HP ENVY Recline: Kick back with a good PC

using an ENVY recline.jpg


A touchscreen is only as good as how often you reach out and touch it. That’s why you need to see what’s going down with the new HP ENVY Recline line. Read on for a detailed hands-on look at this brand new type of all-in-one PC that we’re announcing today.


The Recline line takes the already-sleek designs of what you’ve seen with the ENVY 23 (10 points of capacitive touch on a sweet-looking IPS panel) and drops the screen down into your lap. Seriously. Think about that for a second. When you’re using a touchscreen-ed All-in-One PC, you’re reaching out to the screen to tap tiles or whatever. But what happens when the entire computer folds down and comes out from the desk to sit just above your lap? It’s awesome. It’s ergonomic. And that’s what the Recline is all about.


envy recline.JPG

We recently reflected on the evolution of the all-in-one PC…but a more recent development comes from an ergonomic study we conducted with Herman Miller. We actually wrote about it here on the blog a couple weeks back. Here’s the short version: It is waaaay more natural to have the screen come down to you for longer-term use so that your arms can remain on your chair’s arm rests. I don’t care whether you’re playing games, finger painting…or flipping through the news, this makes a big difference. In fact, when I started playing with a demo machine, I was instantly imagining sitting at a control console on bridge of the Enterprise (NCC-1701, ftw!).


You want to have a super-nerdy coffee table stand, we gotcha covered there as well. The hinge allows you to lay out the Recline flat, sitting above the table. So, think of this as a less-mobile-but-more- powerful take on the ENVY Rove20 (that guy is neat for different reasons).


envy recline low - small.jpgWhen it comes to models, you’ll be able to get a huge, honkin’ 27-inch ENVY 27 Recline (starting at $1,399), a 23-inch model (starting at $1,099 at retail), and a red-and-black Beats edition of the ENVY 23 Recline.


OK, so we’ve got a funky design and it looks awesome. HOW DOES IT WORK? Let’s get to it.


The unit that I have in my hands is a maxed-out prototype showing the potential for the system. Intel Core i7 (Haswell) CPU, 16GB RAM, and NVIDIA’s GeForce 730M graphics driving the ENVY 23 Recline currently residing on my desk.


The IPS panel looks amazingly sharp with a 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution. Watch a movie on this thing pushed up and back like a traditional all-in-one and you won’t be disappointed. A crisp screen and Beats Audio speakers quickly fill up a room with this guy.


envy recline hinge 3 -small.jpgTry using apps like the eDJing app in the Win 8 App Store and you really have access to a pair of giant virtual turntables. I already use this app on touchscreen laptops but having it on something like this at a party just pushes it well into “awesome” territory.


Yes, yes, it looks good and sounds great. Really, though, when I caught wind of the Recline, I saw new possibilities for games (Of course). Not just any games, but stuff like the upcoming Battlefield 4. Why? Well, besides being a great first-person game that looks fantastic, they’ve been touting the newly redone Commander view. With it the player is either running through a firefight dodging bullets or back in the command center war room looking down at the whole battle and issuing orders. How cool would that be to be able to shove that monitor down to feel like you’re fully in control?


Of course, BF4 isn’t out yet so I tested a number of current titles – the NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M graphics can hold their own. I just wouldn’t advise gaming at 1920 by 1080. (Maybe 1600 by 900 or lower would be the smarter play).


OK, so maybe gaming isn't your bag. (Rolf on Youtube pointed out that there is lots of other potential to discuss). I just want you to stop and think about how this can be useful in a wide variety of fields. Artists can have a digital easel that conforms to them, not the other way around. (I couldn't speak to that as I haven't graduated beyond stick figures.) Maybe you're an architect and want to do a little CAD work.  How about doing video editing on a giant touchscreen that you can drop down into your lap? You could set this up on a coffee table and have it sit flat for family game night. You see where I'm going here? 



What other neat features have I been blowing past here, but I still find cool? Lemme see, they somehow managed to squeeze into this guy a couple USB 3.0 ports in the base and two more along the right side of the screen, an Ethernet jack (though it’s also WiFi enabled), a flash memory slot and an HDMI input (in case you wanted to use the Recline as a monitor with your Xbox One or PS4).


I’m only just starting to tinker with the ENVY 23 Recline and will have more to report in the coming weeks and months....and you can bank on seeing more ideas on the blog on how people could take advantage of this.


What? all my yammering not enough for you? well...I do have the slicked-up marketing video by guys that actually know how to use a camera....now with 20 percent more "WUB!"



If you’re anxious to get one, they are going to be available soon. But a question before I go:  How would you use the ENVY Recline? 


To learn more....or buy an ENVY Recline....Click HERE.

Labels: hands-on
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