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HP Envy 17 Gaming Laptop

Updated on July 4, 2011

The new HP Envy 17 was recently announced by HP together with the HP Envy 14, to complement (or to replace) the current 13 and 15-inch line up of the Envy premium laptops.

The iconic Envy series is a physical manifestation of the company's new MUSE (Materials-Usability-Sensory Appeal-Experiences) philosophy which stresses on high end materials with premium aesthetic feel, ergonomic designs and textured finishes that appeal to our senses, as well as high quality experience for the customer.

As the Envy 17 comes with top notch ATI discrete graphics - an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 graphics with 1GB ultra fast DDR5 VRAM and DirectX 11 support, it can run all the latest games at the highest available setting. Demanding games like Crysis and Borderlands will run easily. This will save you some money in the long run as you definitely don't have to upgrade this laptop for the next few years at the most conservative estimate. As a gaming machine, it is also HP's only consumer laptop that supports up to three external displays for immersive gameplay.

Of course, a high performance notebook like this will be like a high performance sports car, even if systems these days are not as energy sapping as systems of yesteryears. So, if you are going to lug this to some LAN party, or need a longer battery life, make sure you get the optional extended battery which attaches to the bottom of the Envy 17.

The Envy 17 is the most powerful consumer notebook in HP's arsenal of notebooks to date. At 7.5 pounds, and with high-end graphics capabilities, it is designed to be a desktop replacement which can easily outperform your old desktop PCs.

It also comes with Beats™ audio which produces an immersive crystal clear sound; but unlike the Envy 14, it also has a HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer for deeper and richer bass for your listening pleasure. Beats™ audio is engineered to reproduce the high quality found in music studios, and marketed as "music the way the artists intended". It lets you hear lows, middle ranges and highs with crystal clear clarity; and generally succeed in doing so compared to lesser notebooks that promised better sound but fails to deliver.

Youtube: HP's Barry Ferris Introducing The Envy 17 Notebook

Click thumbnail to view full-size


Among its great features which have gamers drooling:

-HP ProtectSmart, which automatically locks the hard drive to prevent potential data loss the moment your laptop starts making its descent towards the ground if you were to drop it.
-ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology: lets you connect up to three external displays, for a more enjoyable gaming experience
-ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 graphics with 1GB of ultra fast DDR5 VRAM and DirectX 11 support for the best gaming performance
-4GB DDR3 system memory (expandable to 8GB)
-HP QuickWeb, a lite OS for near-instant connection to the Web; also has e-mail and other frequently used apps
-A slot-loading DVD burner (or optional Blu-ray ROM drive)
-An island-style, backlit keyboard with numeric keypad and oversized ClickPad
-A SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port for up to 10x faster than USB 2.0 data transfer speed
-A 5-in-1 digital media card reader
-A 17.3 inch (diagonal) HD screen with 45% color gamut for crystal-clear viewing. An 1080p Full HD screen with super sharp 1920x1080 resolution and 72% color gamut is also available as option.
-A low-light HP TrueVision HD webcam with digital microphones optimizes video for any light setting
-An Intel draft Wireless-N wi-fi (with Bluetooth as an option)

Youtube: Envy 17 ATI Eyefinity Demo

The Envy 17 As A Gaming Platform:

Though not marketed solely as a gaming notebook, like the Alienware and Asus gaming notebooks, the Envy series has the following features which makes it as a very good choice here:

-comes with a discrete ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 graphics with 1GB ultra fast DDR5 VRAM to run all the latest games you can throw at it, at maximum setting.
-supports ATI Eyefinity; which can drive 3 monitors to enlarge your viewable area
-portable, you can bring it to LAN parties without embarassing yourself
-all the RAM and raw CPU power is going to help your gaming life
-cheaper than similiar high end laptops from other vendors
-has DirectX 11, which will insure you against having to upgrade sooner if you bought a gaming laptop that has a graphics card that doesn't support it
-it can run all the latest games at the maximum setting, even gpu demanding games like Crysis and Borderlands. StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 will run like a breeze. ;)

Comparison: HP Envy 17 Vs Envy 14

-Beats™ audio has HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer for deeper and richer bass
-Has ATI Eyefinity; can drive 3 monitors for an immersive gaming experience
-Has a VGA connector
-Has a 5-in-1 digital media card reader compared to the 2-in-1 in the Envy 14
-Has Blu-ray drive as an OPTION

Just in case you wondered why - the Envy 17 can support more features/connectors because it is physically bigger, and hence has more internal space for more stuff.


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