HP’s Envy line is arguably the industry’s most venerable all-in-one computer short of the Apple iMac. As PCs go, it’s also easily the most luxe on the market, with a massive screen, high-end graphics, and plenty of power—plus a price to match.
With a body that measures 31.5 inches diagonally, it’s a monstrous machine that may challenge many desk environments. The quite bright LCD fully illuminates the room and threatens to blast out your eyeballs if you sit too close. A massive speaker bar, courtesy of Bang & Olufsen, runs along the entire bottom of the screen. If the brightness of the display doesn’t knock you out of your chair, the thumping audio the speakers churn out might. (HP lays claim as the Envy 32 being the world’s loudest all-in-one, and I can’t argue with that.) The speakers can even be used to stream audio wirelessly when the PC itself is turned off.
Design-wise, the Envy 32 is about as clean as it gets, and casual observers will likely assume the near-borderless façade is the face of a standard monitor instead of a full-blown PC. A sizable, rectangular base supports a single, central stand that attaches to the rear of the PC via a simple, swiveling hinge. Look closely and you’ll see a little bonus feature built into the stand: a convenient wireless phone charger front and center. It’s clever, but finicky; I had trouble getting my handset aligned perfectly so it would charge.
The selling point of the screen isn’t just its size, it’s also its resolution. The 4K-class display runs at 3840 x 2160 pixels and is powered by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU, another first for an all-in-one. Other specs under the hood are equally high-end, including a 2.9-GHz Core i7 (10th generation) processor, 16 GB of RAM, and dual storage devices: a traditional 1 terabyte spinning hard drive and a 512 GB solid-state drive.
In addition to the usual wireless features, connectivity is largely found through a small row of ports on the rear of the device. These include HDMI out and in (so you can connect your Envy to your Xbox), two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, and Ethernet. An extra USB-A port and a full-size SD card reader can be found on either side of the machine.
The Envy 32 comes with a cool wireless keyboard. A small ledge on the backside lets you prop up your phone and tablet, and dedicated buttons let you switch control between the Envy and up to two other devices. (That said, some better documentation to explain how all of this works is definitely in order.) There’s also an unfortunately lame, chintzy mouse that doesn’t really do anything. A 5-megapixel camera (with microphone) is built in to the top of the display; it’s a spring-loaded device that pops up when you want to use it, then hides away securely when Zoom time is over.
As for performance, I can find little to complain about. The Envy 32 tore through every benchmark I threw at it, and while it never set records on general business apps or graphics tests, it’s got plenty of high-end chops to handle just about anything, whether you’re rendering video or playing games. Naturally, it also shines as a multimedia hub for streaming entertainment (and the screen is big enough to service a small room), though the lack of a built-in optical drive means you’ll have to spring for an external unit if you want to watch your old-school DVDs. Also of note: The LCD isn’t a touchscreen, though again the screen is so large it doesn’t really seem practical to sit close enough to actually interact with it via fingertip.
The largest Apple iMac is really the only other all-in-one that’s currently available and in the same league as the Envy 32, and as I write this they’re priced within $50 of each other. (The HP Envy 32 starts at $1,700; the model I tested costs $2,080.) Both systems are amazing, though the HP has the Apple beat handily on specs, nearly across the board. On the other hand, Apple’s Retina display packs in almost twice as many pixels. Does the extra 4.5 inches of screen real estate on the Envy make a real difference? The generally faster performance? As is always the case with high-end devices like this, this kind of decision really comes down to how you intend to use the device, and in this specific instance, whether your preference runs to Windows or MacOS.