Customer Reviews: HP Envy DV7-7230US AMD A8-4500M X4 1.9GHz 6GB 750GB DVD+/-RW 17.3" Win8 (Black)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 21, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Once you remove all of the bloatware and unnecessary HP apps, and adjust Windows 8 settings to your liking, this laptop is quite fast and enjoyable to use. But it takes a while to get there.

**Update 8-15-13: I decided to change my rating from 4 to 5 stars because I have enjoyed this laptop so much over the past 9 months.**

===== First, the hardware: =====
- Fast boot and resume times, especially after making the software tweaks mentioned below. Windows 8 boots quickly, and after you close the lid and reopen it to resume, it is ready in about 2-3 seconds.
- The laptop is a bit on the heavy side, but feels and looks well-built.
- The Beats Audio sound is great, as most Beats Audio sound devices are.
- The screen is bright and beautiful.
- The keys are comfortable, and the configurable multi-touch touchpad works well.
- The touchpad recognizes the following multi-touch swipe patterns: two finger scrolling, pinch zoom, rotating, three finger press, three finger flick, and four finger flick.
- The function keys also operate things like the brightness, volume, media operation, and turning wi-fi on and off to help conserve battery life.
- There are no built-in Bluetooth capabilities. An inexpensive USB Bluetooth dongle fixes the problem, but it would have been nice to have Bluetooth included.
- The camera works well, even in low-light.

===== Next, the software: =====
- I am not going to include my opinion of Windows 8 as part of the rating on this laptop. I am not a huge fan of Windows 8 on non-touch devices, but when you add a piece of software like the free, open-source program "Classic Shell" that adds back the old start menu as well as the ability to boot directly to the desktop, it makes things a lot more enjoyable.
- This laptop comes loaded with lots of games and applications you may not want to use, and there is no option to include or exclude any of these applications from your installation when you first boot up. Here is the list of pre-installed apps and links to online services:

Norton Internet Security 2012 (60-day trial); Windows Live; Beats Audio; Cyberlink Power2Go; CyberLink PowerDVD; CyberLink YouCam DE; eBay; HP CoolSense; HP Games by WildTangent; HP MyRoom; HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection (HP 3D DriveGuard); HP Recovery Manager; HP Support Assistant; Netflix; Skype; Amazon Kindle e-reader; iHeart Radio; HP Connected Photo powered by Snapfish; Solitaire; Mahjong; HP Connected Backup; CyberLink Power Director; CyberLink Photo Director; Windows 8 Store Apps; HP Online User Guide; HP Registration; HP Connected Music powered by Meridia

- There is no Microsoft Office license included. I recommend the free alternatives "Open Office" or "LibreOffice".
- The first thing I did when I booted this laptop was uninstall the HP-branded version of Norton Internet Security trial, as I already have my own license for it. I installed the regular version and turned off the smart firewall feature so I had full control over every application that wanted to connect to the internet. I was shocked at just how many different HP programs are installed and run at startup and try and connect to various websites for whatever reason. I am sure some of them were just checking for updates, but there were way too many different programs trying to connect to too many different servers for my tastes. This is a major pet peeve of mine. I immediately evaluated which HP apps I absolutely needed (almost none of them) and uninstalled the rest.
- I also noticed some other pre-installed apps running at startup, like some of the Cyberlink apps, so I disabled those as well. There were also some HP and other third-party Windows services running that I disabled. After uninstalling and disabling all of the unnecessary apps, the laptop ran much faster and smoother. And as I mentioned earlier, boot and resume times are very fast. The only exception to the nice speed is the opening of Metro apps, but it is not necessarily the fault of this laptop. I have seen many complaints online about Metro apps loading slowly.
- The screen brightness was constantly automatically adjusting, making for a horrible experience. I investigated the power options and noticed a setting for "Adaptive Brightness" so I turned that off, but the screen was still constantly changing brightness. I eventually found a way to disable this. Right-click on the desktop, select the AMD Vision Engine Control Center. Go to POWER > POWER PLAY and disable VARI-BRIGHT.
- TIP: To possibly improve the WiFi's range and/or performance, especially when running on battery, see my post on page 4 of the comments under my review.

