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HP Envy Move review: This ingenious all-in-one isn’t made to stay put

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1119
inc VAT

The brilliant design and built-in battery make for a fantastically flexible and usable all-in-one PC, despite a slightly disappointing spec


  • Clever, semi-portable design
  • Built-in battery adds convenience and flexibility
  • Impressive quad HD screen and audio


  • Limited connectivity
  • Only 8GB of RAM

The Windows all-in-one PC hasn’t seen much experimentation when it comes to design. While Apple has been keen to innovate in its iMac line, the majority of all-in-one PCs in recent years have stuck to the script of squeezing laptop components into the casing behind a 22 to 27in flatscreen, with or without some kind of soundbar to contain the connectivity and speakers.

HP’s approach has been more maverick, going ultra-wide with the HP Envy 34, or for a weird traffic cone design with the lovable HP Chromebase All-in-One 22. And now, as you’ll discover reading this HP Envy Move review, the brand goes one step beyond, not only rethinking what an all-in-one can look like, but what it can be.

The Move works as a compact all-in-one, with a better than average screen and excellent audio. Yet it’s also designed to be portable – to be carried around the house via its integrated handle and used wherever and whenever you need a PC. And it can even keep going while away from the mains, courtesy of a built-in 83Wh battery.

This might seem odd, but I’ve come to see and use it as a halfway house between a big-screen laptop and a conventional desktop PC, to be worked on at a desk or at the kitchen table, then stowed away when you no longer need it. It’s more comfortable to use over long periods than your average laptop, and a lot more flexible – and movable – than any of the best all-in-one PCs we’ve tested.

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HP Envy Move review: What do you get for the money?

The HP Envy Move packs an Intel Core i5-1335U mobile CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD into a slimline unit that isn’t much bigger than a regular 23.8in screen. Nevertheless, it improves on most 24in all-in-ones by having a 1440p resolution rather than the standard 1080p. It ships with a matching white keyboard with integrated trackpad, which stows neatly into a stretch fabric pouch at its rear when not in use.

HP Envy Move review: Price and competition

The Envy Movie is, as far as I’m aware, unique; but if you want to compare it to existing all-in-ones then its main competitors would be the entry-level 24in Apple iMac or more conventional 24in all-in-ones such as the Acer Aspire C24-1800 or the Dell Inspiron 24. The iMac has a faster M3 CPU and a fantastic 4.5K Retina screen, but at £1,400 for the Retina model, it’s also more expensive.

The Acer and Dell all-in-ones arrive in a wider range of specs, including 13th-gen Core i7 variants with 16GB of RAM, at lower prices than the Envy Move. However, in both cases you’re stuck with a 1080p display, plus you don’t get the benefits of the Envy Move’s more portable design.

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HP Envy Move review: Design and key features

HP has come up with an unusually slim and compact all-in-one, measuring just 552mm across and standing 367mm tall. The main unit is less than 40mm thick at its deepest point, and around 15mm at the edges and the top. It weighs just 4.1kg. Beyond that, it doesn’t look too unusual – until you pick it up, that is.

Grab the Envy Move by its integrated carrying handle, and the two little feet on its base – driven by concealed, spring-loaded pegs in each – swivel by 90-degrees to hide underneath the base. Put it down and, as you lower it, they swivel quickly back into position. I’ll admit it was a slow night in sleepy Devon, but the discovery of this simple mechanism impressed my nearest and dearest more than any sleek ultraportable laptop or super-powered games machine has in years.

A fairly chunky frame sits around the glossy screen, plus a 40mm tall bar at the bottom houses the B&O sound system; but, overall, the lines are clean and this is a good-looking all-in-one. There’s a volume rocket on the left-hand side, plus power and brightness controls on the right. The connectivity is surprisingly basic: you get a single 10Gb/sec USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port and a matching Type-A port on the left. On the right, you get a HDMI 1.4 input.

The latter enables you to plug in a streaming stick or games console and use the Envy Move as your TV, and HP has even fitted a source selection button above the HDMI port to make this nice and easy. There’s no display output beyond DisplayPort over USB Type-C, and the only way to connect to a network is via 2×2 Wi-Fi 6.

Also worth noting is the 1440p IR 5-megapixel webcam fitted in the frame above the screen, which comes with a privacy slider mounted on the top. Not only does this deliver well-exposed and fairly detailed images, but also Windows Hello authentication for hassle-free signing in. What’s more, it has some ingenious power-saving tricks, using the camera to sense your proximity and dimming or turning off the screen if you wander off or you’re not paying attention. As soon as you’re back, the screen brightens up or turns on again. This all works extremely well.

