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HP Envy Rove 20 review

Kat Orphanides
6 Jan 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
799
inc VAT

This would be a great family PC, but it’s too expensive

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Specifications

1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U, 4GB RAM, 20in 1,600x900 display, Windows 8.1

Portable all-in-one PCs that resemble a large tablet computer are becoming much more common. The HP Envy Rove 20 is one of the latest examples of such PCs, and it’s equipped with a dual-core Intel 1.7GHz Core i3-4010U processor and a 20in touchscreen display. As is typical with this type of all-in-one PC, the processor is a mobile chip such as you’d find in a laptop. It’s also one of Intel’s latest 4th-generation Core processors, so you’re getting the latest processor technology with the Envy Rove 20.

HP Envy Rove 20

The mobile components that the Envy Rove 20 uses helps reduce the Envy Rove 20’s size, conserve its battery life and prevent it from overheating. Although many portable all-in-one PCs are light, the Rove 20 is a little bulkier than most and its 5.4kg weight feels significant when you move it around. A sturdy stand on the back lets you prop the Envy Rove 20 upright. You can also fold the Envy Rove 20 flat so you can lie it down on a desk or table. Unlike some rivals, such as the Dell XPS 2720 it’s not intended to be particularly easy to open up, although you can get at the memory slots by removing the back panel.

BOARD GAMER
Although the Envy Rove 20 isn’t particularly svelte, it is certainly portable enough to move from room to room, so you’ll have no trouble streaming your favourite drama series when in the bedroom or displaying recipes when in the kitchen. You can even gather friends and family around the Envy Rove 20 and keep them entertained with onscreen board games. The Envy Rove 20 even has a manual rotation button to make multi-person gaming easier to manage. The manual rotation button lets you flip the screen’s orientation when it’s the next player’s turn so that you don’t have to turn the entire PC.

The Envy Rove 20’s built-in battery means you can unplug it and move it from one part of your home to another without having to shut it down first. In our standard light use battery test, the Envy Rove 20 lasted three hours and 40 minutes. That isn’t particularly long, so you’ll keep it plugged in if you want to use it for a long time. However, you’ll have no problem unplugging the Envy Rove 20 so that you can take it downstairs to show something to your family or browse the web while sat on the couch for an hour or two.

HP Envy Rove 20

The Envy Rove 20 is reliant on the Intel HD Graphics 4400 graphics processor that’s built into its Intel Core i3-4010U CPU. The Envy Rove 20’s 3D gaming performance leaves quite a lot to be desired, as is demonstrated by the 18.4fps average frame rate it produced in our Dirt Showdown benchmark test which we ran at a resolution of 1,280x720 with graphics quality set to High. However, the Envy Rove 20 is more than up to the task of running retro and casual games, such as Plants vs. Zombies.

FAMILY FRIENDLY
The Envy Rove 20 isn't exactly overburdened with raw processing power, and only has 4GB of memory installed. The PC produced an overall score of 32 in our multimedia benchmark tests, and struggled with our demanding multitasking test in particular. However, the Envy Rove 20 is designed to be a simple, general-purpose home PC, and on that score it would certainly meet the requirements of the average family. If you primarily use your PC to write letters, browse the web, watch movies and play casual games, there’s no point investing in a super powerful, super expensive gaming PC.

The Envy Rove 20 has a 1TB hybrid hard disk that provides quicker boot-up speeds than you’d expect from a regular mechanical disk as well as a large storage capacity. Indeed, the Envy Rove 20’s disk is large enough to store a fairly large media collection as well as your documents, which is great if you have a lot of family movies and photos you want to store locally for quick access.

HP Envy Rove 20

An SDXC card slot is inconveniently located on the bottom front edge of the PC, which makes it difficult to access the slot when the Envy Rove 20’s propped up like a monitor. A 3.5mm headset port on the Envy Rove 20’s right-hand side. A dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi adaptor is built-in, and the PC also has a Gigabit Ethernet dongle that lets you turn one of the USB ports into a fast, wired network connection. There's no optical disc drive but there are three USB3 ports, so you shouldn’t have any trouble connecting an external DVD or Blu-ray drive. Happily, the mouse and keyboard that come with the Envy Rove 20 are wireless and communicate with a receiver built into the Envy Rove 20, which means they don’t tie up any of the USB ports.

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