The Bottom Line
Jan 11 2012 - HP may have changed the name of their all-in-one system but the design remains mostly unchanged other than the switch to Windows 8 and changing around some hardware. The ENVY 20 TouchSmart is certainly affordable and has a smaller size which may appeal to those with limited space but it does sacrifice the resolution compared to its larger competitors. The big downside is that HP doesn't have the edge in touch software support over its competitors anymore and needed to try and differentiate their system more.
- Multitouch Display Responsive With Greater Tilt Range
- Smaller Overall Size for Compact Spaces
- Lower Resolution Display With Narrow Viewing Angles
- Limited 3D Performance From Integrated Graphics
- Intel Core i3-3220 Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 6GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 20" WSXGA+ (1600x900) Multitouch Display With Intel HD Graphics 2500 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HD Audio With Stereo Speakers
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 3.0, Four USB 2.0, 6-in-1 Card Reader, 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- 20.2" x 16.4" x 8"
- Windows 8, Office Starter, PowerDVD, Norton Internet Security
Review - HP ENVY 20-d030 TouchSmart
Jan 11 2012 - While HP may have tweaked the naming of their all-in-one systems to the ENVY 20 TouchSmart it still retains much of the same look and feel as their TouchSmart series from last year. This includes a heavy duty base that holds up the display through bars on either side of the display. This gives the screen a bit more range of motion for tilting back which can be extremely useful for those that will be frequently touching the screen to navigate Windows 8 and applications.
The HP ENVY 20 TouchSmart is their lower end model and is designed more for affordability. With this in mind, it uses the Intel Core i3-3220 dual core processor. This certainly isn't going to be tearing through applications but it is sufficient for the average user that will be browsing the web, using email, watching video or doing some productivity applications. The processor is matched up with 6GB of DDR3 memory which is a bit less than some of the competition with 8GB but it still provides a smooth overall experience.
Storage features on the ENVY 20 TouchSmart is pretty standard for the all-in-one systems priced under $1000. It uses a one terabyte drive that provides a fair amount of storage space for applications, data and media files. The drive does spin at the traditional 7200rpm rate which gives it a slight speed advantage over those that use the green class 5400rpm drives. If you need additional space, there are two USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage. The only downside is that the ports are on the side which is a bit less useful for keeping cable clutter out of the way with continuously plugged in storage drives. A dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD or DVD media.
The 20-inch display is on the smaller side for many all-in-one systems these days but it does provide the system with a smaller profile that may be useful for those with limited space where they want a computer. The downside is that the display uses a lower 1600x900 native resolution meaning it can't fully display 1080p high definition video like its larger competitors. The screen also has some narrow vertical viewing angles which means some serious color drop off when the screen is tilted back far like was mentioned earlier. The graphics themselves are handled by the Intel HD Graphics 2500 that is built into the Core i3 processor. This doesn't quite have the 3D performance for use with casual 3D gaming on a PC. What it does offer is some acceleration of media encoding when using Quick Sync compatible applications.
One of the big advantages that HP had with its TouchSmart series of systems was the custom touch software. Now that touch features are integrated into the Windows 8 operating system, HP has less of a lead now that there is a level playing field in terms of the basic software functions. HP still provides a few useful applications that others do no but it doesn't have that same commanding lead when it comes to touch based computers as it once did.
Priced between $850 and $950, the ENVY 20 TouchSmart is a relatively affordable Windows 8 based touchscreen system. There is a fair amount of competition at this price point though including Acer's Aspire AZS600, the Gateway One ZX6980, Lenovo's IdeaCentre B540 and Toshiba's LX835. All of these models use a larger 23-inch display that features a higher 1080p screen. Acer offers nearly the same level of specifications but with slower hard drive and less memory. The Gateway is more affordable but sacrifices both CPU performance and memory. Lenovo's is similar but uses an older generation or Core i3 processor although it is much easier to upgrade storage and memory on. Toshiba uses a mobile processor for lower performance but has a third USB 3.0 port.