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HP Envy Move review: Peripherals

The slimline keyboard uses Bluetooth connectivity, and combines a shallow-angled, wedge-shaped profile with large, slightly concave chiclet keys. The deck feels solid, and the keys have a light but crisp action with just enough travel and a quick bounce back when they’ve been pressed. There’s nothing too unusual or horrific about the layout, and I was up to my usual typing speed within a day of use.

To go with it, HP hasn’t bundled a mouse but installed a trackpad where the numeric pad might ordinarily sit. It’s fairly big, measuring roughly 125 x 80mm and, while clearly plastic, it’s smooth and accurate to use. You’ll still want a mouse for serious productivity work, or using more creative apps; but for everyday browsing, email and Windows navigation, it won’t be a problem.

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HP Envy Move review: Display and speakers

The best thing about the Envy Move’s screen is its 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. Too many Windows all-in-ones stick to 1080p, even on their 24 and 27in high-end models. The result is text that looks blocky from a normal viewing distance, and images where the pixel structure is staring you in the face. The Envy Move’s display is a big improvement: the image looks clearer, text looks more crisp and high-resolution stills and video have noticeably sharper definition.

In other aspects, the display is good rather than great. Brightness is limited to 277cd/m2, which looks great at night or away from direct sunlight, but a little subdued in brighter conditions during daylight hours. The screen covers 98% of the sRGB colour gamut and 78% of DCI-P3, and colours are vibrant but not perhaps as rich or deep as on the best desktop screens. You won’t have any issues with colour accuracy, however. We measured the average Delta E at just 0.72.

This isn’t a knockout screen, but it’s more than good enough for lengthy Netflix binges or even the odd hour or two of gaming (more on this later). And that partly comes down to an unexpected strength of the Envy Move – the B&O audio. When it comes to PC rather than AV gear, the B&O branding hasn’t always been a solid gold guarantee of great sound, but the Envy Move dishes out powerful and surprisingly well-rounded audio, with impressive steering of stereo sound effects and a clear yet natural tone. It’s likable enough playing music at low to medium volume levels, and does a fantastic job in games and movies.

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HP Envy Move review: Performance

Depending on your expectations, performance could be the Envy Move’s Achilles heel. There’s only so much you can do with a Core i5-1355U processor designed for power-efficient laptops and 8GB of RAM – HP’s little beauty isn’t particularly fast. Its scores in our 4K media benchmarks and Cinebench R23 put it behind Acer’s cheaper Aspire C27-1800, and while it’s faster than the Acer in Geekbench 6, it isn’t anyone’s idea of a powerhouse.

For me, however, this wouldn’t be a dealbreaker; the Envy Move is fast enough for my everyday productivity work and browsing tasks, and the kind of lightweight image-editing jobs I might need to do from time to time. At no point during testing had it felt slow. However, the limited RAM is a bit of a concern and it’s difficult to ignore the fact that Dell and Lenovo sell all-in-ones packing in faster CPUs and more RAM for less. HP sells a 16GB version of the Envy Move for an extra £100, and we’d consider it a wise investment. You’ll get a little more performance, along with a degree of future proofing.

You can forget about gaming, too. I couldn’t persuade Doom Eternal to run at all, while the scores in the GFXBench Car Chase test show that there isn’t enough 3D horsepower for modern games. I gave up trying and settled for cloud gaming using Xbox Games Pass Ultimate, and had a great time slaying Necromorphs in Dead Space and zombies in Resident Evil 2. Increasingly, I’ve found this a better way forward on underpowered all-in-ones and laptops than trying to persuade games to run with low detail settings and resolutions on an integrated GPU.

The Envy Move isn’t really designed for life away from the mains, but the built-in battery does deliver some flexibility. Left to run HD video at reduced brightness levels, it kept going for 4hrs, 23mins.

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HP Envy Move review: Verdict

The Envy Move is one super interesting all-in-one. The basic concept won’t be for everyone, but for space-starved home workers or families sharing a single PC, it actually makes a lot of sense. It delivers more screen space and comfort than even your average big-screen laptop, but in a format you can still move from room to room – or pack away. However, it’s expensive by all-in-one standards, and while the limited performance isn’t a major issue, we’d strongly advise spending the extra on the 16GB version.

As it is, we have a great concept that’s well executed, but with a handful of minor flaws. I’d love to see HP continue with this experiment and iron out those issues, perhaps updating with a Core Ultra 5 or Ultra 7 to make use of the integrated ARC GPU. While the Envy Move might not be perfect right now, it’s a genuinely different and very usable PC.

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