Review

HP Envy 32 All-in-One review: An AiO with RTX graphics, amazing audio, and more

I don't usually use an all-in-one PC. Normally, I'm using a gaming tower with a 65W or 95W processor and Nvidia RTX graphics. On top of that, I've got my two monitors, some Logitech speakers, a Logitech Brio webcam, and so on.

Unfortunately, most all-in-ones just don't have the power that I want. But that's where HP's Envy 32 All-in-One comes in, because frankly, it has it all. What really excites me about the Envy is that it's an all-in-one not only has a full 65W ninth-generation Intel CPU, but you can also get it with Nvidia's GeForce RTX graphics, up to an RTX 2080.

But that's not all, because this machine is just a great all-around experience. It has a Bang & Olufsen soundbar running across the bottom of the 32-inch 4K display, and the screen is the first to have HDR600. There's even a wireless charger in the base, and HP packed some other perks into the device and the peripherals as well.

Specs

CPU Intel Core i7-9700, octa-core (3.0GHz, 12MB cache)
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics with 6GB GDDR6 dedicated memory
Body 6.90x28.30x21.90in, 30.4lbs
Display 31.5" diagonal 4K IPS ZBD HDR600 micro-edge WLED-backlit with anti-reflection edge-to-edge glass, 600 nits, 98% DCI-P3 (3840x2160)
Memory 32GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM memory (2x16GB) (expandable to 32GB unbuffered with 16GB DIMMs)
Storage 1TB Intel SSD + 32GB Intel Optane memory
Connectivity Realtek Wi-Fi 5 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5 Combo, MU-MIMO supported
Audio
  • Audio by Bang & Olufsen
  • 2.1 channel system with 3-way design: Theatre sound from the comfort of your home.
  • Tuned stereo speakers
Ports

Rear:
(2) USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
(1) USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
(1) Thunderbolt 3
(1) HDMI 2.0 in
(1) USB 2.0 out
(1) Ethernet

Right side:
(1) USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A

Left side:
(1) SD card slot
(1) 3.5mm combo audio

Webcam HP Privacy 5MP IR Camera with integrated dual array digital microphone
Power supply 330W Smart AC power adapter
OS Windows 10 Home
Price $2,499.99

Design

The thing that's so great about all-in-ones is that they're the whole package, and it's a clean package. The compute, the display, the speakers, and everything else is in one chassis, and it plugs into power with a single cable. Normally, there are some sacrifices made to do this, such as lower-powered internals, and that's why the option for RTX graphics is so interesting to me.

This is an all-around beautiful machine. It will look fantastic on your desk. The base has a Dark Ash wood grain finish, and it includes a 15W (yes, 15W!) wireless charging pad. Naturally, this makes it easy to charge your phone throughout the day. I actually haven't used my phone's wired charger in weeks, since it just charges while I work. This is one of those little things that just makes life a little bit easier.

The Envy 32 AiO has ports on both sides. On the right, there's a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, along with the power button. This is what you'd use for plugging in peripherals on the fly. There are ports on the back for stuff that's plugged in all the time.

On the left side, there's an SD card slot and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. Again, these are for things that you're likely to plug in and unplug often enough.

Even the back of the PC is pleasant to look at, with a black color finish and a copper-colored HP logo. There's a metal stand, which lets you tilt the display to different angles. It's not convertible like a Surface Studio though; this all-in-one is a bit more straightforward.

As I mentioned, there are more ports on the back. There's a barrel port for the 330W power supply, which is the size of a mini computer on its own. Of course, the power supply is an external brick to conserve space in the PC itself. There are also two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, and a Thunderbolt 3 port, along with Ethernet. Those USB ports all support 10Gbps data transfer speeds, while the Thunderbolt port supports 40Gbps, and the USB Type-A port on the side offers 5Gbps.

You'll also notice that there are two HDMI 2.0 ports, one for input and one for output. The output one makes it nice and easy to connect a second display, and it's HDMI 2.0, so you can connect to a 4K screen without a problem. The input port makes it so that you can easily use this PC as a display, in case you have a more powerful tower that you want to use at some point down the line.

There's also a pop-up webcam, which you can use as a privacy guard. It also has a built-in IR camera for facial recognition, so if you keep it closed, that's a feature that you'll lose.

Other than the functional parts of the design, the Envy 32 AiO is just a beautiful machine. Like I said, it will look great in any office, between the wood finish on the base, the fabric on the speakers, and the narrow bezels around the screen.

Display and audio

The HP Envy 32 AiO has a 31.5-inch display, which frankly, is quite big, and unfortunately, you can't adjust the height of the screen. I normally use a 27-inch monitor and a 23.5-inch monitor, with the latter for things like chat apps, OneNote, etc. Switching to 31.5 inches was jarring, and it almost felt too big, like I was always looking up at it. I did get used to it though, and now it feels fantastic.

The 31.5-inch screen is 3840x2160 resolution, or 4K UHD, and it's the first PC with HDR600 at 600-nit brightness. Yes, it looks phenomenal just as you'd expect. The colors are vibrant, and when you watch HDR content, you can really see the additional dynamic range that you get from HDR. Aside from 20% more brightness, it has five times better contrast than the previous generation at 6000:1.

It also has narrow bezels for a 92.8% screen-to-body ratio, adding to the beauty and immersiveness of this machine. Of course, it has a big chin for that B&O soundbar underneath the display.

