I am on my computer every day. I don’t work just Monday through Friday. I also blog on the weekends. In addition to blogging I also surf the web and keep in touch with family and friends, both near and far, via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. I know that Skype and using a webcam are also ways of keeping in touch. I never opened a Skype account and I don’t have a webcam on my laptop.
For the past seven years (give or take) I have used my “ancient laptop”. I also had a desktop but that computer was even older than my laptop and I stopped using it year ago (although it was still set up). Unlike laptops available today, mine is big, bulky and too heavy to tote around. The battery also dies right away so it has to stay in a docking station all the time.
Needless to say I’ve needed a new computer for a long, long time. So you can only imagine how thrilled and excited I was when I learned that I was getting a new computer. Not just any computer. I was going to receive the NEW HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AIO computer to review. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you think it’s hard for children to wait for Christmas, it was just as hard for me to wait for the computer to arrive. When it did I had my husband set it up for me immediately.
Wow. Simply Wow. I am totally blown away! Each and everyday I find something new with the computer. Talk about “bells and whistles” – this computer has them all. There is so much to tell you about with this computer that I don’t know where to begin.
First and foremost the monitor is HUGE! It’s a massive 23″ in size. My laptop screen is totally dwarfed by the huge ENVY screen. There are plenty of great reasons for having a larger screen (I’ll touch up on them as I go along).
The HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AIO computer is all-in-one. Gone are the days of bulky towers. This computer has everything you need in one compact unit. It’s hard to believe that an entire computer system is contained in the monitor.
The screen’s resolution is beautiful. Photos and movies are bright and colorful, just as they should be. Of course the photo clarity depends on the photo it’s self. Photos I upload are great but professionally taken photographs, like the kind you find on the Internet – WOW!
Unlike other monitors the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AIO computer is TOUCH SCREEN! It comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse, so you are perfectly able to use it like you would an ordinary computer. But why would you when you and simply reach out in front of you and make the computer do what you want it too. With the HP ENVY 23 you can swipe through screen and tap on things to open them like you would a tablet. Think of this as a giant tablet!
I’m still getting used to the computer and I keep forgetting that I can touch the screen to do what I want on the computer. Even my husband keeps telling me to use my fingers to control he computer. I use the keyboard and mouse because of “force of habit”.
The HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AIO comes with Windows 8. That is another feature that will take me a bit to get used to. My phone uses the Apple market and apps. With Windows 8 you use Microsoft apps. Many of them are the same so you should be able to find the ones you use often easily enough.
The ENVY 23 comes with plenty of cool apps preloaded. You can easily download more apps from the online shop. Many of them are free, others have a nominal fee, just like apps you use on your smartphone or tablet.
If you love keeping in touch with family and friends there is no better way then with the HP ENVY TouchSmart AIO computer. It comes preloaded with Skype and built in webcam (that alone has some many fun features!). There is also a People app that updates constantly when friends and family (or people you follow) on Twitter and Facebook update their statuses or tweet.
I love that with the People app you can view EVERYONE all in one place too. That way you don’t have to bounce back and forth between Twitter and Facebook, or have multiple screens open on your computer.
I’m embarrassed to admit this but I don’t know much about Skype. I know “of” Skype, and that it’s a way to talk to people, but that is as far as my knowledge goes.
Skype allows you to talk to others (video chatting) who are also on Skype. There is a free version and a paid version. The paid version allows you to call landlines and mobile phones around the world.
I have cousins in the United Kingdom that I haven’t seen in years. It’s one thing to send off an e-mail or Facebook message, but it’s a million times better to actually SEE your loved one while you are talking to them. Talking about “bridging the miles”! I would love to be able to chat face-to-facet (albeit not in person) with my relatives around the world and across the country. With this being the holiday season it means a lot to me to be able to connect with those who I hold near and dear to my heart. That is why I am super excited about the HP ENVY SmartTouch AIO computer. With it’s built in webam I am now able to sign up for a Skype account and connect with everyone for the holidays – and year round!
I signed up for an account. Now I just have to figure out how to use it and find out how to connect with family and friends.
The built in YouCam webcam in the HP ENVY TouchSmart AIO is more than just a regular webam. It allows you to do a lot of different things including cool effects like background images that pop up behind you. For example you can have confetti sprinkle around your head or words like WOW!, Yeah! and BAM!
In addition to the background “goodies” you can also decorate yourself with comical hats, flames that go around your head (if you are “fuming mad” or “hot” for someone) and other goodies. You can even download more from the YouCam website. If you rather draw your own images there draw feature too. I love the animated screen features too.
The YouCam webcam lets you not only take video, but also still shots and even “cards” you can e-mail to family and friends.
With YouCam you can liven up any conversation with the addition of some of the fun features.
