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This review is from: HP Laptop ENVY 17 17-3290NR Intel Core i7 3610QM (2.30 GHz) 8 GB Memory 1 TB HDD 80 GB SSD AMD Radeon HD 7850M 17.3" Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
Pros: * Roaringly fast CPU (for today..) * Gorgeous LCD; crisp+bright, good color reproduction, 0 bad pix for me. * Quiet fan (compared to many; not annoying) * Three simultaneously usable digital monitor outs (2 Displayport + HDMI ) - analog VGA sucks. This was critical for me & I'm happy! * ..no eSATA for legacy HD's ...but USB3->eSATA is just a cheap dongle away. :-) * Keyboard quite pleasant in use. Wierdly it seems the Function keys default to being 'laptop control' keys not F1..F12? Odd. * Multitouch pad is pretty good; two finger scroll is immediately great; however the button-click areas are not brilliantly designed. There is an HP tool for tweaking the touchpad zones etc which looks quite useful. * Three drive bays; 2x2.5" and an mSATA. mSATA bay is 6Gbps tested :-) , not checked the 2.5" bays but I heard they are III also. I doubt I'll ever run 3 drives but it's handy. * Easy to open! Access to 2.5" hard drives without screws, only 6 phillips to get to ram/mSATA/etc.
Cons: Very happy but... minor things... * 3D is a bit of a gimmick although quite nice on Google Earth. I see noticable flickering when it's on. I didn't buy this for the 3D and will rarely use it. It's not awe-inspiring. * 80gb SSD is not big enough for a system drive imho. Remember windows tends to put everything on C? You'll have several years of windows growing and likely most of your apps on there. I cloned+swapped this out for a 240GB as soon as I got the machine. Now I have 240GB C drive, and the original 1TB for media etc. * Battery not detachable .. however it's easy to replace if you need to, just need a torx screwdriver. You won't be doing this on the plane though. * Wanted 16GB ram so now I'm left with 2x4GB RAM sticks I don't need. Still, now that one can get 16GB for $75 I just laugh and rub my hands with glee.
Other Thoughts: * If you need conversion to DVI use "Sapphire Active Displayport->DVI adapter" ; a passive cable does not work properly for me, this one works fine. * mSATA port is SATA III 6gbps speedy niceness; I got 500MB/sec off my replacement SSD. Not confirmed the other two are SATAIII yet but the most important one is. * I recommend you swap the SSD for a larger mSATA 6GBPS unit (e.g. Mushkin Atlas). If you do this the old 80gb drive can be dropped into a 2.5" SATA bay with a cheap SYBA mini SATA adapter (works great).
So far I am completely happy.
For me this is a 'portable desktop' machine not something I will walk around with every day. If you are that person you may consider something smaller and lighter (e.g. 15" with less drive bays, no optical drive) unless you need the oomph and expandability this lappy offers you.
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