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"HP has masterfully integrated mid-century design and modern technology into its all-in-one desktop."

  • Stunning mid-century design

  • Beautiful, ultra-wide screen

  • Excellent audio tuning with an integrated B&O soundbar

  • The user-updatable design provides access to memory and storage

  • Limited game performance

  • No Thunderbolt 3 support

While most all-in-one desktops – like the XPS 27 and Inspiron 27 7000 All-in-One from Dell, the $ 699 HP Pavilion All-in-One 24, the $ 999 IdeaCentre Lenovo’s AIO 730S and Acer’s $ 1,030 enterprise-oriented Veriton Z from Apple’s iconic Apple All-in-One iMac, which stows the PC parts behind a large screen to save desk space, HP literally tore the shape apart and forged his own design fate when he made his beautiful 34-inch Envy Curve AIO 34. Mid-century American modern designers, like George Nelson from Herman Miller, have expertly created an entertainment center for your humble desk, by separating the PC components into a base and hanging the impressive and dazzling 34-inch display in the air.

This year's model is in stark contrast to the functional and cold metal design of the iMac and features wood paneling details and gold-colored accents. Thoughtful refinements help the Envy Curved AIO 34, worth $ 1,699, come closer to its mid-century aesthetic. Together, these details not only create a luxurious desktop without resorting to marketing terms such as machined unibody aluminum, but also help HP turn the PC from a clunky tool for office tasks into a statement that can be used for conversations in your office invites.

An entertainment center for your desk

If you confuse the Envy Curved All-in-One 34 with a compact TV designed by HP's upscale Scandinavian audio partner Bang & Olufsen, which also happens to allow for the excellent built-in speakers on this desktop. Although the Envy Curved 34 is largely made of plastic compared to the unibody aluminum shell of the iMac, it still looks and feels first-class thanks to a stable base, which is covered with an imitation wood finish and metal accents. Given that the Envy 13 laptop is partially encased in real wood, it would be interesting to see if HP can use more natural materials on a future version of its AIO desktop.

This year's Envy Curved 34 is part of the two-part design of its immediate predecessor, with which HP can separate the PC component that is traditionally hidden behind the display in most AIOs from an elongated rectangular base that is almost as wide as the immersive 34 inch panel. The result is that the PC base resembles a media center, while the screen attached to a metal arm hangs in the air like a modern flat screen TV.

Instead of downsizing the PC base, as Microsoft did with the Surface Studio 2, the large base is just as much a design focus as the gigantic screen, which has a footprint of 7 7/8 x 23 5/8 inches on your desk occupies. Here, HP has masterfully integrated mid-century design – complete with a dark wood grain that can apply to exotic African blackwood – and modern technology into its AIO. This desktop feels just as natural in a C-Suite as it does on the desk of the legendary designers Charles and Ray Eames from that time.

If you confuse the Envy Curved All-in-One 34 with a compact television developed by HP's upscale Scandinavian audio partner Bang & Olufsen, you'll be forgiven.

At the front, the fabric for the soundbar with four speakers, which extends across the entire width of the PC base, provides the warmth of the Envy AIO and makes this PC appear more inviting, especially when compared to the cold all-metal iMac design. Plastic plates covered in a subtle champagne gold tone with a satin finish complete the look and add to the prestige of the HP desktop design. The accents can also be found on the display stand and on the supplied wireless keyboard and mouse, which makes the entire experience very coherent.

The Envy Curved 34 lives up to its comparisons with a home media center and is flanked on the front by a massive soundbar with four speakers that extends across the entire width of the PC base and offers an impressive and clear audio experience. The soundbar is covered with a speckled dark gray fabric. In combination with the wooden surface, the selection of natural looking materials ensures that the Envy Curved AIO feels warmer and more inviting and is well suited for offices, apartments or reception areas.

To maintain the clean aesthetic, HP hid the webcam in a module that can pop out when you need to make a video call. With the ability to tuck the webcam away when you are not using it, the Envy AIO can maintain its elegant look with very minimal side panels while giving you more privacy.

Bend your enthusiasm

While the base gives this desktop its premium aesthetics, the star of the show is the beautiful 34-inch ultra-wide display. The massive screen is not only a spectacular sight, but the curvature also helps separate some of the harder straight edges from the overall design of the desktop and makes the content on the display more vivid.

