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HP Envy 34-c0005na review: One awesome all-in-one PC

Stuart Andrews
10 Jun 2022
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
2,430
inc VAT

With a superb screen and powerful spec, the HP Envy 34 is a massive, mighty all-in-one

Pros 
Huge and impressive 4K ultrawide screen
Good specification with gaming-class GPU
Thoughtful design features
Cons 
Very expensive
Not as fast as the best desktop and workstation PCs
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Big, bold and beautiful, HP’s Envy 34 all-in-one is possibly the smartest, most stylish Windows all-in-one I’ve ever used. Where Apple has aced the all-in-one category with iMac after iMac, PC manufacturers have often fallen short, either failing to deliver an eye-catching design or the powerhouse specification to match it.

The Envy 34 is different; it pretty much has it all. It looks great, it’s packed with must-have features and it can tackle anything from video editing to professional design to gaming. And just look at that screen – it’s massive. Have all the windows you want open or edit video in style, there’s almost nothing this all-in-one can’t do.

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HP Envy 34-c0005na review: What you need to know

This is a premium all-in-one PC with a 34in, WUHD screen, giving you the standard 4K resolution plus a further 640 x 2160 pixels on each side for a 21:9 aspect ratio.

It’s equipped with an Intel Core i7-11700 CPU, with 8 cores running 16 threads, along with 16GB of DDR4 3200 RAM and an NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU, albeit the mobile version. For storage, you get a 1TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD, while HP bundles in a wireless mouse and keyboard plus a 16MP webcam with a magnetic mount.

HP Envy 34-c0005na review: Price and competition

This is the mid-range model of the Envy 34 line. The lower-end version packs in a Core i5, a 512GB SSD and a GTX 1650 GPU for just under £2,000, while the premium version doubles the RAM and storage, and shifts to a Core i9 and an RTX 3080 for nearly £3,500.

There aren’t many other PC all-in-ones at this price. Even Lenovo’s high-end Yoga AIO 7 tops out with a 27in display, a Ryzen 7 5800H CPU and AMD Radeon RX 6600M graphics for around £1,700. Nope, the main competition here is Apple. The premium iMac with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage will cost you just under £2,100, but the 4.5K retina screen is only available in the one 24in size. Through screen size and premium pricing, the Envy 34 is in a class of its own.

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HP Envy 34-c0005na review: Design and key features

As with most all-in-ones, the design is all about the screen, with the slimmest of grey, metallic frames around the top and sides and a narrow strip with the speakers in below. You’ll notice that the screen doesn’t quite extend to the edges – there’s actually about 9mm of border above and to each side – but given the sheer size of the thing it’s barely noticeable. Just like HP’s Envy laptops, it’s a restrained and classy piece of work.

What’s more, it’s practical. The screen incorporates all the other components, with hot air expelled from the top by the system fans. During normal tasks these are near silent and, even under load while gaming, they remain relatively quiet. The display is mounted to a pole stand at the rear of the stand, allowing for a good 6cm of height adjustment from 11cm from the desktop to 17cm above it. The base of the stand doubles as a QI wireless charger; a really simple but convenient touch.

At the rear you’ll find two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 connectors along with four 10Gbit/sec USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, a gigabit Ethernet port and an HDMI output. We’re not done yet, either, as the stand houses another USB-C port with Power Delivery for charging, plus two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and an SD-card reader. Throw in Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, and you’re not going to struggle for connections.

There’s even a panel at the rear that allows you to add a further M.2 SSD and upgrade the RAM, although you’d have to jettison one of the two DIMMs already fitted. Still, many all-in-ones – including the iMac – don’t allow any user upgrades whatsoever.

HP Envy 34-c0005na review: Peripherals

The Envy 34 comes with a low-profile mouse and keyboard that match the dark metallic finish of the main unit. The mouse is smooth, comfortable and precise in use; maybe a little on the light side, but easy to work with. The keyboard, meanwhile, is a chiclet effort with a numeric pad, a well-thought out, spacious layout and a nice, crisp typing action. There are better third-party keyboards out there from Microsoft, Logitech and Razer, but at no point while using the Envy did I feel this one let the side down.

