27-inch monitor.

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HP’s Envy 34 has a 34-inch curved (1.9m radius) IPS display with a decision of three,440 by 1,440 pixels.

Picture: HP Inc.

It actually does create a formidable sense of scale, whereas the curvature of the display signifies that it fills nearly your whole subject of view, including to the sense of immersion. The obvious use of the widescreen show is for watching video, however HP additionally factors out that the Envy 34 can provide a compact different to a dual-monitor setup for an workplace PC, permitting you to comfortably view two or three paperwork or browser home windows on-screen suddenly.

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Having two or three browser home windows or paperwork on-screen directly needs to be no downside.

Picture: Cliff Joseph/ZDNet

Oddly, although, the show does not present the 4K decision (three,840 x 2,160 pixels) presently most well-liked by most high-end all-in-one programs. The precise decision is three,440 by 1,440 (109.7 pixels per inch, or ppi), which continues to be greater than twice the decision of a standard HD (1,920 x 1,zero80) show, and the Envy 34 gives glorious picture high quality for video, images or gaming. Nevertheless, it will not be splendid for Netflix addicts who wish to watch 13 Reasons Why in true 4K decision, and the 21:9 side ratio does nonetheless go away you with the ‘letterbox’ impact when viewing many video codecs — albeit with the black bars on the left and proper sides of the display, moderately than the highest and backside. So whereas the sheer dimension of the Envy 34’s show is undeniably spectacular, many individuals should still favor to go for a extra typical 4K show.

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The Envy 34 does not provide full 4K decision, and its 21:9 side ratio will go away you with black bars on both aspect when viewing DVDs.

Picture: Cliff Joseph/ZDNet

Sound and imaginative and prescient

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There are touch-sensitive controls for the B&O-branded sound system constructed into the bottom.

Picture: HP Inc.

The curvaceous show is not the Envy 34’s solely promoting level. The show sits atop a considerable stand, which itself measures 23.5 inches extensive, and homes a four-speaker soundbar. There’s additionally a wi-fi charging pad for Qi and PMA units situated on the left-hand aspect of the stand, whereas a set of touch-sensitive quantity and playback controls sit over on the precise.

We additionally just like the ‘pop-up’ webcam, which recedes into the highest of the display for privateness when it isn’t in use. The speaker system is just a little disappointing, although. The sound is sort of highly effective, however lacks substance — particularly on the bass — and Dell does a significantly better job with the interior audio system on its rival XPS 27 all-in-one PC.

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A lot of the ports are in the back of the bottom, together with a big air vent.

Picture: HP Inc.

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Picture: HP Inc.

The bottom unit additionally homes many of the PC’s different elements. There is a single USB-C port and headphone socket on the right-hand edge, with the remaining 4 USB three.zero ports, HDMI enter and output, and Ethernet, all tucked annoyingly out of attain proper on the again. The opposite notable characteristic across the again is the massive air vent that runs nearly the whole width of the bottom unit, and which emits a low — however nonetheless audible — hum from the cooling fan a lot of the time.

Worth and efficiency

Right here within the UK, the Envy 34 is presently solely accessible in a single configuration, priced at £1,999 (inc. VAT, or £1665.83 ex. VAT, or $1,829.99 within the US). That value features a quad-core Intel i7-7700T operating at 2.9GHz (three.8GHz with TurboBoost), and a moderately underwhelming 8GB of RAM (though HP’s US web site does provide further configurations with 12GB and 16GB). Storage is extra ample, fortunately, with a 256GB solid-state drive functioning as the first Home windows C: drive, and a separate 1TB exhausting drive for extra storage.

The SSD performs properly, reporting write and browse speeds of 1520.7MB/s and 3150.3MB/s with ATTO Disk Benchmark, and permitting the Envy 34 to be up and operating with Home windows 10 in simply 10 seconds. The secondary exhausting drive is a extra modest performer, delivering 149MB/s for each write and browse, however that is completely ample for merely storing information and paperwork.

There’s sufficient uncooked horsepower to deal with quite a lot of functions too, with the i7 processor reaching sturdy single- and multi-processor scores of 4480 and 13,600 respectively within the Geekbench 4 take a look at suite. And whereas HP does not market the Envy 34 as a graphics workstation, its rating of 89 frames per second (fps) in Cinebench R15‘s OpenGL take a look at reveals it may possibly deal with gaming at dwelling, or video-editing for enterprise shows — though, in each instances, many customers would possibly favor a show with true 4K decision. Nevertheless, our essential concern is the truth that the Envy 34 gives even fewer improve choices than Apple’s iMac. The one configuration accessible within the UK does not present any build-to-order choices, and whereas HP’s knowledge sheet states that the Envy 34’s two reminiscence slots can deal with as much as 16GB of RAM, there is not any easy accessibility to the motherboard for consumer upgrades, which appears remarkably short-sighted for such a high-end PC.

Conclusions

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Trendy and highly effective, however expensive.

Picture: HP Inc.

It is exhausting to not admire the sheer extravagance of HP’s Envy 34 and, on a extra sensible degree, it is actually highly effective sufficient to deal with quite a lot of artistic functions, in addition to leisure and gaming. Nevertheless, it nonetheless appears just a little unsure of its target market. Players and enterprise customers alike will lament the shortage of enlargement and improve potential, whereas video buffs and Netflix addicts would possibly merely favor to purchase a 4K show for his or her present PC. In the event you can afford it, then the Envy 34 gives a trendy and spectacular dwelling leisure system or government desktop PC — however that curved display must work fairly exhausting to justify the worth tag.

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