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HP Envy 34 review: An ultrawide curved all-in-one after my heart

With its beautiful design, gorgeous display, powerful speakers, and the latest Intel processor, HP has a winner with their 34-inch Curved All-in-One.

Windows Central Recommended Award

We recently reviewed the HP Envy 27 All-in-One and praised its value for non-graphics artists drooling over the Surface Studio (opens in new tab), but you may also want to consider HP's new 34-inch version. Starting at $1,729.99, this desktop PC has easily become my favorite device at my home office.

Should you buy the HP Envy Curved All-in-One? Read on for the review.

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HP Envy 34

HP Envy 34 Specifications

CategorySpecs
OSWindows 10 Home or Pro
Processor7th-Gen Intel Core i5 7400T Quad Core
or i7 7700T Quad Core
Display34-in. diagonal WQHD IPS anti-glare WLED-backlit (3440 x 1440)
MemoryUp to 16 GB DDR4
StorageHDD 1TB 5400RPM SSHD 2.5 w/ 8GB NAND
256GB SSD M.2 NVMe + HDD 1TB 7200RPM 2.5
256GB SSD M.2 NVMe + HDD 2TB 5400RPM 2.5
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M (4GB)
or AMD Radeon RX460 (4GB)
Ports1 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
4 x USB 3.0 port
HDMI Out & HDMI In
Headphone/microphone combo
Ethernet port
3-in-1 memory card reader

HP Envy 34 Hardware

HP Envy 34's two-volume design borrows heavily from the Envy 27. Since most of the PC components are in the base, that made it possible for HP to make a slim display with minimal bezel. In fact, the top and sides only have 10.5mm bezel, while the bottom measures 14mm.

The HP Envy 34 has a curved IPS display with WQHD (3440 x 1440) resolution. It's not as sharp as higher-end UHD (3840 x 2160) displays, but many people won't notice the difference. I'm very happy with the color, brightness, and viewing angles. The curved ultrawide display also changed my mind about using multiple monitors. I think I now prefer using one curved display instead. Let me know if you prefer this setup, too.

The stand only allows you to tilt the monitor up or down, so you'll have to physically move the base if you need to swivel the display left or right, which is slightly inconvenient. I'm also disappointed that you can't adjust the height of the screen.

HP Envy 34

On a positive note, I love that the display isn't very reflective. That's in contrast with the HP Envy 27, which probably had the most reflective display I've reviewed. One thing to note is that the HP Envy 34 isn't touch-enabled, so look elsewhere if you want a touchscreen.

There's a webcam available for video calls and Windows Hello authentication. It pops up from the top of the monitor, which you can hide by pushing down when not in use. Logging in to the computer with Windows Hello is fast and much more convenient than typing a password or PIN. If you wear glasses like me, just make sure to improve recognition by adding your face with and without wearing the glasses.

HP Envy 34

There are no buttons or ports on the display since they're all located on the base of the PC. The right side has the 3-in-1 media card reader, headphone/microphone combo, and USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port. The back includes four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI In and Out ports, Ethernet jack, power port, and Kensington lock. The HDMI In port is awesome because it means you can also use the HP Envy 34 as a standalone monitor for other devices. Laptops with HDMI 2.0 ports can take advantage of the Envy 34's native resolution of 3440 x 1440 at 60Hz.

HP Envy 34

The included wireless keyboard and mouse are okay. The keyboard has an excellent build quality and with sufficient key travel. I wrote this whole review using this keyboard and did not have any major issues with it. While there's no backlighting available, there are light indicators for the Num Lock and Caps Lock keys. I don't like the smaller size of the Up and Down arrow keys and wish HP made more space to include full sizes for these buttons. There's a micro-USB port to charge the keyboard when it runs out of battery.

HP Envy 34

I'm not a fan of the wireless mouse. The plastic material feels cheap, and I found it uncomfortable to hold. If you don't like it either, there are plenty of other options like the Logitech MX Master (opens in new tab).

HP Envy 34

The HP Envy 34 has four front-facing speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen, and they sound amazing! They are also angled up at 45-degrees, so they're firing off sound in the general direction of your ears instead of across the desk at your keyboard. They're loud, clear, and very capable of bass-heavy music. You can use the keyboard to adjust the volume, but HP also includes a touch-enabled dial on top of the base. You can swipe clockwise to increase the volume or swipe the other way to lower the volume. You can also pause by tapping the dial or skip songs by swiping right.

