Customer Review

143 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast touchscreen laptop with fingerprint reader, February 21, 2014
This review is from: HP Envy 17-j130us 17.3-Inch Touchsmart Laptop with Beats Audio (Personal Computers)
Full featured with tremendously responsive power and speed for multimedia lovers, the HP Envy 17-j130us 17.3" Touchsmart Laptop with Beats Audio is a desktop replacement laptop with the added security of a built-in fingerprint reader. Ideal for a family, student or business person, who doesn't expect to be hauling it around a lot. It's not lightweight at 7.07 pounds, nor is it small with its 17.3" screen, but it is fast and capable of being both a workhorse and an entertainment center.

NOTE: While it will certainly play most games, some of the more graphic intensive gaming may require a laptop with an upgraded graphics card. If you are concerned, be sure to check with the maker of the specific game in question about whether their game would be supported by the specs listed below.

I had the pleasure of getting to test drive one of these for a week and I was pleased with its performance and build quality. As with the HP ENVY M6 TouchSmart Sleekbook Touch Screen Laptop - 15.6" Display / AMD Elite Quad-Core A10-5745M / 8GB Memory / 1TB HD / Windows 8 I own, the touchpad takes a bit of getting used to, but it's not difficult. The keyboard is full-sized (includes numeric keypad) and backlit. The fingerprint reader is off to the right; underneath the keyboard, when you are facing the screen. You can choose not to activate that feature (as I did because I was not going to be keeping the laptop...), but it's a nice upgrade to have if you are concerned about securing your workstation.

Windows 8.1 is pre-installed on this laptop, which is good! I always suggest that Windows 8 users get the free upgrade at Microsoft immediately after unboxing, but with this one, you don't have to do it. Windows 8.1 has the same Windows 8 learning curve, but it's much more user friendly because it brings back the Start menu which is appreciated by those of us upgrading from Windows 7. Windows 8 and 8.1 are optimized for tablets and touchscreen laptops, which is an additional bonus.

The Touchsmart touchscreen is responsive, and many users will enjoy it. For me, it's something that takes getting used to on a laptop. I own tablets: Kindle Fire and iPad, and use a touchscreen on my smartphone, but something about touching the laptop screen still seems forgien to me. Perhaps it's because I hate to smudge my screen with fingerprints? Maybe one day I'll warm to it, but right now the only time I use it is out of frustration when the clickpad is frustrating me. NOTE: The touchscreen works beautifully when your Windows 8.1 PC is showing the windowpane app view (the new look) versus the traditional desktop view, although it works with whatever view you are looking at on the PC.

NOTE: WiDi Technology is new, and allows you to wirelessly send videos and photos to larger displays. (Sort of like mirroring your iPad to your TV via Apple TV.)

The sound from Beats Audio is excellent once you go into the HP settings for Beats and tweak them a bit. You may want to do that frequently for the best sound, depending upon your listening environment. The two subwoofers (in the bottom of the laptop) add nice depth to the sound, and there's a lot of customization with this feature.

When the laptop is set-up as a desktop replacement, I really like to listen to music and movies with quality Bluetooth headphones like the Creative Sound Blaster EVO ZxR Entertainment Headset With Bluetooth Mobile Wireless or by adding a small Bluetooth speaker like this one: ARCTIC S113BT NFC/Bluetooth 4.0 Stereo Speaker, AAC/aptX, Build-in Microphone for Hands-Free Calls, Black.

This laptop is loaded with excellent specs and features, including a DVD burner drive, which adds to its overall weight. NOTE: If you want a 17" screen, but a lighter weight laptop, consider the HP Envy 'Sleekbook' line of laptops. On a Sleekbook you lose the DVD drive, but an external one like this: BUFFALO 8x USB 2.0 Portable DVD Writer - DVSM-PC58U2VB is less than forty dollars.

USB 3.0, HDMI port, backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader, beautiful 17" touchscreen, Beats Audio, super-fast processor and a huge amount of memory, make this a great laptop!

NOTE: It comes with 1 year manufacturer's warranty, although you can extend coverage through the purchase of a warranty that's usually offered as you put the item into your Amazon basket. I don't buy the extended warranties for HP laptops as I've had great luck with their durability and build quality. If you will be using it on the go a lot, you may want this protection though.

The price for this one is a tad high, but so is the performance you'll see and feel when you use it. I recommend it as a solid choice. It's a well made laptop that should please many consumers.

SPECS PER HP:

Microprocessor: 2.4GHz 4th generation Intel Core i7-4700MQ Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz with 6MB L3 Cache
OS: Windows 8.1 (64.-bit)
Memory: 12GB DDR3L SDRAM (2 DIMM)
Memory Max: Maximum supported 16GB
Memory Slots: 2 user accessible
Video Graphics: Intel HD graphics 4600 with up to 1792MB total graphics memory
Display: 17.3-inch diagonal HD+ BrightView LED-backlit touchscreen display (1600 x 900)
Hard Drive: 1TB 5400RPM hard drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
Drive: SuperMulti DVD burner
Network Card: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector)
Wireless Connectivity: Intel 1x1 802.11ac WLAN
Bluetooth: WiDi with Intel Smart Connect Technology; send videos and photos wirelessly to bigger displays.
Sound: Beats Audio quad speakers and two subwoofers
Keyboard: Full-size, backlit keyboard with numeric keypad
Pad: HP Clickpad supporting multi-touch gestures without on/off button

External Ports:
Multi-format digital media card reader for Secure Digital cards
4 SuperSpeed USB 3.0, 1 supporting USB Boost
1 HDMI
1 RJ-45 (LAN)
1 Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack

Dimensions: 1.16 in (min H) / 1.32 in (max H) x 16.38 in (W) x 10.83 in (D)
Weight: 7.07 lb
Power: 90W AC adapter
6-cell 62WHr 2.8 Ah lithium-ion battery

Front facing HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated dual array digital microphone
HP SimplePass with integrated fingerprint reader

INSTALLED SOFTWARE:

Communication & Chat...