When tested with Datacolor's Spyder5 Elite screen calibration tool, the panel was able to reproduce 100 percent of the sRGB and 78 percent of the Adobe RGB color space. Contrast and gamut on the display are both excellent, and color accuracy is rated very good when tested. In addition, the ultra-wide control panel makes it easy to open multiple windows at the same time, so you don't have to search for windows that may be hidden as more applications start up during the day.

The immediate disadvantage is that the 34-inch screen of the Envy Curved AIO is limited to UWQHD resolution despite its size and supports 3,400 x 1,400 pixels. We wish an ultra-wide display option with 4K or better would be available, but that would have increased the cost. Given the GPU configuration, you probably won't move the pixels here, and gaming should probably be limited to 1080p resolution for optimal performance, so the reduced resolution is less of a problem than it seems.

HP Envy Curved 34Dan Baker / Digital Trends

If you use this system to watch videos, you must either enlarge or stretch the video to fill the ad. This leads to either loss of quality or distorted images. A third option is to display images and videos in their native formats. In the end, however, you get letterboxing with black boxes on both sides of the frame.

Demanding equipment

In terms of ergonomics, the IPS panel can be tilted up and down. However, like most other AIOs, the screen cannot be raised or lowered, nor can it be panned for more comfortable viewing angles. These restrictions probably mean that the Envy AIO must be placed in the front and center of your desk, as you can't put it aside and rotate the display like you would with a standalone monitor. Given the handsome aesthetics of the Envy Curved AIO 34, however, it really deserves its place in the middle of your desk.

However, the Envy AIO is not just about computers. In addition to an HDMI output connector on the back for connecting a second display for an even more intense experience, there is also an HDMI input connector. Via the video input, you can connect a media streaming stick or a game console and use the 34-inch panel for tasks outside the computer. You need to press a button on the back to switch to video input. However, this is a useful feature for confined spaces such as dormitories, as you don't need a separate HD TV to connect a game console.

It should be noted that neither touch nor pen input is supported on the display of the Envy Curved AIO 34. If you need a touchscreen, consider using HP's Envy AIO 27 for $ 1,199, which has the same design as the curved 34 model, but has a flat 27-inch QHD display that supports touch. Another upgrade to this variant is that it can be configured for a premium with a more modern 9th generation Intel Core i7-9700T processor.

Given that the latest Apple iPhone and Android smartphones support wireless charging, it's starting to feel archaic to have to grab a cable during a day to fill up the cable. If you are lucky enough to own the Envy Curved AIO 34, this PC is equipped with a wireless Qi charging pad integrated on the left side of the base. This not only frees your desk from unsightly charging cables, but also makes it more convenient to grab your phone and walk to your next meeting without having to unplug the power cord.

On the right side of the base opposite the wireless charging pad is an iPod-inspired scroll wheel for volume control. Although you can adjust the volume in the software under Windows 10 and by using the function keys on the keyboard supplied, this can be done quickly and easily with the special scroll wheel. The function also increases the purpose of this PC as a tool for media consumption. This is a natural addition when you consider how clear audio sounds with proper isolation of the speakers for the left and right channels on the B&O-tuned soundbar.

The Envy Curved AIO 34 has numerous connectors, so you should be able to easily connect any peripherals or accessories you need. In addition to the two HDMI ports on the back – one for the video input and the second for the video output – you will find four USB-A ports, an Ethernet socket and a locking port if this desktop should be used in an office or study . These connections are more suitable for more permanent accessories such as external drives and printers, since the placement on the back is difficult to achieve due to the larger overall size of the Envy Curved AIO 34 and the fact that the display cannot be swiveled. When you try to quickly insert a flash drive in the back, you are doing it really blind just because you feel it.

Fortunately, with this latest generation, the power switch has been moved from the back of the previous model to the right, champagne gold-colored side wall to the rear. Although the placement makes the power switch easier to reach, the thin shape and the way it is flush with the side wall make it difficult to find when you feel alone. On the side that comes with the power switch, there is a USB-C port, another USB-A port, a memory card slot and a combo audio jack. If you want to swap multiple flash drives, external drives, or connect other accessories, you may want to invest in a USB-C hub to make connections more accessible, not because you lack the connections.

Under the hood

This year the Envy Curved AIO 34 is powered by 8th generation Intel processors. The entry-level Envy Curved AIO 34 has a Core i5-8400T processor, while our updated $ 1,699 review unit comes with better Core i7-8700T silicon with six cores clocked at 2.4 GHz. This should provide enough performance for common computing tasks, including browsing the web with multiple tabs open, moderate photo editing, and multitasking with Microsoft Office apps.

