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Because there is something wrong with the screen on my wife's Lenovo s10e netbook,she is been using my old s10e, but that's been on its last legs for a while . The time had come having a full sized keyboard and screen, for something new.
I have been looking around for value laptops recently for my father in law, therefore i already had an idea on what would fit the bill, so I purchased an Asus X401A (in Pink) from Argos, which looked a bargain at GBP259.99.
I came across what looked like a much better offer, before it may be delivered to the neighborhood shop. The notebook on offer was a Core i3 processor, could take 8GB of RAM and Windows 8 Pro (the Asus was simply a Pentium B970, Windows 7 Home Premium and max 4GB).
I experienced a Samsung 830 128GB SSD that had found its way to the s10e, and so I planned on dropping that straight into the 650 and installing a new build of Windows 8 Pro. That strategy didn't work.
I'd had no problem whatsoever placing a clean SSD but the HP 650 threw a couple of spanners into the works. Once I put the SSD into the 650 it threw up a warning screen about SMART errors (it was fine in the last PC), worse it wouldn't boot up off my Windows 8 install USB.
I checked the UEFI stuff was in the appropriate place - all appeared well.
Safe boot was disabled by me - it did not help.
I tried to replicate the HDD with using Partition Manager it came - it wouldn't do GPT partitons. I duplicated it with another partition tool and got boot errors.
In the end I continued went through retrieval and using the first HDD, made a retrieval USB and then swapped in the SSD. It's this type of shame that SSD is sold at this kind of premium for machines that are first.
As I already mentioned, performance is quite adequate - especially to get a machine at this price point.
Though the battery appears modest in comparison to the total unit size endurance is good too, at about 5.5 hours.
The not so good
Maybe the exceptional screen and keyboard on my X230 've spoiled me, but these aspects both appear feeble(er) on the HP. The 15.6" screen seems like it should have a higher resolution (than 1366*768) given its size, and colours appear washed out. The HP computer keyboard is a great size, but somehow doesn't look very exact and exact.
Windows 8 - at least it is the Pro version, therefore the option is there for Hyper-V (though I am favoring VirtualBox). I have set Start8 on to get a proper desktop computer encounter, which is really worth the $4.99 (though it still stuns me that Microsoft have chosen to inflict Metro on their customers - this 'feature' could be free).
At 2.5kg it's not throw in the bag light (though HP do throw in a pleasant enough laptop bag).
This can be plenty of notebook for the money. The performance is excellent, although there are certainly aspects that reflect the budget price, but it appears built to last. Perhaps not quite as much of an amazing bargain was, but it is a great deal from hp.
I think this a great notebook for people who are looking for all the capabilities of a high end desktop computer but with the mobility and portable ness of a laptop or netbook like this. With a 6GB ram it's fast enough for surfing the web, gaming online with friends and having several programmes open at the same time without compromising speed. It also has a durable charcoal coloured case that will protect it from any minor drops or bumps. I recommend this as a family laptop as it's good for gaming, homework, working from home and surfing the internet, it's also not extremely expensive so could definitely replace a desktop computer in the house while being portable and handy for everyone using it. The large harddrive also allows for an endless (nearly) amount of family pictures, pc games and work documents, highly recommended for family and personal work/school use.
When buying a laptop, especially if looking around in a store, one thing that certainly attracts first, to me anyway, is its appearance. So bearing that in mind let's start off with the design of the HP 650. This Notebook is built from almost feels like a plastic or very light related material, although the palm rest and the back do have a matt finish which does give it a nice feel. Add to that the two tone coloring of grey and black, you get a nice sophisticated looking laptop, and it certainly caught my eye when I saw it.
One thing I should mention here is that it isn't as light or as thin as an ultrabook, which you could consider to be a disadvantage. Let's move on to the keyboard and trackpad. This laptop has a nice chocolate styled keyboard and the keys are really easy to press and operate, so that's a thing that you might either like with this laptop, or on the other hand, it may be a problem for you. Personally I have no problem with it because I don't get tired when typing on it for a long time and it helps me with my typing speed when compared to other models I have used.. The trackpad is great, considering I was using a small, none multitouch Dell Latitude D630 trackpad. The HP 650's hardware in particular is large enough to navigate effectively and it has a sweet pattern of dots that helps with using it, plus it has a little dimple that turns it off with a double click when you don't need it. It supports multitouch well, so you can pinch to zoom and scroll using two fingers.
The input features is an important thing about computers and laptops in general and the HP 650 notebook has on the right side a DVD player and 2 USB 2.0 ports . On the left side, there is an SD card slot, 3.5 mm head phone jack, a microphone jack, a USB 2.0 port, an HDMI out, an ethernet port and a TV Out port. In terms of connectivity, the 650 has Wifi, but on the downside it isnt bluetooth enabled so you cannot connect your bluetooth peripherals, such as mobile phones or digital camera.
Next up is the display and sound and this laptop has a 15 inch 1366 by 768 resolution LED backlit display, with anti glare and the great thing is that it has a matt finish which helps with outdoors visibility. Its major flaw though is viewing angles, in that they are quite poor, so you should adjust the hinges for the best viewing angle with this device. But the best thing about this laptop in my opinion is the speakers. They are stereo, front facing, and they sound AMAZING, they get pretty loud and when they do, they dont have any distortion.
Another important thing about computers in general, and one which may be considered of utmost importance is performance, this notebook has a Dual Core Intel Core I3 processor clocked at 2.2 ghz along side with 4GB of ram and Intel HD 3000 graphics. Though it doesn't sound high end, it handles most things without breaking a sweat. You can also do some light HD video editing on it and if you want to do gaming on it, it can run light 2010 gaming titles fairly well. The 650 also has a 500gb hard drive, and so therefore it should be fine to store your files and programs but while it isn't as fast as an SSD, almost everything on this laptop up gradable in terms of hardware. If you buy a laptop, you buy it for it portability and the battery life is a big part of that. This notebook has a 4300 mAH battery it runs up to 6 hours of moderate use on a single charge, which isn't bad. So who this laptop is for? If you don't have a laptop and you need one for school, or you want a main working machine but you travel a lot, and you don't want to spend a vast amount of money, this laptop is for you considering the very affordable price of around £200. Let's put it in the perspective, you can now buy a Macbook air for £600, or you can buy 3 HP 650 laptops. Its affordable and practical.