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Having started my architecture degree course last September, I decided that it was time for an upgrade, knowing how intense the programs I will be using are (photoshop, AutoCAD, Sketch Up, Illustrator...) and my current laptop (Dell Inspiron 1525) has been showing signs of slowly dying -constant blue screens of death- so it was an opportune time to purchase over the Summer.
My friend who is also embarking on the same course found this computer on sale on the PC World Website and I decided to get it too- priced at £550, which is reasonable for a computer of these specs (listed at the end).
~~~WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR~~~
I was mostly looking for a computer with long battery life (for lectures or using when out and about) as well as good processing power so I don't get lag using the necessary programs.
Another factor why I chose this laptop was the design. The beautiful and stylish metal finish (cold to the touch) makes it a laptop to be seen with and rivals in design to the mac. Yes I said it. I also love that the HP sign lights up!
One of the selling points of this laptop is this fingerprint scanner which allows you to shortcut webpages using your fingerprint. This seems like a superb idea at first, but a few technical aspects of using it makes it somewhat annoying. Setting up was easy, but when you actually use it, it doesn't sense it 1/3 of the time. It is far quicker to actually click the website you want (if it's favourited, which it most likely will be if you bothered setting up a finger print for it anyway) than to actually scan your finger. Also, I don't like how it opens a new browser window opposed to a tab when you successfully scan your finger (I like all my web pages nice and neat in one window).
~~~USING THE COMPUTER~~~
The computer arrived well packaged and contained a short manual (the full one can be found on the computer or online) and setting it up was extremely easy. I was using it within minutes.
The computer comes preinstalled with essentials and you can be on the internet within seconds of having it set up.
Having used Vista for several years, I did find that Windows 7 departed from the usual norm of the Windows operating system and it did seem to feel more like the Apple Mac interface with those large icons on the tool bar. One small thing is that I didn't like how they shifted the show desktop button from next to the start menu button to the right hand side of the screen.
I have been using the laptop for six months now and I haven't had any problems with it. I have managed to run photoshop, illustrator and the internet simultaneously without lag which is a miracle!
I also occasionally play games on it and they have all ran sublimely. The sims 3 with expansions, Oblivion Elder scrolls, Virtua Tennis 3 and roller coaster tycoon are just a few examples.
I have also been quite impressed with the quality of the webcam- the clarity is great and it is so nifty to have it integrated into the laptop!
The beats audio system is also fantastic- I sometimes don't notice that I don't have speakers plugged in! Obviously, it's not as good as if it was plugged in, but it is pretty decent when you are out and about!
One small thing that I also dislike is the fact that the arrow/curser buttons are arranged in an annoying way. I hate that the up and down keys are on top of each other sharing a space- they really could have afforded to space it out like normal... but it is a small thing. The number pad is definitely worth including.
The laptop will last roughly 5 hours on standby but on average I have managed to get about 3 hours using the internet, word and maybe a bit of music. Games will probably drain it to about two hours before having to recharge.
I love this laptop and whilst at the moment it is used mainly for work, it will most likely be able to handle everything else very well. I expect this to last me through to the end of university and maybe beyond given I look after it well.
The specs are great for the price this is at and whether you are looking for a laptop for work or play, this will definitely exceed your needs. Why pay more?
If there's something I've missed out, or something you'd like to know about this laptop from a user point of view, feel free to message me and I'd be happy to answer any questions to my best ability!
Size 35.2 x 378 x 246.8 mm
Weight 2.91 Kg
Processor CoreTM i5-2410M (2.3 Ghz, 3 MB L3 cache)
Operating System Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
RAM 6GB DDR3
Graphics card AMD Radeon HD 6490M
1 GB Dedicated Memory
Screen type 15.6" High-Definition LED HP BrightView Infinity
Display Screen resolution 1366 x 768
Screen size 15.6"
Hard drive 750 GB
Optical disk drive SuperMulti DVD±R/RW with Double Layer Support
Memory card reader Multi-Format
Digital Media Card Reader USB 2 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0
Modem/Ethernet Integrated 10/100/1000
Gigabit Ethernet LAN WiFi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth Yes
2 headphone-out and 1 microphone-in
TV output 1 HDMI;
VGA Sound Beats sound system
Webcam 1.3 Megapixel
Battery 6-cell Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery
7.5 hours battery life
One-touch internet function