HP Envy dv7-7238nr 17.3-Inch Laptop Review

HP Envy dv7-7238nr 17.3-Inch Laptop

The HP Envy dv7-7238nr 17.3-inch laptop is marketed as a desktop alternative system – a laptop that ought to be able to do everything you would normally do with a desktop system.

Of course, that’s a little vague – although many desktop computers are used for routine computing tasks, others are lovingly built (or upgraded) into extremely powerful gaming machines. The Envy dv7-7238nr won’t be able to compete with machines of that calibre, but, as an alternative to more commonplace desktops, it’s a very strong contender indeed.

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At it’s heart is a 1.9 GHz A-Series Quad-Core A8-4500M CPU, backed up by 6GB of installed RAM, a 640GB hard drive and AMD Radeon HD 7640G Discrete-Class graphics driving the 17.3″ diagonal HD+ BrightView LED-backlit display.

Ardent desktop users often complain that laptop displays are too small for them to use comfortably, so the 17.3 inch model on offer here will be a welcome sight for those contemplating a move to mobile computing. But even the most impressive display is useless if the business end of the computer isn’t up to the job. Fortunately, in this case, it should be more than adequate for most tasks.

6GB of RAM, while not huge by today’s standards, is more than is supplied in many laptops, and should help to ensure smooth performance in even the most demanding applications.

Similarly, the 640GB hard drive, although not as large as those in some machines, still offers an awful lot of storage space for documents, music, pictures and, of course, movies. The AMD Radeon HD 7640G is easily capable of handling HD video, making this machine ideally suited to use as an entertainment device, whether movies are streamed from the internet or played from the built-in SuperMulti DVD burner. And, if you’d rather watch them on an even bigger screen, the Envy dv7-7238nr has an HDMI port for connecting to an HDTV.

Pros :

  • Good desktop alternative
  • Plenty of RAM
  • Large Hard Disk
  • Windows 8

Cons :

  • Graphics are underpowered for serious gaming

Casual games and day-to-day productivity applications shouldn’t stretch the Radeon HD 7640G’s abilities too much, either, but more demanding games that are usually the province of dedicated games machines, are, unsurprisingly, beyond its capabilities. There’s no shame in that, though, as most desktop machines – to which this laptop is claimed to be an alternative – would also struggle to do them justice.

The machine offers a fairly standard set of connectivity options – an ethernet port for wired networking, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, three high-speed USB 3.0 ports and one legacy USB 2.0 port for connecting peripherals such as printers, and a card reader for easily accessing memory cards from your camera etc.

Like some other machines in HP’s Envy range, the dv7-7238nr features a dedicated numeric keypad as part of its full-sized keyboard. Although of questionable use in lower-end machines, it makes much more sense in a machine aimed squarely at desktop users – after all, if you find the keypad useful on your desktop, you’ll want the same feature on an equivalent laptop.

All of these features are packed into a midnight black, brushed aluminium case that measures 16.38″ (Width) x 10.79″ (Depth) x 1.24″—1.39″ (Height) and weighs 6.94 lbs (including the 6-cell, 62WHr lithium-ion battery the offerts up to 4 hrs, 45 mins of battery life).

In summary, the HP Envy dv7-7238nr is a powerful, capable anf stylish desktop alternative that will be equally at home in your office or living room. If you’re looking to save some space by replacing an old desktop, or just want to upgrade your computer and gain the freedom that only a laptop can bring without losing the features you need, the laptop could well be the one for you.

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