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HP Envy 17 review: A home laptop that's sleek and satisfying, but not a standout

This 17-inch general-purpose clamshell somehow manages to be both appealing and unremarkable.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
4 min read
Sarah Tew/CNET

It's not particularly cheap, or particularly fast, or particularly light or particularly... anything. But the HP Envy 17 is a stylish everyday workhorse laptop that I like with a large, 17-inch screen that gives it a little extra productivity oomph for remote work or school. You end up paying extra for a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX330 graphics processor that you don't really need, which bumps it out of "good deal" territory, but it's certainly still a good laptop for the money.


HP Envy 17 (2020)


  • Sleek-looking and well constructed
  • Good keyboard, albeit with poorly placed power button

Don't like

  • 4K screen is very reflective
  • Could use another USB-C connection or two

Now that I don't have to schlep a laptop between home and the office, I've become quite a fan of 17-inch models. If you're working or remote schooling with just a single laptop screen, then opting for 17 inches can help quite a bit. Even if you can't effectively quantify the advantages -- you can fit three more worksheet columns on the screen! -- for some reason the slightly bigger screen goes a long way to making it feel less cramped. 

Prices for the Envy 17 range from around $1,000 to $1,800, depending upon the configuration, though it's hardly an option-fest. All models incorporate a quad-core Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor and Nvidia GeForce MX330 graphics; you can choose between the 1,920x1,080-pixel FHD or 3,840x2,160 UHD displays (an extra $290), from 8GB to 32GB of memory (an extra $50 to bump to 12GB or 16GB and $220 to jump to 32GB from 16GB) or a handful of storage configurations starting at 512GB SSD plus 32GB Optane (to accelerate it) and topping off at 1TB SSD.

To me, the $1,100 setup, which is the base configuration but with 16GB memory instead of 8GB, is the best value if you're going to go with the Envy; if you're so budget-constrained that you can only afford the 8GB and still want an HP , then I suggest you consider dropping down to the generic HP Laptop 17. It's not as pretty and is slower, but it can also be had for well under $1,000. You may want to think about alternatives, as well, such as a Dell Inspiron 17 3000

HP Envy 17 (2020)

Price as reviewed $1,350 (approximately)
Display size/resolution 17.2-inch 3,840x2,160 pixels
PC CPU Intel Core i7-1065G7
PC Memory 16GB 3,200 MHz DDR4
Graphics 2GB Nvidia GeForce MX330
Storage 512GB SSD, SD card slot
Ports 1x USB-C, 3x USB-A, 1x HDMI, 1x audio
Networking Intel AX201 WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0
Operating system Microsoft Windows Home (1909)
Weight 6.0 pounds (2.7 kg)

FHD on a 17-inch screen is fine. I love 4K, but you don't really need it on a 17-inch screen -- unless you want to cram more onto it, which is the biggest reason to get the 17-inch over a 15-inch. In other words, FHD, 4K or any other resolution displays the same amount of content on all screens, it's just bigger on larger screens because it's spread out over a larger area. If you have vision issues, it can help when everything is bigger, though.

The Envy 17's configuration choices in the UK are different -- the closest option to our test configuration is the FHD touchscreen model for £1,150 -- and it looks like HP Australia doesn't believe in an Envy 17.

Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that you're paying a premium for the Nvidia GeForce MX330 graphics processor, but it's not so much faster than the integrated Iris Plus graphics in the Intel chip and it's a lot slower than stepping up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650. The one place its 2GB of graphics memory may help you is to give lightweight but immensely popular games like Fortnite a small boost.  


The Envy 17 has a thin profile, but it still weighs a not-insubstantial 6 pounds (2.7 kg).

Sarah Tew/CNET

While I'd love another USB-C connection (or 12), one is pretty typical for this category of laptops . It otherwise has a fine selection of connectors, including HDMI and three USB-A, plus an SD card slot. The touchpad and keyboard feel quite nice, and there's a standalone fingerprint sensor between the right alt key and left arrow, a smart location that provides a dead zone between the two, preventing accidental keystrokes.

The speakers sound pretty good, as long as you tweak it in the B&O utility. The HP Optimized setting is blecch. Webcam video looks pretty typical -- noisy in low light and hotspots on my face in decent light, but nothing beyond Zoom's ability to process into passability -- and you definitely want to keep the noise cancellation on for the built-in mic array.

I found the 4K screen too reflective; fine on predominantly bright screens, generally with white backgrounds, but annoying for dark screens, say, watching moody movies and shows, even in dim conditions.


Possibly the worst placement of the power button I've seen thus far.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Because it doesn't try to be ultrathin or ultralight, the Envy does manage to eke better performance out of the same processor than the LG Gram 17, but that trade-off goes the other way when it comes to battery life. It did manage to last a respectable 7.5 hours on our streaming video test, though.

If you're thinking about going 17 inches with your next laptop, you could do a lot worse than the HP Envy 17 and might have to research a bit to do better. But you'll probably be happy enough if you stop looking right here.

Geekbench 5 (multicore)

LG Gram 17 (2020) 3,450HP Envy 17 (2020) 4,112Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch) 5,408
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

Geekbench 5 (single-core)

Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch) 1,184LG Gram 17 (2020) 1,276HP Envy 17 (2020) 1,291
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

Geekbench 5 (Vulkan)

LG Gram 17 (2020) 7,621HP Envy 17 (2020) 8,592Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch) 29,077
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R20 CPU (multicore)

LG Gram 17 (2020) 1,237HP Envy 17 (2020) 1,910Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch) 2,512
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

Video playback battery drain test (Streaming)

HP Envy 17 (2020) 449Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch) 584LG Gram 17 (2020) 779
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance (in minutes)

System configurations

LG Gram 17 (2020) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1903) 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3.2GHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel Iris Graphics; 512GB SSD
Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 RAM 2,667MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q design; 512GB SSD
HP Envy 17 (2020) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909) 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3.2GHz; Nvidia GeForce MX330; 512GB SSD

HP Envy 17 (2020)

Score Breakdown

Design 8.5Features 8Performance 8Battery 7