I'm happy with the default sound settings, but HP lets you customize the audio with their built-in HP Audio Switch app. There are presets for Music, Movie, and Voice, and you can also manually adjust the bass, treble, and dialog clarity. If you want to go even deeper, you can also tinker with the equalizer.

Also located on top of the base is Qi wireless charger for your phone. It'll take a few seconds to figure out the sweet spot for the connection, but many users will be happy with this addition. That's one less accessory to have on your desk.

HP Envy 34

HP Envy 34 Software

Windows 10 Home is included, but you have an option to update to Windows 10 Pro. There are several pre-installed software like McAfee LiveSafe, Office 2016, Dropbox, Drawboard, and more. LiveSafe was the first thing I removed since I'd rather use the built-in Windows Defender. There are also several apps from HP, including HP Support Assistant, which makes it easy to find and install BIOS and firmware updates directly from HP. There's also HP Orbit, which pairs your PC & mobile devices to make it easier to move pretty much anything between your Android or iOS devices.

The HP Envy 34 performs well with everyday tasks. Switching between multiple apps isn't a problem, and they open quickly thanks to the Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM. My review unit came with the AMD Radeon RX460, but you can also choose to get the more powerful NVIDIA GTX 950M. Using Adobe Creative apps like Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro were surprisingly smooth, and I was surprised to see no lag while editing 4K videos on Adobe Premiere.

HP Envy 34

On the other hand, the fans are incredibly loud under heavy load. For example, I'm able to hear them spin from the next room when I'm exporting a video.

While I adore the ultrawide resolution, it's worth noting that not all video apps and services support it natively. Even wider-than-16:9 content from the likes of Netflix displays with black bars on top and bottom, in addition to the sides. Many widely framed YouTube videos have the same issue (though that's more on the video's creator for putting the black bars there in the first place). But if you get proper extra-wide content (like movies rented from the Windows Store), it'll fill the entire screen.

HP Envy 34

Don't have high expectations for gaming on the HP Envy 34. Playing Gears of War 4 (opens in new tab), I got about 37 frames per second (FPS) at 1080P in Medium quality and 47 FPS at 1080P in Low quality. I wish there were an option for a more powerful graphics card to take advantage of all those pixels, but keep in mind that this device wasn't meant for gamers.

HP Envy 34

HP Envy 34 Benchmarks

Compared to the $3,499 Surface Studio, the HP Envy 34 gets a higher score on the GeekBench 4 benchmark. That's to be expected, given the newer processors in HP's all-in-one.

DeviceSingle CoreMulti-Core
HP Envy 344,39614,272
Surface Studio with GTX 965m4,20013,323

With the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, the HP Envy 34 with the AMD Radeon RX460 card got a score of 4,302. For comparison, the Surface Studio with a GTX 980m card got a score of 7,985.

DeviceGPU3DMark Fire Strike
Razer Blade ProNVIDIA GTX 108012,976
Razer BladeNVIDIA GTX 10609,100
Surface StudioNVIDIA GTX 980m7,961
HP Envy 34AMD RX4604,302

The main 256GB SSD is speedy, measuring at 1.6 GB/s Read and 1.3 GB/s Write times, but I can't say the same about the secondary 1TB Hard Drive. It gets only 136.6 MB/s Read, and 128.8 MB/s Write times. For video editing, I'd store my video files in a faster external SSD (opens in new tab). But for most, the hard drive is good enough for storing documents, photos, and other files.

HP Envy 34 Bottom Line

HP Envy 34

I've enjoyed using the HP Envy 34, and I think many people will also like this All-in-One PC. It isn't meant for serious gaming, but the HP Envy 34 is powerful enough for creators, while also a very capable entertainment device. The beautiful curved ultrawide display will also change your mind about using multiple monitors on your desk. And don't forget that you can also use it as a standalone monitor for your laptops.

The HP Envy 34 starts at $1,729.99. It's not affordable, but it's going to be hard to find another PC that delivers a premium design, immersive speakers, gorgeous curved ultrawide display, and the latest Intel processor in one package.