===== Benchmark: =====
If you would like to run the freeware benchmarking program NovaBench on one of your current computers and compare it to this one, here are my average results after I made the changes mentioned above.

Total NovaBench score: 557

5603 MB System RAM (Score: 139)
- RAM Speed: 5142 MB/s

CPU Tests (Score: 230)
- Floating Point Operations/Second: 62790020
- Integer Operations/Second: 174282404
- MD5 Hashes Generated/Second: 536782

Graphics Tests (Score: 150)
- 3D Frames Per Second: 454

Hardware Tests (Score: 38)
- Primary Partition Capacity: 672 GB
- Drive Write Speed: 71 MB/s

===== Windows Experience Score: =====
Here are my scores from the System Control Panel:
Calculations per second: 6.7
Memory: 7.2
Graphics: 6.8
Gaming graphics: 6.8
Primary hard disk and base score: 5.9

===== Summary: =====
I am quite happy with this laptop's looks and performance, but I had to deduct one star because of how many applications were pre-installed and pre-configured to run on startup, and because of how many of these programs try and connect to the Internet before I even open any of them.

If I can answer any specific questions for you, please ask.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Over the years laptops have become lighter faster and thinner. This HP Envy DV7 is no exception. At first glance, you will be impressed by it's sheer size. It seems that laptops that were 17 inches in the past weighed 13 pounds or more. This device is half that weight.

This Hewlett-Packard has a full-sized keyboard for laptop. It also sports a separate numeric keypad so that you can input numbers more easily. The separate numeric keypad is something often found in larger keyboards and comes in handy if you are a person who crunches numbers or enjoys a calculator type of feel.

With its brushed aluminum exterior it has a beautiful aesthetic look. The cover of the laptop seems to be impervious to fingerprints which is a good thing. The laptop is completely black with a lighted HP logo and silver accents. Instead of a slot loading optical drive it has a tray DVD drive which is more typical of PC's. This HP Envy came pre-loaded with Windows 8 and this is a learning process in and of itself. The laptop is loaded with Beats audio and this provides a fantastic audio experience for playing music on CDs or watching DVDs on the computer. With a 17 inch screen the experience is phenomenal.

Using cool sense technology, the HP Envy is able to stay very cool despite running lots of programs and media. With its whisper quiet operation it's difficult to discern that it is even running at times. A new machine always runs more quietly ... dust and age can make them turn a little grumpier and louder. Time will tell how quiet it keeps.

The Beats Audio and DVD playback is to die for. If you are looking for a great, affordable multimedia laptop that allows you to consume media as well as create it, you can have a nice experience with this. Since this is a slightly lower end model (as far as optical drives go) it does not have Blu-Ray built into the player. If that is a big feature for you, you will have to upgrade to another model.

The laptop boasts 6 gigs of RAM and this is a decent amount for some multimedia and gaming applications.

Biometrics are incorporated into this laptop if you choose to use them - this means your fingerprint or finger swipe serves to provide login information. It's called HP SimplePass and it's easy to set up and use. Having used finger swiping technology in the past ... I almost invariably go back to the old fashioned way of authenticating via password. Old habits die hard!

I love this sleek laptop. 17" machines have come a long way over the years and things are faster, lighter and a heck of a lot cheaper.

Right now I am using Windows 8 (the Vanilla version not the Pro) and I like it. That will be another review in and of itself.

The laptop has a nice configuration of various ports (including an HDMI) and the incorporation of 3 USB 3.0 port and 1 USB 2.0 port amidst the typical LAN and SD card ports.

The touchpad more resembled a Mac touchpad and can be used with multi-touch gestures that are straightforward once you know them.

Overall, this is a great, economical and powerful 17" laptop. The Fit and Finish is surprisingly nice and solid. A laptop that definitely rivals more expensive Windows laptops.

I am impressed!

Updated 23 November 2012 - this laptop comes with 6GB of Ram (not 2GB) like part of the description mentions.