This desktop feels just as natural in a C-Suite as it does on the desk of a legendary designer.

Although the Envy Curved AIO 34 has an 8th generation processor similar to HP's Omen Obelisk, the AIO uses a lower Intel silicon with 35 watts compared to the 65 watt processor supported by the gaming system. This is reflected in the performance. The Envy AIO's single-core and multi-core results in benchmarking with the Geekbench 4 tool were slightly lower than those of the Omen Obelisk, and both PCs were behind high-end systems with newer 9th generation Intel processors back. The stronger multi-core score of the Origin PC Neuron, which comes with the 9th generation Core i9-9900K CPU, suggests that the newer processors are better for multithreaded workflows and processing larger graphics and rendering files are suitable.

However, don't let the weaker results suggest that the Envy AIO is a sucker. On the contrary, most users will not notice a slowdown. Apps started quickly and our office files opened without hesitation. The difference in performance is evident in media rendering, and the 8th generation silicon in our Handbrake 4K video encoding test was slower than its newer counterpart, taking 127 seconds compared to the 82 seconds that the Origin PC Chronos equipped with one is Intel Core i9-9900K. The Envy AIO could more than keep up with most office or home computer tasks.

Our updated test device has 16 GB of RAM and a fast Samsung 256 GB NVMe M.2 solid-state drive, as well as a secondary 2 TB hard drive for additional storage.

Although the SSD was fast, we wished HP would offer a 512 GB option because its SATA hard drive had a maximum speed of 5,400 rpm, which made data access a bit slower compared to faster drives at 7,200 rpm becomes. Fortunately, you can update memory and storage quite easily. HP provides some instructional videos on removing the base plate from the base of the Envy Curved AIO 34 that will allow you to access the two M.2 slots so that in the event of either adding a second SSD or replacing the existing drive, it can malfunction.

No slot machine

Players may love the Envy Curved AIO 34 because of its massive and integrated display, but this PC is not designed for heavy gaming. Although the screen is the star of the show on the Envy AIO, the limited performance of the graphics provided will prevent this desktop from reaching a wider audience – including creative and enthusiastic people. Although this year's model benefits from a more powerful discrete GPU – from a GTX 950M from its predecessor to more powerful GTX 1050 graphics – it is still not comparable to more powerful gaming desktops using the high-end RTX 2080 graphics card from Nvidia are equipped. However, the inclusion of discrete GTX 1050 graphics helps the Envy AIO be used for occasional 1080p and light creative work, and the included GPU helps the Envy AIO to perform on competing systems like the Inspiron 27 7000 AIO and the Dell to hit Hit the integrated UHD Graphics 620 on the Lenovo AIO 730S.

The GTX 1050 card achieved 2,955 points with the 3D Mark Time Spy graphics test from Underwriter Laboratories. With this performance, it lags behind the GTX 1070 card in Microsoft's Surface Studio 2, which scored 5,215 points. Compared to the 9.240 points of the RTX 2080, the graphics performance of the Envy AIO is about a third of the HP Omen Obelisk.

The synthetic benchmark results illustrate a good picture of what gamers can expect with the GTX 1050 graphics on modern titles. Games with less graphics needs like Fortnite have no problems. The frame rates are constantly below 60 FPS, even under "Epic" game settings and at higher 2K resolutions. Although the 68 FPS of the Envy AIO with a resolution of 1440p and Epic mode activated only barely accounts for half the 131 FPS performance of the RTX 2080 graphics on the Origin PC Neuron, the game went well and we noticed no stuttering or choppiness.

Games with more sophisticated graphics like Battlefield V, Civilization VI, and Assassins Creed Odyssey performed well at lower resolutions of 1080p, but skipped frames became very clear in 1440p, especially at higher game settings. You will probably want to either tweak the game details or use a lower resolution to get more reliable performance from the GTX 1050.

HP Envy Curved 34Dan Baker / Digital Trends

Battlefield V and Assassins Creed Odyssey, two of the GPU titles we tested the most, ran at the desired 60 FPS even at 1080p resolution. While the Envy AIO's 55 FPS performance at 1080p was very playable at medium settings in Battlefield V, Assassin's Creed Odyssey was less forgiving and there was a significant delay despite the 49 FPS performance at 1080p resolution at high settings.