I forgot to mention that you have the ability to view the YouCam full screen and it captures as much or as little as the background as you want. That way you con’t have to let anyone see that your home is a wee bit messy if you don’t want to, or expand the view so your entire family and sign Christmas Carols to loved ones (I’m trying to talk my kids into doing that but they won’t – you have to love teenagers).
NetFlix is one of the apps that come preloaded on the computer. We have a NetFlix account so it was easy for me to long in and start enjoying movies right away. I actually found a Yule Log “move” so I can have a realistic fireplace (with our without music) playing on my computer for ambiance. I’ve already started to watch some episodes of one of my favorite shows (The Walking Dead) on the HP ENVY TouchSmart AIO. The clarity is amazing!
The monitor is more like a TV screen than a computer monitor. We have a beautiful flat screen TV and the quality of the HP EVNY screen rivals the TV screen. It’s that good!
The HP ENVY TouchSmart AIO also comes preloaded with the I Heart Radio app (free service). It allows you to listen to radio stations across the country. Currently I am listening to holiday music via I Heart Radio. The HP ENVY comes with built in Beats speakers. HP partnered with Beats by Dr. Dre which deliver sound quality unmatched by other audio available on the market. The sound is so clear that it feels like it’s right in the room with you. The sound quality is the best I have ever heard.
Did I mention that the ENVY 23 also has a built in DVD player that also plays BLU-RAY discs! Most of the movies we own nowadays are on Blu-ray. Sometimes I like to watch movies on my computer, but up until now that was not possible because my computer didn’t have a Blu-ray player. The ENVY 23 plays Blu-rays and DVDs. Simply slip it into the slot on the side of your monitor and prepare to sit back and enjoy. How many other computers can claim to play both DVD and Blu-ray discs? Not many, if at all.
Another feature (one of dozens that I love about this computer) is the Fresh Paint app (pre-loaded). It’s an online paint/drawing board. You can do your own drawings with your finger or mouth, or download coloring pages (some are free, some you can pay for). You can even change the texture of the paper. It looks so real! I love that you can mix your own colors together and create a new color as easily as you could if you were using real paint.
There is so much that I have yet to touch upon with this incredible piece of technology. From the games to the instant news updates and from the HUGE maps to the up-to-the minute weather app. This computer has it all – literally!
For all the techies out there you can read more about the HP ENVY TouchSmart AIO on the HP website. Here is a brief summery of the computer features.
- Blazing performance, edge-to-edge glass, multi-touch all-in-one PC with Intel quad-core performance, Beats audio, two-year warranty
- Operating system – Windows 8 64
- Processor – 3rd Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3330S quad-core processor [2.7GHz, 6MB Shared Cache]
- Memory – 6GB DDR3 SODIMM Memory [2 DIMMs]
- Hard drive – 1TB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
- Graphics card – Integrated graphics – Intel(R) HD
- Optical drive – Slim slot load SuperMulti DVD burner
- Display – 23″ diagonal HD touch-enabled widescreen LED
Like I said, this computer has it all. It’s also great for everyone in the family. I can do my blogging, my kids can do homework assignments or research, my hubby can watch movies or check the weather and we can all enjoy some fun games.
Here is a brief video I made. PLEASE NOTE: I feel REALLY awkward making videos. I feel like I come across as a great big “dork”. I also couln’t get the lighting right because the computer is located on the other side of the living room where there is no natural light. I had the ceiling light on but it didn’t help much.
I also have to shoot the video myself. I’ll make another video and have my husband video tape it while I talk. It was very hard to hold my cellphone to video tape and maneuver around the computer at the same time.
I’m pretty sure my video won’t be up for any awards. Ha Ha.
The only “downside” is that I haven’t been able to set up my e-mail yet. I use Outlook and it doesn’t appear to be on the HP ENVY. My husband is going to try and download it and set it up so that my e-mail goes to the new computer. For the time being I still have to use my laptop for e-mails. I cannot wait until I am fully integrated on to my new computer.
Guess what? This amazing piece of technology can be YOURS! I’ll be giving away the same HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AIO computer to a lucky winner (approx. value $1,100!). Look for my giveaway post soon. You won’t want to miss out on that! Make sure to follow me on Twitter (@She_Scribes) and/or “like” me on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/SheScribes) so that you don’t miss out on the giveaway. Even better you can subscribe to She Scribes via e-mail or RSS so that you don’t miss out. Both options are found on the right side bar. Not to mention if you “like” She Scribes on Facebook, follow on Twitter and subscribe you’ll have extra entries in the giveaway.
I’m loving my new computer! I can’t wait to tell you more about it when I’ve had a little more time to play around with it.
I’ll leave you with a few more screen shots. I’ll have to work on my lighting issues and get better photos for my next post.
* I wrote this review while participating in a program on behalf of HP and received an ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO and other products as a thank you for my participation. In addition is was also provided with a Netlix account to use during this program, however I am already a Netlix subscriber.