The HP Envy 17 is selling speed, thanks to Intel Optane memory and Nvidia graphics

Powerful yet affordable

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HP’s Envy 17 is a powerful laptop that consumers can afford. This larger machine may never stray far from a table, but it should keep you from missing your desktop PC in most ways.

Announced Monday and available later in May, the Envy 17 will have a starting price of $1,050. The specs offer some notable performance parts, as you’ll see when you run down the list:

HP Envy 17 price, specs and features

  • CPU: Intel 8th-generation Core i7-8550U
  • Memory: Up to 16GB of DDR4-2400 SDRAM (the base model has 8GB)
  • Display: 17.3-inch FHD (1920x1080) IPS WLED backlit touchscreen
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150 with 2GB GDDR5 memory
  • Storage: 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive with a 16GB Intel Optane Memory module, plus a DVD drive
hp envy 17 left side Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The HP Envy 17 stuffs its left edge with ethernet, two USB-A, HDMI, USB-C, and an audio jack.

  • Connectivity: Three USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A, one HDMI 2.0, one Gigabit ethernet, audio jack. The single USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) Type C supports HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.2, Power Delivery 3.0, and HP’s Sleep & Charge, which can charge the battery to 50-percent capacity in about 45 minutes. 
hp envy 17 right side Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The right side of the HP Envy 17 houses an optical drive and another USB-A port.

  • Wireless: Intel 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2x2), Bluetooth 4.2 Combo. 
  • Dimensions: 16.38 x 10.94 x 0.91 inches
  • Weight: 6.41 pounds without AC adapter
  • Battery: The 3-cell, 52.5Whr battery lasts for up to 9 hours and 15 minutes of mixed usage, and up to 8 hours and 45 minutes of video playback.
  • Color: Natural Silver
hp envy 17 hinge vents Melissa Riofrio/IDG

HP hides a wide vent inside the Envy 17’s hinge area to pull more heat out of the laptop without singeing the user. 

As you can see from the specs, the Envy 17 packs a high-end quad-core mobile processor that will deliver more power than most people will use. Our tests on other laptops have shown that a simple dual-core processor suffices for mainstream applications, but quad-core comes in handy for more intensive uses such as gaming and creating graphics-heavy content.

The 8GB to 16GB of main RAM is nice, but the 12GB of Intel Optane memory is a noteworthy bonus. It works as caching memory for the laptop’s 1TB hard drive to make that traditional storage feel a whole lot faster. 

While the Envy 17 doesn’t get the Sure View privacy toggle that’s available on its Envy 13 sibling, HP does offer a 4K display option. Just note that this gorgeous, higher resolution will shrink text and icons onscreen, and also drain your battery faster. 

The GeForce MX150 discrete graphics isn’t going to be as fast as the company’s GTX mobile parts. However, it’s a big step up from Intel’s UHD 620 integrated graphics—something you could even play games on. If you look closely, you can see the extra ventilation HP built into the hinge area to help the MX150 stay cool. 

hp damascus etching Melissa Riofrio/IDG

This is a detail of the “Damascus” etching treatment that will be featured on select HP Envy products. It resembles the homed texture of Damascus-style swords and knife blades.

A last detail is all about looks: The complex etching along the back of the hinge, which closely resembles the look of honed Damascus swords and knives and is named after them. HP added this to certain Envy models to help them stand out from all the sandblasted metal and shiny plastic out there, and it does the trick. 

Why this matters: The Envy 17 ticks off a lot of boxes for more sophisticated mainstream users who care about style as well as power. It’s also pretty affordable. The Envy 17 could be someone’s work-from-home PC with few compromises, and you could even carry it somewhere if you really wanted to. We’ll dig even further into the details for you if we get a chance to test it.  

hp envy 17 overhead Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The HP Envy 17 has the space for a full-size keyboard and numeric keypad. The clickpad sits slightly to the left to align with the keyboard area. 

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