The Greatest All-in-One Pc for 2020

The HP Envy All-in-One 27 b245se on a desk
Picture: Kyle Fitzgerald

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HP Envy 27 b245se

You have got cheaper, higher choices for Home windows desktops, however in order for you an all-in-one, the Envy seems trendy, has a vibrant display, and is quick sufficient to final you a very long time.

The HP Envy All-in-One 27 b245se is an efficient all-in-one pc for many who want Home windows as a result of it has a wonderful show, high-quality audio system, loads of computing energy, and a classy design. It has a helpful mixture of ports, together with Thunderbolt Three and HDMI In, so you need to use the 27-inch 2560×1440 IPS show as a monitor for different gadgets. However extra so than with Macs, you’ve all kinds of cheaper choices when shopping for a Home windows desktop PC, together with mini PCs and prebuilt or DIY desktops, and we expect it’s value contemplating these earlier than buying an all-in-one.

A view of the Envy's included keyboard on a desk
The Envy’s included keyboard smooshes the numpad and alpha keys collectively, which makes it really feel claustrophobic to sort on. Picture: Kyle Fitzgerald

When you resolve to stay with an all-in-one, we advocate the $1,750 HP Envy configuration—its eighth-generation Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, 256 GB NVMe M.2 solid-state drive, 1 TB exhausting drive, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU are sufficient for most individuals’s wants. The Envy is often about $50 cheaper than the iMac mannequin we like, which has a greater show however much less storage and reminiscence.

The QHD show within the Envy is correct sufficient for fundamental net searching, watching films, or enjoying video games. It has a slight blue tint to it in comparison with the Asus ZenAIO and Dell Inspiron 27, but it surely’s not one thing you’ll discover when it’s sitting by itself. The show is reflective, which is ok in a darkish room however is usually a problem in a brightly lit workplace, or if the solar is behind you.

A view of the Envy's included mouse on a desk
The included mouse has mushy clicks that don’t all the time register and an oddball form that’s uncomfortable to make use of for lengthy intervals. Picture: Kyle Fitzgerald

The HP Envy 27 b255qd is equivalent to this mannequin however has a 4K show as a substitute of QHD and is usually round $250 dearer. Each the QHD and 4K shows are touchscreens, however as a result of the show doesn’t lay down tablet-style, it’s uncomfortable to succeed in and never terribly helpful.

With a 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD, the Envy has loads of storage. The Intel Core i7-8700T has greater than sufficient energy for fundamental CPU duties, and 16 GB of reminiscence is sufficient to make sure you’ll by no means run into slowdown with numerous apps and browser tabs open. Actual-world efficiency from the Envy 27 is spectacular. We edited images in Photoshop and Lightroom, used it for video conferencing, and watched Netflix. Over a number of days of labor, Chrome by no means lagged, even with greater than a dozen tabs open, and scrolling by means of giant spreadsheets was a breeze. The GeForce GTX 1050 GPU can deal with much less demanding video games like Overwatch and Fortnite, even on the native 2560×1440 decision and extremely settings. After we tried to play newer, extra graphically intensive titles like Far Cry 5, nevertheless, body charges slowed and we needed to scale back the decision and settings to get a easy expertise.

A view of the ports on the side of the Envy
This 12 months’s Envy features a headphone port, SD card slot, Thunderbolt 3, and one USB-A port on the best facet, the place they’re simply accessible. Picture: Kyle Fitzgerald

The Envy seems totally different than most AIOs. In contrast to the iMac, which shops all of the parts behind the show, HP constructed all of the processing energy and ports into the bottom. This could scale back visible muddle should you use a variety of wired gadgets as a result of all of the cables sit flat on a desk, fairly than hanging from elevated ports. The bottom is a large, low rectangle completed in a darkish grey matte plastic. It’s a easy design, with no garish highlights drawing your eye to it. The bottom has a touch-sensitive dial to manage music, however we discovered it foolish to succeed in previous the keyboard (which has multimedia keys) to the pc’s base to alter the quantity. The display has a slender bezel and is supported by a skinny chromed steel pillar, and in contrast to the Asus ZenBook or Dell Inspiron, the Envy seems pretty much as good from behind because it does from the entrance, making it higher for household rooms or desks the place you may see the pc’s bottom.

On the again, the HP Envy 27 has 4 USB 3.1 ports, HDMI In, HDMI Out, an HDMI toggle, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an influence jack, and a Kensington lock slot. The suitable facet has a headphone and mic combo jack, an SD card slot, one Thunderbolt Three port, and a USB-A port. The Envy 27 consists of speedy 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. Most ports are on the rear, which make them troublesome to entry, however not like Apple, HP has not less than included the most typical ports on the best facet.

A view of the ports on the back of the Envy
The again of the Envy has loads of ports, together with an HDMI In so you need to use the Envy as a monitor for different gadgets, like recreation consoles. Picture: Kyle Fitzgerald

The Envy 27’s built-in webcam slides into the monitor body when it’s not in use. To open it, push down and it pops out; to shut it, press it down once more. The webcam is appropriate with Home windows Hi there, which helps you to log in utilizing your face. Just like the iMac, video and mic high quality is sweet sufficient for casual video chats, but when video constancy issues to you, a devoted webcam will look higher.

The included wi-fi keyboard has a plastic end and it’s acceptable for typing, however key journey is shorter than we’d like. It’s an odd dimension, with the quantity pad pushed proper subsequent to the alpha keys. We’d have most popular a extra commonplace dimension, both with out a quantity pad or full-size. Extra troubling is the mushy wi-fi mouse, which feels low cost; the buttons don’t present a reassuring click on, making it troublesome to inform while you’ve pressed exhausting sufficient. Each are powered by AA batteries, that are included within the field.

The audio system are on the bottom’s entrance facet, and so they’re coated with felted cloth. Their sound lacks the sheer quantity and bass we heard in competitors just like the Asus ZenAIO or Dell Inspiron, however the audio system are loud and clear sufficient for listening to music or watching a film. The sound is skinny, and sure bass-heavy music will sound comically hole, but it surely’s serviceable for most individuals enjoying music at decrease volumes.

HP’s one-year guarantee is just like what Apple affords, however you’ll must ship it off to HP for repairs. You should buy “HP Care Packs” to increase the guarantee, and whereas they’re far more costly than AppleCare, they not less than embrace onsite restore so that you don’t have mail the pc off or lug it right into a retailer.

You may’t simply improve the storage or the RAM within the Envy, and HP doesn’t present documentation for the way to take action. If upgrades are a critical concern for you however you need an AIO, chances are you’ll need to take a more in-depth have a look at the Asus ZenAIO.

As a result of most of its guts are within the base, the Envy 27 isn’t mountable on the wall or on a monitor arm. The display adjustability is as restricted because the iMac. It affords a slender 30-degree tilt vary, and you may’t increase or decrease it. The Asus ZenAIO is the one AIO we’ve discovered with top changes.

We examined HDMI pass-through by connecting the Envy 27 to a laptop computer, and it really works as you’d anticipate. The Envy 27 has a bodily button beside the HDMI-In port to toggle between native and HDMI enter, but it surely’s troublesome to seek out as a result of it’s out of sight and flush with the case.

The Envy 27 comes with a comparatively clear set up of Home windows 10 House. It comes bundled with some software program customers received’t essentially need, like Sweet Crush Soda Saga, Dropbox, Netflix, and Houzz. Extra annoying, it features a trial model of McAfee LiveSafe, which is completely pointless since Home windows ships with good-enough built-in safety. You may take away these applications by utilizing the Packages & Options menu, however a third-party program like The PC Decrapifier can erase the bloat in a single go.


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