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Top Xmas Gift - HP’s ENVY 17: Leap Motion

09 Dec 13

Take a high-powered desktop replacement laptop. Load it with a meaty CPU. Insert NVIDIA graphics as an upgrade. How about the gorgeous 1920 by 1080-pixel, 17.3-inch touchscreen?

Then embed Leap Motion controls into the keyboard. Stop and think about that for a second. This is the first laptop with Leap Motion technology onboard - you don't need to actually touch anything to control apps.

Suddenly, you’ve got a laptop that lets you do everything you need and interact with it the way you want.

Pretty sweet, right? If you aren’t going to read beyond this paragraph, that is the new ENVY17 Leap Motion Special Edition.

Want a closer look at this thing? Thought so….

OK, so let’s address that whole Leap Motion thing, first. Assuming you haven’t been following the development of Leap Motion, here’s the lightning-quick breakdown: It’s a tiny device that can recognize motion from two hands / 10 fingers and lets you perform natural tasks within a PC environment.

For a slight taste of what I’m talking about, I caught HP’s Kevin Wentzel sneaking in a couple games between product demos.

You might not have spotted it from the video, but the Leap Motion sensor is cleverly embedded in a little speed bump in the wrist rest area to the right of the track pad. If I didn’t know it was a sensor there, I actually would think it just looked funky. In a good way.

What’s exciting here (besides the immediate news, of course) is that we’re now seeing people get multiple ways to interact with their PC. Keyboards and mice are still, well, key. You're finding touchscreens appearing everywhere – like this laptop.

Voice control continues improving. And now, with Leap Motion control, you don't even need to touch anything to control apps....I just can’t wait to see more software that takes full advantage of it. (Speaking of which, check out the Airspace site so you can download a whole bunch of art, science and videogame apps made to take advantage of Leap Motion control.)

The default loadout for this machine is a 4th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM and a 1TB HDD (from what I understand, the default drive is 5400rpm – that should be the first thing you upgrade AT LEAST to a 7200rpm speed drive. Also, there’s ample room for two drives inside.)

Another big upgrade for a big rig like this is the right graphics card. After all, you don’t want that screen and CPU go to waste! If you want to do some quality gaming or maybe some video / photo editing, opt for the NVIDIA graphics upgrade.

Now I only had some very limited time with this particular laptop – which I intend to update you with more details at a later date. So I can’t really talk to you about performance on this. Yet. BUT I WILL….as soon as I get hands-on time with a test unit.

That should be sooner rather than later since the ENVY17 Leap Motion Special Edition is now available in New Zealand from $2,899.00 RRP.

Additional information about the new HP portfolio is available at The Next Bench or online at