Pinger: Let your PC handle all your communication with a local phone number, unlimited text messaging to any US/Canada number, incoming calls and voicemail--all for free.
Skype
Cyberlink YouCam DE: Chat live and capture video or photos. Be yourself or a favorite avatar.

Games...

Freshpaint
Taptiles
Wordament
WildTangent Games for HP.

HP Help Support...

HP Support Assistant: Helps you maintain the performance of your PC and resolve problems with automated updates and tune-ups, built-in diagnostics, and guided assistance.
HP Utility Center: With the HP Utility Center on Windows 8 PCs, get one place to control your settings for all things HP.

Shopping, Media & Entertainment...

Netflix: Watch movies and TV online or via DVDs with subscription.
HP Savings Center: Helps you find special offers based on your preferences, saving you time and money.
Amazon
Amazon Kindle for PC e-reader

CyberLink PowerDirector: Fast, feature-rich and easy to use, the powerful set of integrated tools lets you create brilliant videos.
CyberLink PhotoDirector: Makes it easy to create spectacular photos.
CyberLink Media Suite
CyberLink Power2Go
CyberLink LabelPrint

HP Connected Photo: Sync, edit, and share photos. Picture the fun.
HP Connected Music: Discover music in a whole new way-from multiple sources.

Productivity...

7-zip: File Archive Utility
HP ePrint
Box: Simple, secure sharing from nearly anywhere. **Lifetime: 50GB FREE cloud based storage!**

*Link to buy Office 365, but Windows Office is NOT included. Consider using Google Drive or OpenOffice - both are free.*

**Getting Started with Windows 8: helps you learn the basics of navigating the new Start Screen, powering off your device, and additional tips and tricks through helpful step by step videos.

**HP CoolSense technology adjusts its temperature based on usage and conditions. It stays cool. You stay comfortable.

Security Protection...

Free 30-day Trial of McAfee LiveSafe service included. **McAfee isn't my favorite security program. I'd remove this trial and install something else like Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus 3 Device 2013 [Download] instead.

HP ProtectSmart helps protect your data from accidental bumps and bruises.
HP SimplePass: Assign passwords to your fingerprints for PC and online account access simply by swiping.
HP Recovery Manager: Recover, restore, and create recovery media for, your PC.

UPDATE: 4/23/14

If you want to stream media (Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube videos, etc...) get a Chromecast device or hook-up your laptop via HDMI to view content from your PC. I recently wrote a book: Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV which gives non-techy types the basics of over-the-air free TV. To supplement my OTA TV, I use my laptop a lot!
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 22, 2014 10:05:00 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2014 6:55:27 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 26, 2014 6:56:36 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 1:28:47 PM PDT
A. M. Osborn says:
Great review. Thank you so much. It helped me a lot.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2014 5:33:36 PM PDT
Andrea Polk says:
Thanks for checking it out. Happy to help!

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 5:52:24 AM PDT
jason oberle says:
Thank you for the thorough review Very helpful.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2014 7:29:10 AM PDT
Andrea Polk says:
Thanks for checking it out Jason.

Posted on May 16, 2014 4:35:25 AM PDT
Kevin Camon says:
I loved your review and I really like this laptop. Seeing how you are well versed with all the specs and functionality of the laptop, do you think that this would be a good pc for home studio recording?

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2014 7:02:03 AM PDT
Andrea Polk says:
Hi Kevin,

Based upon the general question, I don't see a problem with doing this as the processor, memory and cache are all good, as is video and sound.

Home studio recording (music and video) could be accomplished with this PC, but truly it would depend upon peripherals (microphone, camera, etc...) attached to the PC and software used and whether or not the PC's specs supported those things.

If you are considering it, be sure you check out the stuff I mentioned first, then if supported by the PC - you should be good to go! Sorry I can't be of more help. That's a pretty broad question and not being sure of what you're recording or all the factors involved, it's the best I can offer.

I do use a HP Envy with similar specs to work with Camtasia studio (screen capture + voice) and using an external USB microphone and camera. No problems at all.

Best to you,
Andrea

Posted on Jun 1, 2014 2:35:23 PM PDT
DaWizSista says:
You have had one of the most thorough posts. This helped me make my decision to purchase. THANKS!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2014 7:38:07 PM PDT
Andrea Polk says:
You're welcome Doreatha. Thanks for checking out the review!
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Review Details

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3.9 out of 5 stars (85 customer reviews)
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Reviewer

Andrea Polk
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Location: Pacific Northwest - USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 29