HP Envy 34 review: An incredible display undermined by underwhelming components

The Envy's widescreen display makes light work of most creative tasks, and HP's chassis is packed with ports and features - but you'll find loads of faster systems elsewhere

IT Pro Verdict


  • +

    Incredible screen quality

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    Loads of ports

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    Robust, adjustable and good-looking chassis

  • +

    Includes great webcam and solid keyboard and mouse


  • -

    Internals aren't particularly fast

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There are plenty of reasons why you'd want an all-in-one for business, especially if you find yourself gazing at the HP Envy 34 – after all, this rig pairs a fantastic widescreen display with a stunning design. At £1,999 exc VAT, though, the Envy 34 is not cheap, and the pricing leaves HP's desktop in a tricky position.

Positively, it's sitting in a huge gap in the market: Apple has killed the 27in iMac and there are only rumours that it'll reappear later in 2023, and the only other creative option is the Microsoft Surface Studio 2+, but that starts at a monstrous £3,915 exc VAT. Negatively, though, for £1,999 exc VAT you could get better hardware elsewhere if you're willing to buy a traditional desktop PC and a separate monitor – but that has its own risks and rewards, too.

HP Envy 34 review: Display

If one attribute will convince you to buy the Envy then it's the 34in panel with a super-wide 21:9 aspect ratio. Combine that with the hefty 5120 x 2160 resolution and you've got a display with more width and space than any other all-in-one – and most desktop displays, too.

The huge resolution means you've got the crispness required to see creative workloads in fine detail and the space to work in several windows simultaneously. The wide form factor makes it even easier to align windows or use horizontal timelines.

The benchmarks are bold, too. The peak brightness level of 531cd/m2 is retina-searing, and its contrast ratio of 1,207:1 is a solid IPS result. Those figures supply vibrant, bold imagery with reasonable depth and nuance, and they're maintained when the brightness is dropped to a more sensible level.

The Delta E of 1.67 and colour temperature of 6,629K both ensure accuracy, the backlight's uniformity level remained consistent, and the Envy's panel produced 99.8% of the sRGB colour space at 138.9% volume. The Envy also romped through the DCI-P3 space with figures of 96.7% and 98.4%.

Those sRGB and DCI-P3 results ensure you've got the colour quality and breadth for any workload in those spaces – so the majority of photography and video tasks are covered. It's easy to manage the screen, too, because the HP Display Control app allows users to switch between colour modes.

The only issue is the Envy's Adobe RGB coverage and volume levels of 83% and 95.7% – they're mediocre, and they mean that you should look elsewhere if you need a display to work in the Adobe RGB colour space.

If that is a dealbreaker, then you'll have to buy a dedicated display, but to get a high-quality unit you'll have to spend at least £500 exc VAT and even more if you want a widescreen.

HP Envy 34 review: Design

The screen handles most professional tasks, then, and the Envy's exterior will look the part in any office too – it's slim, sleek and sturdy, and made from aluminium. At the front you've got slim bezels, and at the rear you've got a curved back panel and hidden air vents.

Impressively, the HP has 60mm of height adjustment and 25 degrees of tilt, which is more adjustment than you usually get with all-in-one PCs. It does weigh more than 11kg, though, so get help if lifting the Envy to your desk will be a struggle.

There's one more feature you don't often find on all-in-ones – upgrade options. Pop away a magnetic panel at the rear and you'll find two M.2 SSD slots, four SO-DIMM memory sockets and the wireless card, and it's easy to add new components.

HP Envy 34 review: Hardware and performance

Get inside, though, and you'll find weaknesses. The Envy we've reviewed uses an Intel Core i7-11700 processor that's already two generations old – despite its eight cores and 4.9GHz top speed. Updated models use the i7-12700, but that chip's already outdated too.

It's no shock for an all-in-one to be a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to components, and there are no surprises elsewhere. The Envy has 16GB of dual-channel DDR5 memory, a 1TB SSD with decent read and write speeds of 6,809MB/sec and 4,617MB/sec, and Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3060 laptop core with a mid-range 70W peak power limit.

The processor doesn't often operate at full power, either. By default the HP uses a Balanced performance mode where the chip's multi-core speed of 2.8GHz falls behind its potential speed of 4.4GHz, and its 4.6GHz single-core pace doesn't match the 4.9GHz figure quoted by Intel. Switch to the HP's Performance mode and you'll get revised single- and multi-core speeds of 4.7GHz and 2.9GHz that still don't match the CPU's on-paper pace.