The other big hit is the bundled 16MP webcam. It connects via USB and has a magnetic mount that attaches to the stand or any side of the screen you fancy, making it easy to put it in a position that leaves you looking at your best. It might also come in handy in video meetings and conference chats for picking up and pointing at an object or paper document. It’s a clever, flexible addition, and the quality is superb, with even exposure in most lighting conditions and noticeably better definition and detail than the webcam norm.

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HP Envy 34-c0005na review: Display and speakers

If there’s a star of this show, though, it’s the screen. The combination of size (34in), resolution and aspect ratio is fantastic, particularly if you’re working across multiple applications, keeping email and messaging windows open or dealing with a complex UI and multiple views in high-end creative tools such as Adobe Photoshop or Premiere.

There’s a lot to love about this display. It’s bright, reaching 517cd/m2 when measured with our colorimeter, and low black levels of 0.44cd/m2 help it deliver a contrast of 1,188.5:1. Colours are bold, rich and vibrant but also accurate: I measured an average Delta E of 0.69.

It covers 99.7% of the sRGB gamut and 96.3% of DCI-P3 and, while there’s no HDR support, that’s something I can live with given how badly most PC screens that claim to support HDR actually perform. From watching movies to playing games to editing photos, it looks great. The only thing that might put off professionals is the lack of 10-bit support for colour grading.

I’ve spent years cheerfully scoffing at promises of powerful, immersive sound from all-in-ones, but the Bang & Olufsen branded audio of the Envy 34 is the real deal. There’s a wide soundstage for movie soundtracks and enough bass to make them – or music – sound substantial. I actually had to turn the volume down to avoid complaints from around the house during particularly noisy action scenes. Luckily, even at low volumes, the sound remains clear, punchy and enjoyable.

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HP Envy 34-c0005na review: Performance

Performance is the one area where the Envy 34 isn’t right at the top of its game. Don’t get me wrong, with a Core i7 and 16GB of RAM, you’re not going to find it slow. However, against some recent desktops or laptops with 12th-generation Intel Core i7s and Core i9s, not to mention AMD’s Ryzen 6000-series processors, this 11th-generation beast can’t quite compete at the top level.

The score of 213 in our media and multi-tasking benchmarks is more than solid but it’s still slightly slower than the 24in iMac’s 217, or the 295 scored by the Huawei MateStation X. Some recent laptops, like the Alienware X14 and the Asus ROG Strix Scar 15, leave it in the dust.

The Geekbench 5 scores paint a similar picture: 1,192 in the single-core and 4,246 in the multi-core segments of the test is nothing to be ashamed of but, when the MateStation X comes in at 1,481 and 7,999, it’s also nothing to shout about. The iMac, in case you’re wondering, came through with 1,734 and 7,657. All the same, the Envy isn’t going to feel significantly slower outside the most CPU-intensive tasks, so I wouldn’t describe this as a deal breaker. It’s still a fast PC.

What’s more, it’s equipped for gaming, even if its RTX 3060 GPU is a mobile part rather than desktop class. At the native resolution you’re going to be limited to 30fps at medium to high detail levels in many games. In fact, the Envy 34 averaged 29.81fps in our demanding Hitman 2 benchmark. In Metro Exodus, we saw this drop to 21.55fps with detail settings set to high.

Yet lower the resolution to 1080p and you can get frame rates of around 50fps to 60fps at high detail settings in modern games, and I even saw 52fps in Metro Exodus with high-detail settings and ray tracing turned on, albeit with some extra help from DLSS.

It’s a shame that you can’t run most games at high settings at the native resolution but 1080p scales up well and you can set wider resolutions, while DLSS and AMD’s GPU-agnostic FSR technology should come in handy to boost that up to an AI-enhanced 4K. Given you can count all-in-ones that can handle current games on the fingers of one hand, this is a definite plus for the Envy. And as its GFXBench results show, it’s certainly better than the iMac.

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HP Envy 34-c0005na review: Verdict

The Envy 34 is going to be too big for some desks and too pricey for most wallets but it’s a fantastic all-in-one, with a superb 4K screen, a powerful specification and impressive connectivity and built-in audio.

It can’t deliver the same level of performance as some desktop PCs or workstations – or even Apple’s M1 iMac in 2D tasks – but it’s still capable of handling the full range of business and creative tasks while having more gaming potential than any rival all in one. If you have the budget for it, this is the best Windows all-in-one PC you can currently buy.

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