Update 21 December 2012 - the picture depicted on the Amazon site shows an optical drive with a BluRay symbol on it. My version of this laptop DOES NOT have this logo and DOES NOT play BluRay discs.
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VINE VOICEon November 1, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
HP has made desktop mobility a reality with its Envy dv7 laptop. Forget about choosing between a PC and a tablet - the Envy lets you to do it all!

Like a tablet, the Envy is lightweight and unlike laptops of old, the machine runs cool and whisper-quiet. The Envy comes loaded with Windows 8 whose bold new startup screen emulates the look-and-feel of tablet-style computing. (Amazon readers note: among the many preloaded music, social networking, photo and other apps is a nifty Kindle app that allows you to read content you may have purchased through Amazon on the laptop.) Although the Envy does not have a touchscreen, HP has ingeniously engineered the touchpad to replicate the controls you might be accustomed to using on a tablet including scrolling, pinching/zooming, swipe, and so on. I found the help videos useful and got the hang of using the touchpad in short order. No doubt people comfortable with using smart phones and tablets will enjoy using the laptop with this input.

Like a desktop, the Envy has a decent-sized, high-resolution screen and keyboard including a number keypad. The Envy has quality web cams, microphones and speakers; as well as a fingerprint reader that can be used for secure access both at the login prompt and when accessing web services. Most importantly, with 6 gigabytes of RAM the Envy can power most of today's memory-intensive applications such as graphics and office programs; for example, I easily installed a copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2010 and successfully ran the software without a hitch. Select the desktop icon from the Windows 8 start screen to get the old school look-and-feel of prior versions of Windows. And of course, the Envy has lots of inputs for connecting peripherals such as larger monitors, keyboards, mouse, external hard drive, printers and etc. for those who prefer to dock the machine when at home.

In my opinon, the Envy represents a breakthrough for the many business people, students and others for whom mobility and power are both important. You can't run serious applications with a tablet and you can't have portability with a PC - but you can easily do both with the Envy. To everyone who might be seriously considering a tablet, desktop or laptop: I urge you to give the HP Envy dv-7 a serious look!
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on May 23, 2013
So far it runs well, and the sound is pretty good. There's, like, no bass with the subwoofer, though. At least, not the kind you'd expect from a good set of headphones or your "pimped out" car.

The touchpad on mine started to life up on the bottom right corner. It's sticky, so it seems that the glue just wasn't good enough. I had a similar problem on the last few smartphones I had. :P It doesn't ruin the functionality at all. It works perfectly. The corner just catches my thumb from time to time. It's more annoying if anything.

The graphics processor seems like it's lacking, but there's settings in the software for that. Just run the CCC (Catalyst Control Center / AMD Vision Engine Control Center) and go to: Power > Power Play > Change the options to Maximize Performance > Apply. That actually allowed me to play some games on higher settings without lag.

This laptop does run hot, but HP CoolSense keeps the keyboard and palm rests cool to the touch. I was seeing it idle at about 95C on High Performance. While playing a game, it will go up to 110~111C. Your typical PC shouldn't really go over 90C under load, and it should idle around 65~70C.

