Senin, 01 September 2014

HP Envy 17 Leap Motion SE Reviews

We saw the standalone version of the Leap Motion Controller earlier this year and were impressed by its promising gesture-recognition technology, Now here’s a laptop that integrates Leap Motion.

The motion sensor in the Leap Motion Controller works in a similar fashion to Microsoft’s Kinect, allowing you to use hand gestures to control a Windows PC or Mac. Now that touch-sensitive screens have become commonplace on phones, tablets and laptops, HP is clearly hoping to be the fi rst manufacturer to incorporate the Leap Motion technology in a laptop.

Fairly conventional

For the most part, the Envy 17 is a fairly conventional 17in laptop. This ‘special edition’ model is priced at £1,199 with a Haswell-generation Intel Core i7 processor running at 2.2GHz, a giant 12GB memory and 1TB hard drive. There’s even room for a built-in DVD drive.

As well as Intel’s HD 4600 integrated graphics the Envy 17 also includes an nVidia GeForce GT 750M graphics processor that provides modest gaming capabilities. If you’re after a more affordable large-screen laptop, then the standard Envy 17 is available without the Leap Motion sensor, and a better value Core i5 processor, for £799. A 17in laptop isn’t meant to be slung in a rucksack, but its 3.4 kg weight isn’t unliftable and it can easily be carried from room to room at home or at work.

Battery life is rather below par though, giving us just 3 hours 45 minutes of streaming video, that using the more economical integrated graphics. We’ve seen 17in laptops with better battery life, including 5 hours from Dell’s new Inspiron 17-7000 model, but the Envy 17 isn’t going to stray far from a mains socket so that’s probably not a deal-breaker for many people. Performance is a mixed bag. The general-purpose PCMark 7 places emphasis on storage performance, and its 5400rpm hard drive meant that the Envy 17 managed a score of just 3300 points.

That’s not a bad score, but a faster solid-state drive would push this well past the 4000-point mark. The more specialised Home and Work suites in PCMark 8 produce similar results, with scores of 2867 and 3000 points respectively that are respectable, but not outstanding. Even using the Microsoft Windows 8 ‘fast-start’ option (actually a standby mode), the Envy 17 took a full 30 seconds to boot into the Start screen, followed by another good 15 seconds of cursor-spinning before it was ready to start launching apps and get to work. Once it got going, the Envy 17 was capable of tackling a wide range of tasks, and its large screen, memory and hard drive mean that it’s ideal for demanding work such as photo- or video-editing.

The 1920x1080 display is bright and colourful, with horizontal viewing angles that come close to a full 180 degrees. The vertical viewing angle is a little more limited – around 140 degrees – but the Envy 17 will still work fi ne for presentations or simply watching streaming video at home. And while the Envy 17 isn’t intended as a gaming rig, its GeForce GT 750M graphics could manage a respectable 52fps when running our.

Stalker gaming test at 1920x1080 resolution. This laptop will be fine for regular gaming sessions. Leaps and bounds Of course, the real attraction is the new Leap Motion sensor – which includes a fingerprint reader. It’s a slim plastic strip that’s 120mm in length, and sits just below the right-hand edge of the keyboard. The technology is impressive, and the sensor is precise enough to detect even small movements of all ten of our fingers on both hands. But, as we found when testing the Leap Motion Controller earlier this year, only a few apps use gesture-recognition function well.

Leap Motion’s AirSpace Store does include some fun games and musical apps, as well as some apps that can use gestures to control Windows itself. You can use gestures to browse through your holiday snaps, but that may not justify the £1,200 price tag. Some of the most interesting third-party apps use gesture control for 3D modelling and visualization, so there might be a specialist market in some design and scientific fields, but we’re still some way from Tom Cruise flicking holographic screens around in Minority Report.


Full marks to HP for attempting something different. However, gesture-recognition is still in its infancy and only a few apps use it in an imaginative way. The Envy 17 Leap Motion SE might appeal to a few niche markets, but at well over £1,000 it will probably seem like an expensive luxury for ordinary home and business users.


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