HP didn't try to make the info look as sleek as the Surface Studio or iMac, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It still gives off the air of being for professionals, with its thin screen borders, elegant acoustic fabric and angular case. It's a nice looking machine, though some of the design choices are a bit baffling (does there really need to be a wood grain finish?). Still, there are some thoughtful touches I appreciated, like the ability to wirelessly charge your phone from the base. The keyboard also has a helpful notch for a phone and tablet, and it can quickly connect to those devices too for easy multitasking.
While I was impressed by the Envy 32 All-in-One's overall build quality, it's strange how HP cheaped out with its accessories. The keyboard looks very expensive, but the keys are mushy, typing on it is unpleasant and there's no real feedback. The mouse, meanwhile, just feels like bargain bin plastic. It's not ergonomic at all, and pressing the buttons is oddly awkward. I worried I was going to break the battery covers for both devices because they were so flimsy. Rather than throw in half baked accessories, I'd love to see companies like HP just include better options from third parties like Logitech. Stick with what you're good at, right?
One thing you might not notice at first is a webcam. That's because HP hid it away in a drop down compartment above the monitor. That's great for privacy, but it also helps to streamline the look of the Envy. There's an infrared camera for fast face authentication with Windows Hello as well.
As you'd expect for something so large, the Envy 32 has a ton of connectivity options. Around the back, you've got two USB-C connections (one of which supports Thunderbolt 3), three USB Type A ports, HDMI input and output, and a gigabit Ethernet connection. On the right side, there's another USB Type A near the power button, and on the left there's an SD card slot and a headphone jack. You'll also need to leave plenty of room for the enormous 300-watt power adapter, which is practically as big as a mini-PC in its own right.
Under the hood, the Envy 32 is powered by Intel's latest 9th Gen desktop processors, going all the way up to the powerful 8-core i7 S-series chip. You can also stuff in up to 32GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD, in addition to a secondary storage drive. And like I mentioned before, there's NVIDIA graphics, starting with the GTX 1060 and going up to the RTX 2060. You can spec this thing up into a truly beefy machine, one that'll be good for both a bit of gaming and some heavy-duty content creation.
Our review unit, which included the Core i7-9700 CPU, 32GB of RAM and NVIDIA's RTX 2060, flew through Windows like a dream. It didn't have any trouble with my usual workflow, juggling dozens of browser tabs, Spotify, Netflix, Slack and photo editing apps. With Handbrake, it managed to transcode a two-minute 4K clip into 1080p in just 58 seconds with the CPU, and 42 seconds with the NVIDIA encoder. And, obviously, there was enough power to play Overwatch and plenty of other modern titles in 1080p above 60FPS. You won't have much chance of actually rendering games in 4K for the Envy 32's sharp screen, but they'll still look decent upscaled from 1080p or 1440p.
So who needs the Envy 32 All-in-One? I could see it being useful for a media professional who needs an office or home machine without much clutter. Obviously, a desktop setup gives you more flexibility, but not everyone wants to crowd their workspace with cables and giant PC towers. The Envy 32 can also work as a secondary monitor, so you can plug in a gaming console if you'd like.