Help Me, LAPTOP! Find the HP Envy 17 That's Right For You

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A reader recently asked if the model we used in our HP Envy 17 (2012) review was a 3070NR or a 3090NR. While that question can be answered simply (the model we used was a 3070NR), we felt that it underscored a potential point of confusion for our readers -- what is the difference between all of the different HP Envy 17 models? We decided to take a closer look and find out what differentiates a 3070NR from a 3090NR, as well as other configurations. 

The HP Envy 17 3070NR and HP Envy 17  3090NR are similar in most respects -- same Core i7 processor, same RAM, same all-aluminum chassis with black and silver finish. Similarly, both models boast a 17.3-inch HD LED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution -- except that the 3090NR supports 3D. This is the biggest difference between the two models, and a big reason for the $350 price difference between the 3070NR ($1,449 on HP.com) and the 3090NR ($1,799). The 3090NR also boasts a larger hard drive than the 3070NR (830GB on the 3090NR versus 750GB on the 3070NR), as well as an 80GB mSATA SSD cache for faster boot speeds.

However, you'll get a better graphics card on the 3070NR than you will on the 3090NR -- The 3070NR features Radeon HD 7690M XT graphics with 1GB of VRAM (up to 5093MB total graphics memory), while the 3090NR has Radeon HD 6850M Graphics with 1GB of VRAM (up to 3813MB total graphics memory).

For those of you who want a 3D display but don't want to spend $1,799 to get it, HP offers a notebook that walks the line between the 3070NR and the 3090NR: The HP Envy 17 2090NR. Like the 3090NR, this notebook features a 3D display and Radeon HD 6850M graphics with 1GB of VRAM. Instead of a hard drive/SSD combo, however, the 2090NR comes equipped with a 1.5TB 5,400-rpm dual hard drive. The HP Envy 17 2090NR costs $1,599 on HP.com.

Here are the complete specs for each of the configurations:

HP Envy 17 3070NR: 2.2-GHz Intel 2nd Generation Core i7-2670QM processor, 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2 DIMM), 17.3-inch diagonal Radiance Full HD Infinity LED-backlit display (1920x1080), Radeon HD 7690M XT Graphics with 1024MB GDDR5 and up to 5093MB total graphics memory, Beats Audio with 6 speakers and a subwoofer, HP Wireless Audio, Slot-Loading Blu-ray Player & SuperMulti DVD Burner, 750GB 7200RPM hard drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

HP Envy 17 2090NR: 2.0-GHz Intel 2nd Generation Core i7-2630QM processor, 8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 DIMM), 17.3" diagonal Full High-Definition(8) HP 3D Ultra BrightView Infinity LED Display (1920x1080), Radeon HD 6850M Graphics with 1024MB GDDR5 and up to 4083MB total graphics memory, Beats Audio and HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer, Slot-Loading Blu-ray Player & SuperMulti DVD Burner, 1.5TB Dual Hard Drive (2x750GB (5400RPM)) with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

HP Envy 17 3090NR: 2.2-GHz Intel 2nd Generation Core i7-2670QM processor, 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2 DIMM), 17.3-inch diagonal Radiance Full HD 3D Infinity LED-backlit display (1920x1080), Radeon HD 6850M Graphics with 1024MB GDDR5 and up to 3813MB total graphics memory, Beats Audio with 6 speakers and a subwoofer, HP Wireless Audio, Slot-Loading Blu-ray Player & SuperMulti DVD Burner, 830GB dual drive (80GB mSATA SSD + 750GB 7200RPM HDD), Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

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2 comments
  • Concerned-citizen Says:

    Something's wrong with this review. Both Envy 3070nr and 3090nr have 7690m graphics card and 6850m is better than 7690m.

  • VDubb Says:

    Actually, I just purchased the Envy 17 3090NR recently and it comes with the Radeon HD 7690M XT.

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