Pros:

  • Elegant design
  • Can be used as external display
  • Excellent speakers
  • Includes Windows Hello & wireless charging

Cons:

  • No UHD option for display
  • No option for higher-end video cards
  • Included mouse feels cheap
  • Small Up and Down arrow keys

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

42 Comments
  • The QI charger sounds amazing, as does everything else.
  • I've actually added a qi charger to my acer aspire just above the HD
  • Great idea, I'm sure hard disks love the induced electromagnetic field right above them. :)
  • the hd is covered with stainless steel so it wont have any effect on it
  • I'd absolutely love to buy one for my mother-in-law to replace her current (aging) comptuer. I just can't afford $1730.
  • You pay half, and her daughters the other half.
  • your mother must be a high-end photograph or at least she edits videos like a pro otherwise 1730 for a random, basic user is not worth it
  • HP E(nvy + lite) - AMAZING!!!
  • The Qi charging is very cool! I wish it would have the latest graphics card so hopefully next year's model does.
  • I have the Surface Studio with the 2TB 32GB 4GB GPU but would rather have this if it was not for the lack of 4K screen and the option to spec this higher.
    The Surface studio after couple of days it losses its appeal.
  • That's one heck of a mispurchase! 8-(
  • I just ordered the new 27 inch version with the 4k display all maxed out to replace an iMac. First Windows desktop in over a decade!
  • Is it a touch display? Or is that too much to ask from this sexy curved display?
  • Re-read article...
  • Answered my own question by actually reading before posting.  It's NOT touch enabled... which sucks
  • That's a lot to ask of from a 34-inch curved ultrawide.
  • I don't like all-in-ones, but this thing looks pretty sweet. 
  • What's the dimensions of the base and monitor?
  • Base is 23.5 x 8 x 1 inch
  • An external graphics card via the thunderbolt 3.0 port should make this machine the perfect desktop. Does it support it? 
  • And try to plug the output from the external GPU back in through the HDMI in
  • That's not how they work. Everything is transferred over TB3, which is how the Razer Blade Stealth can use the Razer Core.
  • But does the Razer Core utilize the laptop's monitor or can it only be used with an external monitor?
  • Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of getting an All-In-One?
  • What a PC... phenomenal
  • The keyboard, can it be bought separately? If so, what's the model? Thanks!
  • Just checked their website. Doesn't look like they sell it separately. Exact model is AH0G
  • "There are also several apps from HP, including HP Support Assistant, which makes it easy to find and install BIOS and firmware updates directly from HP." Couldn't these be handled by Windows Update? 
  • It sometimes find things that Windows Update doesn't.
  • Windows doesn't find them all. Just recently I had to download a network driver for my card. And it's usually not the most up to date drivers. I just installed Windows 10 as well and it was able to get everything but upon installing the Motherboard software, it had newer drivers for basically everything. 
  • For example, I checked Windows Update this morning and found nothing. HP Support Assistant showed updates for the AMD GPU, UEFI, and Intel Display
  • Every HP I've ever seen had Small Up and Down keys
  • Not sure how I feel about the screen. A lot of web pages don't scale correctly on videos. I assumed all YouTube wide-screen videos would use all my screen real estate. But instead I get birders both horizontally and vertically. Of course there are extensions to help with that. Hopefully it'll change as more people own them. 
  • At 1730, this isnt worth anything for anyone at all, except perhaps proffessional editors.
  • I love the wireless charger inclusion. HP has been doing some good things lately.
  • Does this thing have any built-in window management software? Beyond what's included in Windows 10, of course. I believe I've seen that some ultrawide monitors include stuff that allows for designated "zones," for lack of a better term, within the screen which almost act as separate monitors, given the size. Seems as though it would be a handy feature over and above Snap. 
  • Not seeing that here, although I'm happy with the built-in Windows snapping feature, or just moving app windows around the huge screen.
  • Windows 10 is amazing on my Dell UltraSharp U3415W.
  • How does the HDMI IN work.is there a button letting you switch between being an external display or internal... or even better split screen like some other wide monitors. How is the fan noise during normal "office work".
  • There's a button on the back to switch as external display. There's also a shortcut on desktop (Right click > HP Display > switch to HDMI input). During normal office work, I can still hear the fans, but not as loud when i'm exporting video
  • The only issue I have with one ultra-wide monitor vs. 2 separate monitors is the inability to snap 3-4 windows into place side-by-side. ...or is it possible, and I'm just unaware?
  • HP posted a new BIOS version on thier website and mentioned it can help reduce the fan noise. Aslo mentioned power cord needs to unplug after BIOS update. Does that really help?