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HP Envy 17 3D

HP Envy 17 3D Core i7 laptop

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Unfortunately, although the shutter glasses are flicker-free and highly effective, and it is possible to wear a pair of ordinary glasses underneath (no flamboyant frames, though), I found them uncomfortable to wear. It’s not that they’re particularly heavy, just that they felt hard and unpleasant around my eyes, nose and ears. I couldn’t wait to take them off. The quoted battery life for the computer is supposed to be somewhere between two to three hours, but the Register Hardware intensive battery test saw it peter out after just one hour, which isn’t great.

HP Envy 17 3D

The 3D shutter glasses have no power button: they wake up when a 3D signal is detected

HP has earned itself a reputation for providing user-friendly software on its home computers, and the HP MediaSmart collection goes a long way to getting the less nerdy owner up and running quickly on the Envy 17 3D. However, I was unlucky enough to test the machine immediately after some other reviewers who had buggered up the default configuration and left it that way for me.

No matter, all I had to do to get things working again should be to run the HP Support Assistant utility… which couldn’t identify what computer I was using and proceeded to give me a Pass for its Health Analysis. Brilliant: no wi-fi, half the software is missing, and it reckons my PC is in perfect health. Take my advice, buy the HP Envy 17 3D brand new and don’t accept sloppy seconds from a hardware reviewer. You know what they’re like.

Verdict

Let’s compare the HP Envy 17 3D with the nattily named Sony Vaio VPCF21Z1E/BI, both being home-user 3D entertainment portables. Although the Sony Vaio is more powerful and has more comfortable 3D shutter glasses, HP’s Envy has a nicer design – the case is certainly less of a dust trap – and arguably more practical for lugging around the house and beyond, while also being significantly cheaper to buy. As giant laptops go, the Vaio is big and scary but the HP is big and friendly. ®

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Build a business case: developing custom apps

75%
HP Envy 17 3D

HP Envy 17 3D Core i7 laptop

Portable entertainment PC with uncomfortable 3D specs.
Price: £1150 RRP

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