HP ENVY 17" Intel i7 Full-HD Touch Laptop

Check out the product page

[MOD: Specs are slightly different on that one (e.g. CPU).]

Bought this one last time it was offered, typing this comment on it now, and love it. Let me offer a few notes on the 17T-S000 from the last few weeks of working with it.

First, as some asked last time, there does appear to be an aftermarket cradle available to convert the optical drive bay into a second hard drive bay. NewModeUS carries the caddy. I haven’t bought it myself, mind you, let alone installed it, but it does exist. I recall that was a point of interest for buyers last round, and thought I’d mention it.

Though it’s not listed officially in its specs, the 17T-S000 did come standard with a backlit keyboard, and my 17T-S000 from Woot’s last round was no exception. Obviously, as a kind Woot representative pointed out, Woot would rather not promise a feature they can’t guarantee every system will include, but to the best of my own research (a few queries to HP, a little digging online), backlit keys are standard on the 17T-S000, and if this is the case, you are likely to find, as I did, that your laptop includes them.

The audio driver that shipped with mine was adequate but rather boxy in the midrange until I upgraded to HP’s latest driver. Should you find the midrange a bit constrained and unnaturally boosted, and the B&O control panel doesn’t seem to help much, update your audio driver through HP’s update manager, and you may notice an improvement.

The Intel HD 530 graphics – well, I was expecting it to be quite horrible for gaming, but was pleasantly surprised. Older and lighter-demand games run pretty nicely in 720p at medium settings. I’ve seen videos of Mad Max running quite playably in 720p on this hardware, Skyrim, Dark Souls, even GTA V – this was a real surprise. I’m sure a GTX950 would be ever the better for gaming, mind you, and wouldn’t recommend this system as a gaming laptop, but nonetheless, I’m kind of surprised how far Intel integrated graphics have come since last I looked. The native H.265 support was quite nice, too.

This laptop is also quite large, larger than some 17" cases can accommodate. Be sure your intended case can accommodate a 16.49" x 11.29" x 1.12" laptop. I’m transporting mine in Thinkgeek’s Bag of Holding, and it just barely fits.

I’ve been really pleased with this laptop – for the price, it’s quite a bargain, especially in light of the upgraded CPU (no 6500U here!) and the maxed-out RAM. Consider this one emphatic upvote for this deal, and a recommendation to grab it, if it meets your needs, and its limitations in gaming won’t bother you.

any laptop today without an SSD is, in my opinion, a waste of money- With fast page swaps necessary for internet enabled or cloud applications whether they be email or browser based calls- the disk drive is as important, if not more than the memory. An ssd makes ALL the difference. The cpu and memory is nice though. Eventually the hdd will make noise, overheat, etc- just not worth it in my opinion but that is all it is, an opinion.

It’s a very simple upgrade to do yourself, so I wouldn’t say it’s a waste of money if the machine is otherwise a good deal.

Edit: For the record, I have an Envy 15T I built from HP.com with a 5400 disc drive, then swapped it out for an SSD because it was cheaper to do it myself than to pay HP for the upgrade.

I answered this back on March 30, but apparently woot said it was NOT backlit. I figured I was right

Probably. There are 3 models in this HP ENVY 17-s000 serieshttp://support.hp.com/us-en/product/hp-envy-17-s000-notebook-pc/8744657. Model 17-s010nr is not this model, because that one has a discreet graphics card. Model 17-s017cl seems like it could be this model- that one does have backlit keyboard http://support.hp.com/us-en/product/hp-envy-17-s000-notebook-pc/8744657/document/c04866053/ and I don’t see the other model number for product information.

This is with regard to replacing the HDD with an SSD:

Does this model require to keyboard to be removed? I can’t find specific information for the Envy 17t, but if it’s like the 17K model, I would not call it “very simple”.

