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HP ENVY17 with Leap Motion: Hands-On

hp-envy17-leap-motion-01HP is the first computer maker to integrate the Leap Motion sensing technology in a laptop. Previously, it was available as an external USB device. The integrated version of Leap Motion is much sleeker and offers a more reliable and consistent interaction, due to the fixed position of the sensor in relation to the screen. At first, it may seem weird that the sensor is off-centered on the right, but after seeing a live two-handed demo, I was reassured that it would work fine.

The leap sensor is in the black band on the lower right

The leap sensor is in the black band on the lower right

Now, I can’t say that there are “tons” of apps for Leap Motion, but the fact that HP takes the leadership (and risk) in integrating this tech is commendable. In some ways, you can look at the new ENVY 17 as an inspirational device for 3D motion sensing. If you are not familiar with Leap Motion, it can sense hand gestures with a fairly good accuracy which includes all 10 fingers and phalanges (to recognize closed fist, open fist, etc…). In some ways, it’s like a “Kinect for the hands” if I had to boil this down.

There are a number of free apps on the Leap Motion AirSpace app store and you can browse the site to see what’s available.

Outside the Leap Motion addition, this ENVY 17 is pretty much the same aluminum design that was launched in the spring of this year. This means that it does not use a 4th Gen Intel processor, but a 3rd Gen one (Core i5). HP has confirmed to us that it does run on a 4th Gen Intel Core processor (Haswell), sorry for the previous assumption that turned out to be wrong. It can also receive up to 16GB of RAM, which is nice if you are using memory-hungry apps like Photoshop or various video-editing software. The Display is a 1080p 17” one and it looks pretty decent, but this is not an IPS display like you can find on many of the new HP computers.

This ENVY 17 should be available on October 16th, at a price of around $1000. HP will confirm that soon.

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