Overall, I'd say it's worth around $500 (the price I paid refurbished). You get some USB 3.0 ports so it's semi-future proof. Quad-core processor at 1.9GHz is quick, but not blazingly fast. 6GB of RAM stock is more than enough any normal person would really need. The screen is really nice, and the graphics processor can play most games (on low~medium settings). I'm planning on upgrading to 8GB in the future, though, since I like to limit my SWAP file as much as possible (helps with limiting fragmentation).
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on August 9, 2013
okay , I purchased this laptop for my wife to replace an aging DELL that was starting to lose the harddrive . I"ve purchased Dell laptops and desktops for years but also would buy HP peripherals . The price point for this was right so I pulled the trigger . I am so far very pleased with the pc itself . I like the layout , audio , the screen is bright an clear and once you get it up and running it does a fast job . NOW windows 8 ..... not so much . I find it a bit clumsy and hard to navigate . If you use to touchpad it has a tendency to switch screens and pull up tools and aggrivate the hell out of me , BUT , if you use a mouse it is a lot friendler OS . As with anything new it takes time to learn it ( it's going to take me longer because I can never be mistaken for a pc nerd ) so time will tell . hope this helps GOD bless
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on September 25, 2013
It is super fast and works as a charm at first. Then some upgrades were done which disabled the finger print reading application. Now I have a finger print reader that does not work on windows login. I have searched all over the web and tried every single suggestion from HP support site. Still I couldn't make it work again. Beleive me as an IT professional I usually get things done. The other major issues I had were: the wireless adapter stopped working or had reduced working range. It used to be connecting to my wifi network from anywhere in my house; then it stopped connecting if I go more than 10 meters from my router. This is a known issue too.
I will have to say, Windows 8 works great. You can install a classic shell as your start menu if you want. The speakers are superb.
Overall I felt that 3 stars is justified due to the lack of quality and stability in the finger print reader and the wireless adapter.
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on June 24, 2013
When I read the specs on this machine it seemed it would be much better than my previous laptops.
This is my 6th HP laptop. This is the first time I don't feel I have gotten my moneys worth. It doesn't
seem any faster than my last HP. The light on the screen fades and comes back. This has been since
I first started using it. I should have sent it back right away, but I bought it for Christmas, so it was already
almost 3 months before I knew it had/has problems.
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on July 23, 2013
I was not impressed about "simple pass" when I purchased the computer. Turns out I love it. Do not have to enter password but just swipe my finger!!! Everything else works as described. Condition of the laptop I received is in new condition. I love it and am greatly enjoying it. I loaded 16 gb of memory and now love it even more. It was OK with just the 6 gb.
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on November 18, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Bottom line up front: The Windows 8 start screen is not truly integrated with the desktop. My laptop arrived with no product key for Windows 8. There is no software disk, and it is not affixed to the outside of the laptop, nor stored in a file on the hard drive.

The display, graphics, and sound are marvelous. Better than any I've seen or heard. I did play a game from the app store and was very impressed.

Speaking of the app store, as one might expect, at this time the selection of apps is limited. Windows 8 is brand new, after all. Some apps are impressive, others aren't worth having.

I already own a HP Pavilion dv6 laptop, and I love it except for one thing: the touchpad. It is extremely sensitive, and flush with the area below the keyboard. On the dv6, I've disabled the touchpad because every time I use the keyboard, I brush the touchpad with an arm or finger, and my input is interrupted. Disabling the touchpad on the dv6 was a good workaround. I simply use a mouse instead of the touchpad.

Unfortunately, this is a poor workaround for the Envy 7230-us. Navigating the start screen with a mouse is difficult, at best. None of the apps have a back button, and the app screens fill the entire screen. To get out of an app, one must use either the Windows button on the keyboard, or hover the mouse in the general area of the charms and bring them forward in oroder to click on the start charm. For three weeks, I've tried to work out simple workarounds that make the interface less clunky to use to no avail.

I own Office 2010 Professional, and loaded it on this machine. I assumed if I pinned the icons to the start screen, they would behave as apps, and they almost do. Microsoft does not put them on the desktop. They are on the start screen, and you can start them there. But once you open one, you are on the desktop. If you want to use another piece of software, you have to press the Windows button to get back to the start screen.

If you're planning to purchase a laptop primarily for gaming, streaming video, and/or gaming, you'll be delighted. But if you want to use it to create or edit your own files and photos, you'll find the start screen is a chronic obstacle.

And with no product key, if this happens to you, you won't be able to purchase upgraded version of Windows 8 at discount prices.

I got this laptop free from Vine. I thought I'd be delighted. After all, thought it's reasonably priced, it isn't a cheap item. It's something I'd shop around for. Personally, I don't like it and I'm glad I didn't pay for it. But because of the speakers and graphics, instead of two stars, I rate it three.
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on May 14, 2015
Combining the reliability of an AMC Gremlin with the amazing Hell on Earth that is Windows 8, this laptop is the perfect fit for those who feel they don't have enough frustration in their daily lives.

I've had it for over 2 years, and it has finally crapped out completely, after a year and a half of screen freezes, hard reboots, hard drive replacement, you name it this piece of sh1t has thrown it in my lap. Ahhh, the sweet release of death! Now I can look for an older model with Windows 7 and regain my sanity.
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