Touchscreen laptops are often reserved for the more conservative 15 inch form factor. However, every once in awhile we run into a 17 inch touchscreen laptop and this is one of said times. Specifically, today we're ready to tackle the review of the HP ENVY 17-s030nr.
You might wonder what's so special about this laptop. Well, for starters it's got a Full HD touchscreen display with 12 GB of RAM and a state of the art Intel Core i7 CPU. Sound compelling enough? Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg on this model so without further ado let's get on with our review of one of the best 17 inch laptops in the market.
Pros: 17 inch Full HD display, 12 GB of RAM, Dedicated Nvidia Graphics chip, up to 6 hours of battery life.
Cons: Hybrid storage (1TB Hard drive/8GB Nand) instead of SSD storage.
HP ENVY 17-s030nr Review of a 17 inch powerhouse
A premium build that stands out in the crowd
First and foremost we'd like to address the design of the engineering beauty. The HP ENVY 17-s030nr comes with a brushed metal finish and a quality build that's typically reserved for high end laptops such as this one.
It's screen consists of a 17 inch IPS LED-Backlit display with a Full HD resolution and touchscreen capabilities. Unless you go with a 4K model such as this one, that's pretty much as good as it gets.
As with most 17 inch models, this isn't a particularly lightweight notebook, with a weight that comes short of 7 pounds and a moderate thickness of 1.12 inches. It's on the heavy side of things when compared to its 15 inch counterparts but it's well within range when you look at other 17 inch models.
Strong performance every step of the way
Moving on towards the performance of the HP ENVY 17-s030nr, it's catapulted by an Intel Core i7-6500U dual core processor. This is a skylake generation CPU that works at a standard clock speed of 2.5GHz and can go up to 3.1GHz when you're in need of more horsepower.
With 4MB of Intel's smart cache, 4 threads and a pretty low voltage of 15W, this is a stellar CPU, aimed at power users and professionals alike. Basically, you'll have a hard time finding something that this laptop isn't equipped to handle.
Add to its top notch CPU a 12GB DDR3L SDRAM and you've got yourself a laptop that won't give out on you no matter what you're looking to do. Sure DDR4 RAM might've been an improvement but given the choice between 8GB of DDR4 and 12GB of DDR3 you'd still end up winning with the latter option.
Overall, this set of specs mean that power won't be an issue neither today nor several years from now.
Is this a gaming laptop?
While the HP ENVY 17-s030nr isn't specifically marketed as a gaming laptop, it can meet most gaming needs. Housing an Nvidia GeForce 940MX with 4GB of dedicated SDRAM mean that this laptop will fare well on most modern AAA titles.
That said, we would recommend playing said games at a lower resolution, something like HD instead of Full HD if you really want to get a decent frame rate and a quality gaming experience.
What about storage and battery life
Typically, 17 inch laptops don't fare very well when it comes down to battery life. However, HP's latest offering promises a little over 6 hours of battery life with mixed usage. It's always a pretty safe bet to assume a bit less than that but even if overall battery life comes in at 5 hours that's still pretty good for a laptop featuring this set of high end specs.
In terms of storage, things are interesting since you've got yourself a hybrid hard drive that comes equipped with 1TB of Serial ATA storage (you're typical hard drive) and 8GB of Nand storage to store all your go-to apps for a quicker launch.
We still would've prefered a 256GB SSD option given the pricing on this laptop but we're also aware that a lot of people still favor storage capacity over storage speeds and lots of people don't even notice the speed bump between these storage options.
What are the connectivity options?
Connectivity is a segment often neglected but very important to the overall consumer experience and that's by we couldn't leave it out of our review of the HP ENVY 17-s030nr. However, we're not particularly impressed in this regard since it features mainly the most common connectivity combo yet neglects to include anything on the cutting edge such as a USB Type C port.
Getting into details we've got a couple of USB 3.0 ports, a standalone USB 2.0 port, ethernet port, HDMI output, audio jack as well as your standard ethernet port for a wired connection.
It goes without saying that a top of the line model such as this one comes with the latest WiFi ac antenna as well as Bluetooth support in case you want to connect external speakers without using a cord.
There's also an HD webcam as well as a Bang&Olufsen sound system which is pretty good at delivering a solid audio experience by any laptops standards.
Wrapping things up!
Once we've weighed the pros and cons in this review of the HP ENVY 17-s030nr we're pretty pleased. It's not the cheapest laptop in the market by any standard but it comes equipped with an excellent top of the line processor, enough RAM so that multitasking isn't an issue, an excellent display which adds touchscreen capabilities to its credit and a great dedicated graphics chip to do high end graphics work such as gaming or graphic design.
Overall we'd give it a 4 out of 5 stars, mainly because we're partial towards SSD storage and would've liked to see a dedicated SSD module instead of a hybrid drive. Other than that, it's an excellent option even by the highest standards. You can find this laptop as well as the consumer reviews here.