HP Envy 23 review
Less versatile than some, but a quality screen and a powerful specification make this an attractive alternative if more demanding applications are a priority
All-in-ones usually look great, but the HP Envy 23 is one of the most stylish we've ever seen. The key to its success is its hinge-and-base arrangement: instead of a simple prop- or monitor-style stand, the Envy’s display connects to the slender base via a pair of tubular legs that extend down from the bottom corners and curve into the base’s sides.
It’s an eye-catching design, and one that’s matched by good build quality. Although it looks worryingly slight, the base anchors the machine solidly to the desk, and the tilting mechanism feels stiff and reliable.
The downside to this design is a lack of flexibility. Other machines have double-hinged stands that allow them to tilt and fold flat, but the HP Envy has a comparatively restricted range of movement. It’s enough for using the system as a main PC while sitting at a desk, but you can’t push it back far enough to comfortably use from a standing position.
The keyboard and mouse are middle-of-the-road units. The keyboard’s traditional design contrasts awkwardly with the Envy’s ultra-modern chassis, and the keys feel light and plasticky, with an indistinct action. As usual, the keyboard has no Windows 8-specific keys; we’ve no complaints about the mouse.
Screen and core performance
The Envy’s screen has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, and quality is good. The colour accuracy is excellent, with an average Delta E of 3.3, ensuring images never look oversaturated or unnaturally cool or warm. For photo editing, it’s excellent; any flaws we did come across – such as a miniscule strip of backlight leakage along the bottom edge of the display, and a lowish maximum brightness of 208cd/m2 – are minor gripes.
You won’t be disappointed with performance, either. The system’s Core i5-3330S is a low-power part, but it’s one of Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge range of chips and has plenty to recommend it. It has a stock speed of 2.7GHz, a top Turbo Boost clock of 3.2GHz and 6MB of L3 cache – twice the amount that's included in slower Core i3 chips.
The HP’s application benchmark score of 0.8 is enough – when coupled with 6GB of RAM – to keep Windows 8 feeling nippy. We didn’t experience any sluggishness when navigating Windows 8’s Live Tiles and full-screen apps, and desktop mode was similarly responsive.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Total hard disk capacity||2,000GB|
|CPU family||Intel Core i5|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.70GHz|
|Processor socket||LGA 1155|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Graphics card||AMD Radeon HD 7450A|
|Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?||no|
|3D performance setting||Medium|
|Graphics chipset||AMD Radeon HD 7450A|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||0|
|Number of graphics cards||1|
|Hard disk||Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000|
|Hard disk usable capacity||1.80TB|
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray reader|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Speakers||HP Beats Audio|
|Speaker type||2 x 2W|
|Peripherals||Media Centre remote control|
|Dimensions||580 x 214 x 455mm (WDH)|
Mouse & Keyboard
|Mouse and keyboard||HP wireless keyboard and mouse|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 8|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||47W|
|Peak power consumption||91W|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||19fps|
|3D performance setting||Medium|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.80|