With higher game settings and higher resolutions, performance dropped quickly and Assassins Creed played at 1440p with ultra settings at just 33 FPS. With Nvidia's flagship RTX 2080 Ti graphics, the Origin Neuron delivered roughly twice the performance with the same settings at 77 FPS.

The performance margin between the RTX 2080 Ti and the GTX 1050 becomes clearer when playing Civilization VI. Although the title's less demanding graphics requirements allow it to be played at the highest setting we tested (Ultra at 1440p), the frame rate performance of the GTX card is only about a third that of the RTX 2080 Ti on the Neuron.

While the neuron performed at 142 FPS, the Envy AIO only delivered 44 FPS here. Despite the lower frame rate performance, the game was only occasionally choppy. At 1080p with medium details, the Envy AIO had no problem keeping up with 56 FPS, and the performance suggests that casual gamers can play most titles at 1080p resolution without noticeable performance degradation.

Creative people working with larger media files should look at systems with higher graphics potential, e.g. B. Microsoft's Surface Studio 2, which can be configured with better GTX 1070 graphics and has a touchscreen that supports digital coloring.

guarantee

HP offers a one-year limited hardware policy for consumer PCs. This applies to Envy Curved AIO 34. HP also provides 90 days of phone support and free chat support during the warranty period if problems arise. As with all PCs sold by HP, you can upgrade to an extended warranty when you purchase the Envy AIO. An extended two-year warranty, which includes protection against accidental damage, increases the cost of your purchase by $ 399.

HP also offers a three-year extended warranty for the same price. However, this option does not cover accidental damage. If you're not too clumsy, the three-year plan without inadvertent protection is very important as HP offers a 100% money-back discount if you don't claim repair during the insurance period.

Although HP's expanded coverage is similar to the optional guidelines that some of the biggest competitors in the PC industry offer, plans are more expensive. Lenovo offers a three-year extended warranty with on-site support when problems with the purchase of the IdeaCentre AIO 730S cannot be resolved over the phone for just $ 63, making the extended warranty more affordable. The rival Dell offers an even longer four-year warranty that covers hardware and software support, as well as coverage for accidental damage. If you're not too familiar with your PC, Dell also offers an optional home PC setup option to get you started.

Our opinion

There are plenty of space-saving all-in-one desktops to choose from – and many match the performance of this $ 1,699 desktop – but none has a brilliantly sized, ultra-wide, curved display that you can click into – good or bad – immerse your spreadsheets, PDFs and office documents at work.

Given that most solid, ultra-wide, curved monitors in the same screen size are commercially available for around $ 700 – like the $ 750 CF791 from Samsung or the relatively large gaming screen from Alienware for $ 850 – The failure of the HP Envy Curved AIO from its 34-inch panel means that the PC only costs $ 1,000. This is a fitting analogy since you can use the HDMI input connector to connect an Xbox to the HP AIO. This makes this desktop setup a versatile work and leisure desktop setup for those with limited storage space. The Envy Curved AIO 34 stands out from the crowd with its incomparable design.

Is there a better alternative?

If you're not interested in the massive 34-inch UWQHD display or HP's mid-century modern-inspired aesthetics, there are numerous AIOs on the market that offer similar performance to the Envy Curved AIO 34. Dell's Inspiron 27 7000 series starts at $ 881 cheaper, but you'll need to upgrade to $ 1,322 to perform similarly to our HP review unit with an Intel Core i7-8700T processor and Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics to achieve. While you forego screen space – switch from a 34-inch ultra-wide display to a 27-inch FHD panel, you also get touch functions. HP's smaller Envy AIO 27-inch is another great option starting at $ 1,199.

If you want to leave the Windows 10 MacOS ecosystem, the iMac is a great desktop with a color-accurate display that supports a wide DCI P3 color gamut. In its larger configuration, the 27-inch iMac is probably the closest competitor to HP's smaller Envy AIO, the Envy AIO 27, which has a non-curved display. While Apple has outperformed HP's resolution – the iMac offers an impressive Retina 5K display – both models start with an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM and discrete graphics support, making it a simpler Apple. to PC comparison.

How long it will take?

The Envy Curved AIO 34's discrete graphics support and upgradeability will help it last for at least a few years. The attractive design, the modern processor and the breathtaking ultra-wide display make it a useful and functional technological work of art for your desk.

Should you buy it

Yes. With a stunning design and a brilliant display, HP has created an incomparable desktop PC that is second to none.

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