* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this laptop for my sister a year and 9 days ago and to begin with it was excellent, especially for the price! However on the day of its warranty running out (nine days ago) the screen has gone very temperamental, flashing black when it feels like it and the fan has started to make a loud grinding noise.
Other than these two faults, the laptop has been of a good standard for the past year. The battery life is very reasonable and lasts around 2 hours, the screen quality is excellent and sound on the laptop is better then ones I have purchased in the past. The keyboard is very easy to use after a few weeks of owning it, but to begin with is a bit difficult as there is a calculator button where the control button is usually situated and a few other buttons are further right than on normal keyboards.
I would recommend this laptop to someone who is looking for a short-term computer, but for the long-term I would not suggest buying this HP.
I am going to branch out from my comfort zone of books and DVDs, and review my laptop - without this I wouldn't be able to watch all my Grey's Anatomy! I'm going to try my best with this review, but if you feel there is something missing, please don't hesitate to let me know!
Now I must admit, I don't know too much about laptops. As long as they do their job and play the Sims, I'm pretty happy. My old laptop didn't really do either; it used to go as slow as it liked and do anything other than let me do my work or watch films etc. - turns out most little netbooks have far more power and memory then it did. But then I got a job at Currys, and decided my first pay check would go towards a shiny new laptop - as this is dissertation year, I really needed one I could rely on. So after mentioning needing a new laptop, I was pounced upon by my colleagues, steered away from the colourful Dells until I ended up with my HP.
Ok so first things first - what does it look like? I must admit, I am swayed by nice looking laptops, hence the initial liking of the Dell that came in lots of colours. My HP is a beautiful dark blue colour, with a little block pattern all over the outside and inside; it's hard to describe but they look like lots of interlocking triangles and make the laptop look unusual, but in a good way. The full-size keyboard is black, and around the screen is shiny black, but the rest is the blue stuff. It also comes in a deep red, black or a pearly white - I think my next choice would have been red, and I'd never get white, because although it looks good, me and white coloured things really should not mix. The laptop has a 15.6" screen, making it quite a long laptop. The widescreen is great for things like movie-watching, and some of the features of windows 7; the ability to have two documents or programmes open side by side is much improved by the widescreen as it allows more space to see more of each document. One thing I was a bit apprehensive about was the mouse pad - it is of the same design as the rest of the computer, and it isn't sunken in, so there is no distinction between where casing ends and the mouse pad begins. However, it really didn't take me long to learn this distinction and now I don't notice that there isn't any difference between the casing and the mouse. You need to be aware of a little light in the corner of the mouse pad - tap it twice and it locks the pad; tap it twice again and it unlocks it. This is quite a handy feature, but when you are not aware of it it can cause a little panic when the mouse suddenly stops working for no apparent reason. The laptop doesn't seem too heavy, although I haven't really taken it out since getting it, but I'd say the weight is just right - enough weight to feel like there's something inside the laptop, but not too much to make it deskbound and more like a desktop.
So, now the features of the laptop. There are quite a few programmes already preloaded, I probably still haven't discovered them all and I've had it for a few months! Some of these programmes I find quite useful, such as Skype, and a DVD playing programme (not media player) that can also allow you to make and edit videos, and I think it even links to the built-in webcam so you can use that also in the videos. However, there are also a lot of other things that it probably could do without - such as a lot of games. There are the usual you come to expect with a Windows laptop, such as solitaire, minesweeper, spider solitaire etc. However, there are a lot of trial online games that you need to pay for once you have had a quick go. I know these don't take up a lot of space, but I feel the laptop could have done without them and it wouldn't be found lacking anything. Microsoft Works is also preloaded onto the laptop - this can be used if you do not wish to purchase Office (and I wouldn't blame you if you didn't as it is rather expensive). The only thing you will need to end up buying is some of sort of internet security, as although there is a free trial of McAfee loaded, it won't last long. Also, I have learnt that free internet security, such as McAfee, isn't considered a full protection, and won't cover you if something like your bank account is hacked. How true this is I don't know, but I got myself Norton, just in case. There are 3 USB ports, as well as a card reader, which I got a little overexcited about as I can pop my camera card in there without having to link it up via USB (always useful, especially as I'm permanently losing my camera cable!).
And finally, probably the most important bit - how well the laptop works. I'm not good with the technical descriptions, but hopefully you'll get a good idea. One thing that I noticed straight away is the speed that this HP runs. I'm quite used to a laptop that takes about 15 minutes to turn on, and then yells at you if you want to make it do anything in a rush. This one took less than a minute to turn on, and doesn't seem to have any problems, even when I have multiple programmes running; I do tend to have DVD's on, at least one word document and quite a few web pages when doing research for an essay and the laptop doesn't bat an eyelid. I've also put some Sims games on here, which are notorious for taking up room, but they again don't seem to have much of an impact, and don't slow up even when I install more (though I may not install anymore just so I don't overload this laptop!). Sounds an odd thing to say, but I love typing on my keyboard. The buttons are nice and big, well-spaced out; this all took me a while to get used to, but now I feel at a loss when using other computers. The specifications indicate that the battery lasts 3 hours. I haven't tried this out much, but it really does depend on what you are doing on the computer when it's not plugged in, so perhaps be aware that it may not always last the full three hours.
I have had a couple of problems with this laptop though; not major problems but perhaps something to be wary of. First, the first time I turned the laptop off I left a DVD in the drive. When I turned it back on the drive wouldn't even open, after a restart it opened but wouldn't play or even register discs. A bit of a panic and several restarts later it was back to normal - but I have never left a disc in there since, even when I know it's only going to hibernate. Also, the sound quality is quite good on this laptop - until you reach a certain volume, then there's a bit of a screech to some of the sound. Not a major problem, but annoying when watching films with people.
The following are the specifications for the laptop:
Processor Intel® Pentium® Processor T4500
- 2.30 GHz
- 800 MHz FSB
- 1 MB L2 Cache
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
RAM - 3GB DDR2 RAM
Graphics card Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M
- Up to 1695MB shared graphics memory
Screen type LCD Widescreen
Screen resolution - WXGA
- 1366 x 768
Screen size 15.6"
Screen features - LED backlight
Hard drive - 320GB SATA hard drive
Optical disk drive - SATA optical drive
Battery - 6-cell lithium-ion battery
- Up to 3 hours battery life
Size 374 (W) x 246 (D) x 32.8-37.8 mm (H)
Weight 2.55 kg
I can't quite remember how much this laptop cost me; I know I spent £440, but that's including a discount, and Norton & Office. However, I'm quite pleased with the cost as this really is a super little laptop. It's serving its purpose excellently, and I don't intend to replace it for at least a few years. Yes it does have a few niggling problems, but they aren't major and are easy to live with. It's nice to have a laptop that does what I want, at a decent speed without having a breakdown when I'm in the middle of an essay. A definite recommendation.
*I have just realised my laptop is less powerful than the one shown here, but it is the same model, so hopefully you get a good idea about it*