That situation means underwhelming benchmarks. In our tests, the HP's Balanced and Performance modes returned scores of 221 and 242. An unfettered i5-12600K in the Dell XPS Desktop 8950 scored 395, and the Core i9-12900H laptop chip inside the MSI Z17 Creator peaked at 340 points. There's noise to contend with, too – in the Performance mode the Envy is easily audible and on par with the average gaming PC, although it's quiet in the Balanced setting.

If Apple launches a new iMac 27, that'll be far faster, too. Even in Performance mode the HP could only manage scores of 1,683 and 8,613 in Geekbench, and those results are outpaced by the Apple M2 chip inside MacBook laptops – and you can bet it'll be even faster in an Apple desktop.

It's not a good bill of health on the graphics side, either. In 3DMark Time Spy the laptop RTX 3060 scored 6,433, but you'll get more speed with a full-power laptop version of this GPU and the desktop version. It's miles better than an integrated Intel or AMD graphics core, but it's still only a mid-range chip.

When it comes to creative workloads, it's not a ruinous situation. There's still enough power here for most content creation tasks. Multi-tasking, database work and browser-based apps run without complaint. The graphics core supplies a solid boost to any app that uses GPU acceleration. Bear in mind, though, that you'll easily find more power elsewhere. That remains true if you buy the updated Envy 34 with 12th Gen Core i7 or Core i9 processors – they won't suddenly run at full speed.

Buy a conventional desktop with Core i7 or Core i9 processors and you'll easily get more speed, but a PC with a new Core i7 processor will cost at least £1,499 exc VAT. Add a pro-level display and a better graphics card and the build budget will probably go beyond the HP's £1,999 exc VAT price.

HP Envy 34 review: Ports and features

The Envy won't win any prizes for speed, but it has enough power to tackle most creative workloads. It's an admirably versatile rig in lots of other ways, too. On the circular stand, you'll find two full-size USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a Type-C connector and a card reader. On the screen are four more full-size USB ports, two Thunderbolt 4 connections and HDMI and Ethernet sockets. It's more connectivity than you'll find on virtually any all-in-one.

The stand on the HP Envy 34

The Bang & Olufsen speakers produce excellent sound – only audio professionals will need anything better. Internally, connectivity comes from dual-band Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2

There are pleasing extra touches, too. The Envy's base includes a 15W wireless charger, and the included wireless keyboard and mouse offer good chiclet quality. The webcam is exceptional: a pin-sharp 16mp unit that magnetically attaches to any of the Envy's edges. It's got Windows Hello support and a privacy shutter, too.

HP Envy 34 review: Verdict

The components are the Envy's biggest weakness. The Core i7-12700 and RTX 3060 have the pace to handle mainstream content creation work and office multi-tasking, but a proper desktop PC, many laptops and Apple's 2023 hardware will all be faster. In other areas, the Envy is more impressive. The display is fantastic, the speakers are punchy, and it's all inside a chassis with good looks and loads of features. You even get a brilliant webcam and a solid keyboard and mouse.

Combine a faster PC and a better display and you'll certainly improve performance and screen quality, but you'll almost always have to spend more than the HP's £1,999 exc VAT price tag. So while the Envy is not cheap, it still offers decent value. And when Apple's all-in-ones are MIA and there are no decent alternatives, that makes the HP a good option if you need a big screen all-in-one for creative work.

HP Envy 34 Specifications

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Processor2.5GHz Intel Core i7-11700
GraphicsNvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB
Storage1TB SSD
Display34in 5,120 x 2,160 IPS
Operating systemWindows 11 Home 64-bit
ConnectivityGigabit Ethernet, Dual-band 802.11ax WiFi, Bluetooth 5.2
Ports2 x Thunderbolt 4, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x audio, 1 x SD
Dimensions817 x 223 x 368mm (WxDxH)
Warranty1yr RTB
Mike Jennings


Mike Jennings has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has been fascinated by computers since childhood, when he spent far too long building terrible websites. He loves desktop PCs, components, laptops and anything to do with the latest hardware.

Mike worked as a staff writer at PC Pro magazine in London for seven years, and during that time wrote for a variety of other tech titles, including Custom PC, Micro Mart and Computer Shopper. Since 2013, he’s been a freelance tech writer, and writes regularly for titles like Wired, TechRadar, Stuff, TechSpot, IT Pro, TrustedReviews and TechAdvisor. He still loves tech and covers everything from the latest business hardware and software to high-end gaming gear, and you’ll find him on plenty of sites writing reviews, features and guides on a vast range of topics.

You can email Mike at mike@mike-jennings.net, or find him on Twitter at @mikejjennings