Memory: 8GB ram
Processor: i3 (2.5 GHZ)
Colour: White or Black
That’s the boring stuff out the way. Now here’s my early thoughts on this laptop. Please note: I did not buy this laptop, I won it in a competition. It’s available brand-new for £379.99 GBP as of 02 April 2016. I have only been using the laptop for two days.
My first impressions of the laptop were very nice. It’s clearly a pretty powerful machine. After unboxing I quickly put the battery in its place and charged the machine via the AC adaptor supplied with. It’s no-nonsense in almost every respect. That’s all that comes with the laptop and you’re ready to turn it on and get going.
It comes as standard with Windows 10 which works pretty much straight out-of-the-box. Just a quick bit of set-up and you’re ready to go. The laptop isn’t loaded with too much ‘fluff’, just a bit of standard HP software. Otherwise the machine is fairly clean and ready to start using.
Cons: So let’s talk firstly about what I don’t like about this machine and that is the touchpad. It’s frankly terrible. I don’t know if it’s just my fingers but I find it gets stuck when I try and scroll with it. Compared with my old Dell machine touchpad it’s far less intuitive. The one good point I suppose is you can zoom in and out by ‘squeezing’ your two fingers in or out, a bit like a touch screen on a tablet, but this is not what you instantly would think it would do and therefore you can get caught out and accidentally zoom massively in or out. Not good.
Also it’s EXTREMELY HARD to right-click using the touch pad, and that’s really the only way to right-click if you don’t use a mouse. I found you can just about right-click but you have to go very far in the bottom right to do it. Takes some getting used to for sure. I really cannot get used to the touchpad at all. Maybe it will grow on me but right now I hate it.
There’s also no functionality keys on the system as far as I can see to change the screen brightness. Something which I was just so accustomed to with Dell machines. It’s extremely handy when you’re working on something a bit glary and you wish to turn the brightness down, and then vice versa.
Also I noticed how loud the fan is. If you’re in a completely silent room you will also notice it. I mean I guess it’s a good sign it’s working, it’s just a tiny flaw I suppose about the machine itself.
Pros: So those are the flaws out of the way. Let’s try and coat this review with something positive about this machine. It seems very powerful. It comes with an i3 processor which isn’t the best around but it’s pretty good for a mid-range laptop like this. The display is pretty sharp. It’s trying to be a bit Apple and it does look a bit Apple but it’s still definitely HP.
As for the keyboard: it’s pretty good. I tested my typing speed and it came out 103 words per minute. On my Dell I can type at 150 words per minute. This is because I’m very comfortable on that keyboard, but also because the keys are close together not ‘island style’ keyboard like on this machine, so it’s not going to be a speed demon, but it’s still pretty good. The keys feel well-made and good quality and there’s a fair amount of spring.
Sound: Okay so the best thing about this machine is the sound. It comes with a built-in Bang & Olufsen sound card which produces excellent sound. Even with mid to bottom range headphones you can hear aspects of music not previously heard. I imagine with a really good pair of headphones the sound would be incredible. It’s very crisp and clear. It is the aspect of the laptop I am most impressed with.
Coolness: Another aspect you wouldn’t automatically notice but this machine remains very cool. There’s a bit of heat under the hard-drive but not as much as older machines.
A good no-nonsense machine. I’d say this is a very good family laptop or even mid-range work laptop computer. It would be pretty good on a commute as it’s quite small and light and looks quite neat. This laptop however is not a speed merchant. It’s a bit more of a strong plodder. It would suit work which takes some time and thought. It seems like it can handle the usual software and a bit. The build quality is also good.
Overall verdict: I’ve not really put it properly through its paces in a scientific way like some user reviews could, so have more of a look around on the web before buying. It can definitely handle a bit of word processing, heavy internet usage, and playing of music and videos. The touchpad really lets this machine down though, IMO. Maybe it’s just me. You might want to check it out in a shop and see how it feels before you buy it. That would be my suggestion. Overall a good machine. For its price and compared to other laptops in the range I’d give it a 7.5/10.