With every generation of All-in-One PCs, HP continues evolving and improving its designs – that shouldn’t be shocking if you’ve ever seen a TouchSmart 620 or the Omni27. With this latest round – the newly-announced ENVY 23 and Pavilion 23 models – you’re finding sleek designs and good performance for non-touch all-in-ones in mid-sized packages. I should know, I had a chance to kick the virtual tires on the new ENVY 23. That’s right, we’re making classy, glassy ENVY desktops now as well. For a quick hands-on impression and the skinny on these latest models, keep reading.
All right, so let’s dig into the ENVY 23 in all its edge-to-edge glassed glory (Starting at $949, shipping Aug 2nd). Like the Omni27, it has smooth lines whether you want to have it sit on the base or mount it on a wall. (I know that Jon Rayner loves that VESA-mountable quality of our All-in-One Designs). The 23-inch screen yields a sharp 19x10 picture….and below that, a Beats Audio sound bar in the speaker grill.
As with our other All-in-One designs, you can mix-and-match what you want under the hood. In the case of what I had in-hand: Core i5-3450S, 4GB RAM, Radeon HD 7670A, 7200rpm HDD. Optional Blu-ray, TV Tuner and HDMI-in port says to me that makes for a solid stand-alone PC….or a sleek rig to pop in your living room. Y’know, if you were to set this up in your kids’ room, they’ll instantly have a machine that can wirelessly connect up to your network, stream video or serve as an extra TV. The HDMI-in means you could plug in an Xbox 360 or PS3. Speaking of which….
That was all the excuse I needed to fire up a battery of tests to see how well the ENVY 23 handled. Rolling through the software gauntlet (you can read more about that here), I can tell you that if you set the resolution for these games even at 1600 x 900 with medium-to-high settings they will run and look great. I was finding things running around at least 35 frames per second. Or, to put that in perspective, better than what you’re likely to find on a game console. Plus PCs rock. OK, done.
As for the Pavilion 23-inch model (starting at $649, also shipping on August 2), the goal was to still offer up some good performance under the hood in a similar all-in-one form factor, but hit an affordable price point. (Also, you might not be able to spot it in the picture at the top of the story, but the Pavilion has a strut in the back to keep it propped up at an angle.)
One thing that they both offer under the hood: Some handy software. Namely, Magic Canvas and LinkUp Technology. Now the magic canvas software may sound familiar if you’ve ever read one of my many TouchSmart stories. Basically, it expands the desktop into…well….as the name suggests a larger canvas to pull in and have quick access to files in a unique way. But the way the software works, you don't have to use the software on a touchscreen. Like here on these non-touchscreen machines.
Now, as for LinkUp – it’s our take on remote desktop software. I’ve gone into detail, describing what it is, how it works, and how to set it up in the past. Summing it up quickly, I’ll just go with this: “LinkUp is a simple solution that allows users to wirelessly link a notebook PC to their desktop PC using a home network. With it, you can access and view applications, files and content from a notebook on the desktop’s monitor for a more comfortable and productive experience. Changes are saved directly to the notebook so there are no file transfer hassles.”
Also, I hear that during Arjan’s next Artist Talk with Flo Rida this week, we’re going to have a new ENVY 23 on-hand. Just figured you’d want to know…
In the meantime, what do you think of the All-in-One computers we have these days? Any questions about the new ENVY 23 or Pavilion 23? Tell us what’s on your mind in the comments.