And those B&O speakers are legit. In fact, HP says that this is the world's loudest all-in-one, and I believe it. Not only are the speakers loud, but the sound has depth with deep basses and crystal clear audio. This thing is great for anything from listening to music, to watching movies, to making calls.

In the middle, there's a woofer for bass, and next to that are two passive radiators. There are two medium drivers, and two tweeters for higher frequencies. All of that is covered with a gray acoustic fabric.

Another thing that's cool about the speakers is that they support Advanced Audio Stream. That means that you can stream music from your phone to the PC, even when the PC is off. It's a great feature, because these really might end up being the speakers that you want to use all of the time.

Keyboard and mouse

Like most all-in-ones, the Envy 32 AiO comes with a keyboard and a mouse. Overall, I think they're generally better than the keyboard and mouse set that comes with most all-in-ones, which is frankly a low bar. that's something that always annoys me too. For example, Lenovo's Yoga A940 was a convertible all-in-one that had a clever way of storing the keyboard while the display was tilted. The only problem was that there was no way I'd ever use that keyboard for real life. But if you wanted to use your own keyboard, it wouldn't fit neatly in that space.

Luckily, this set is at least decent. The mouse is, well, a mouse. There's nothing that really stands out about it.

The keyboard is a little bit more interesting. There's a slot on the back where you can stand a phone or a tablet, which you can use as a second screen, or for anything else. And then, you can have the keyboard paired with up to three devices, one of which is the PC, which is comes paired to out of the box.

You can see on the keyboard that there's a button with the computer icon, and then '1' and '2' buttons, so you can easily swap between devices. This is especially useful if you have an iPhone, where there's no easy way to text from your PC. You can stand up your phone on the back of the keyboard, work normally, and when you want to send a text, you can just hit the Bluetooth key to switch to your phone, and then type normally. Keyboard shortcuts with an iPhone work the same as they would with an iPad keyboard, so you can press Win + H to go home, and so on.

The bad news about the keyboard is that while it's quiet and comfortable, it's not always accurate. I get a lot of double-typing going on with this thing. It's really annoying to have to go back and correct the things that I've typed. But again, if you want the stand and the ability to pair with multiple devices, this is the keyboard that you have to use.

I love the features that HP built into the keyboard here, but it's another example of building keyboard features into the overall experience, and then not shipping a great keyboard that will eliminate the desire for a better one.

Performance

The model that HP sent me includes an Intel Core i7-9700 CPU, along with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, although you can purchase it with an RTX 2080 for all the power. RTX graphics means that it supports real-time ray tracing and deep-learning super-sampling (DLSS). Also, the Envy 32 AiO comes pre-installed with Nvidia's Studio drivers, rather than Game Ready drivers, although you can switch them up if you'd like.

I did it all on this PC. I played Halo: Reach, I edited video, and I wrote tons of articles. I really don't have any complaints from the performance department. Everything about this PC was just pleasant. Between the beefy internals and great performance, and the superb audio/video experience, what's not to love?

That adds up to an awesome gaming experience too. Sure, the GeForce RTX graphics are mobile GPUs, so it's best to keep that in mind. You're not getting an RTX 2080 Ti, and you're also not getting a 95W K-series processor. You're getting a 65W S-series CPU, which is a standard desktop component, and a mobile RTX GPU, which is still pretty great, and that makes it one of the most powerful all-in-one PCs out there.

For benchmarks, I used PCMark 8, PCMark 10, 3DMark, and VRMark.

PCMark 8: Home PCMark 8: Creative

PCMark 8: Work PCMark 10

3DMark: Time Spy VRMark: Orange Room

VRMark: Cyan Room VRMark: Blue Room


All of the above benchmarks are using the Nvidia Studio drivers. I did run a bunch of tests with the Game Ready driver, but the results were pretty much the same. It all depends on what you want to do with your PC. If it's primarily to play games, then use the Game Ready driver; if it's primarily for work, use the Studio driver. Also, Nvidia makes it pretty easy to switch back and forth.

Interestingly, these scores are actually lower than the ones from when I reviewed the Lenovo Yoga A940, which had an eighth-gen processor and AMD graphics. You can do with that information what you like though, as benchmarks don't always translate to real-world usage, and real-world usage on the Envy 32 AiO is awesome.

Conclusion

Premium all-in-one PCs are a lot of fun, because as the name suggests, they're the whole package. It's a very clean setup with a single cable for power and Bluetooth peripherals. You don't have to worry about a bunch of different pieces, like a tower, a monitor, speakers, a webcam, and so on. It's all just built into the device.

My only real complaint is the keyboard. While again, it's better than most that come with desktop PCs, it's just not good enough. If I wasn't testing out all of the cool features that this keyboard has, I wouldn't use it. And that's the pain point. If you use another keyboard, you lose that part of the value proposition, which is the ability to seamlessly switch between your PC and two other devices, and to have a stand built into it.

Other than that, I want to say that the Envy 32 AiO is perfect. That combination of the massive 31.5-inch HDR600 screen and the Bang & Olufsen speakers is just a winner. I could sit in my office and watch Netflix on it all night if my wife wouldn't kill me for it, or I can sit in this immersive experience and play some PC games. It's that good. Of course, the performance puts it over the top as well, with RTX graphics.

This is an all-around amazing package. It's stylish, and it has some nice perks like a wireless charging pad in the base, some nice integration features with your phone, and Advanced Audio Streaming. I think that this is a PC that anyone would love to have in their office.

 

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