It’s not like just taking a back panel off. You have to take all the screws off the back, remove the optical drive (easy), then pry off the keyboard to get to the HDD. It might not be difficult to someone who’s done stuff like this before, but I wouldn’t qualify this as “very simple”. Disconnecting a zif connector and reconnecting it can be a major PITA if they don’t line up exactly (especially after you get the whole thing back together and realize something isn’t working right).

http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c04337198

Give this a try
https://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/

This laptop is awesome… as long as you swap out the hdd for a good one, use a mouse to avoid HP’s touchpad, and downgrade to Windows 7 (the touch screen will still work, just be sure to download all of the primary drivers before you start).

A comment on my HP Pavilion dv6833us - Best Of The Best Laptop 2006 - use it every day and it is still going strong.

I can’t guarantee that they’ll all be the same, of course, but mine shows up on HP’s “detect my system” tool as an HP Envy 17T-S000 CTO.

Oh, that does look like a lovely acoustic power tool, thank you! That said, since a driver update solved the problem for me, that may be a simpler solution for some people.

Looks like it’s a little easier in the Envy 17T-S000. No keyboard removal necessary!

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c04886204.pdf

Great detailed review - Thank you

Cool. We all know know your opinion on SSD drives. How about sports cars versus SUVs, republican versus democrat and your opinion on the color Orange.

hey jerkface… page swaps are not written to the hard drive! They are written to the memory.:wink:

I think you’re confused.
Read this
http://www.howtogeek.com/126430/htg-explains-what-is-the-windows-page-file-and-should-you-disable-it/

Here’s what is stopping me from buying, let me know if I’m wrong.

-It doesn’t connect to any docking station
-Its dual-monitor performance is poor

Yes definitely better not having to remove the keyboard, but there are 25 screws you have to remove LOL. I remember the good old days where they use to just put the HDD behind a little panel secured by 1 or 2 screws.

I think this is a nice laptop for this price. Has a sweet I7 (not the low powered one) and the a 17.3" Full HD in this price range is a nice touch (usually this price range a 17.3" will ship with a 1600x900). The graphics is about the equivalent of a dedicated Gefore 920M in this http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-530.148358.0.html
It also has plenty of RAM.

True – and that’s surely a hassle, no question there, but there’s a bit less to potentially break in this process, and perhaps that will help a few folks with low DIY confidence to feel good about replacing the drive – or simply buying that second drive cradle for the optical drive bay. I myself am low-confidence for tiny hardware DIY (brain can handle it, big clumsy shaky hands can’t always), and I’d feel able to perform this swap with confidence. Hopefully this will be good news for someone who actually plans to do it!

The touchscreen is really, really nice, yes – that surprised me. It’s surprisingly responsive, yet surprisingly resistant to accidental touches. I have a cat who loves to rest her head on the speaker grill, ears flicking screenward, and the touches are correctly identified as “noise” and disregarded. I’ve never seen a touchscreen laptop do that quite so well, before.

The HD530 was indeed surprisingly good, and yes, the 920’s a good point of comparison for it, thank you for mentioning that. I had expected it to be utterly useless for anything heavier than Google Earth, and was very pleasantly surprised. Heck, an old game I loved that requires nVidia PhysX even worked, after installing the legacy PhysX drivers, and correctly recognized that the HD530 had shaders! While I completely understand where the “it’s not a gaming laptop” folks are coming from, there’s a surprising middle ground between “plays modern DX12 titles at 60fps in 1080p” and “useless for gaming,” and this laptop is definitely further from “useless” than I expected. That may be attractive to some buyers.

I suspect, by the way, that the CTO designation on this one’s “custom to order,” their bespoke-configured version of the 17T-S000. That may explain why there’s no guarantee of it having backlit keys; the CTO configuration tool likely allowed buyers to option that, and so, Woot naturally played it safe, underpromising and overdelivering. (I do seriously love that about them. Happy surprises rock.)

How tight are the hinges on this one? The last 2 HP laptops I’ve owned had really tight hinges to the point where one was actually recalled and had to be replaced. The other one which I’m still using cracked the internal mount on the right side and I have to hold the case together when I open and close it. Thanks in advance for any answers!