HP Envy 23 review

21 Mar 2013

Less versatile than some, but a quality screen and a powerful specification make this an attractive alternative if more demanding applications are a priority

Price when reviewed 
1,050
5

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.

HP Envy 23

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.

HP Envy 23

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £875
Price inc VAT £1,050
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 5

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 2,000GB
RAM capacity 6.00GB
Screen size 23.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 2.70GHz
Processor socket LGA 1155

Motherboard

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Graphics card

Graphics card AMD Radeon HD 7450A
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Medium
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon HD 7450A
DVI-I outputs 0
HDMI outputs 0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000
Capacity 2.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 1.80TB

Drives

Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader

Monitor

Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080

Additional Peripherals

Speakers HP Beats Audio
Speaker type 2 x 2W
Peripherals Media Centre remote control

Case

Case format All-in-one
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

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 19fps
3D performance setting Medium
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.80
Responsiveness score 0.76
Media score 0.90
Multitasking score 0.74