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Better hardware may be available for the same price, but I highly doubt you'll get better quality. This laptop is built more like a tank than a laptop. Let me explain, this laptop had a lot of water spilled on its keyboard, the laptop survived, despite 2 keys not working. I have experience performing laptop repairs, so a keyboard replacement seemed simple, whilst replacing the keyboard it came to my attention that this laptop was built to a much higher standard than the HPs I'm used to working on.
The laptop itself does not go for a stylish look like most laptops these days, instead the laptop is covered in a matt black finish barring the screen bezel which is piano black. The keyboard has an island key style (where the keys don't touch each other) and feels solid to type on, it even has a number pad, a feature some laptop in this size range do not, overall a good keyboard.
The battery life on this laptop is very good, it's aided by its dual graphics cards, one weak (Intel gma) for battery saving, and an Nvidia card for high performance needs. By default there are two power settings "Balanced" and "High performance" though the screen brightness can be lowered lower than the presets for even better battery performance.
The hardware in this laptop is not weak, but at the same time not the quickest either. The dedicated Nvidia gpu means that gaming can be done, but the graphics settings may need to be turned down; personally I've been playing Kerbal Space Program on it and its worked fine so far. The screen is average, with a resolution of 1366x768 and a refresh rate of 60hz its nothing special. Though with a rather nippy dual core equipped with hyper threading this laptop is great for word processing or browsing, it may be able to handle more intensive tasks such as Photoshop or video editing, but it's not ideal.
So far into this laptops usage it has yet to develop any heat problems, in fact it runs surprisingly cool. The noise of the fan is barely audible. The quality of the microphone and webcam is what's to be expected from inbuilt laptop gear, subpar in other words, if you plan on using skype or other voip program regularly I defiantly recommend getting a dedicated piece of kit. Some nice features of this laptop include headphone and microphone ports at the side instead of at the front, a finger print reader (I've not used this yet so I can't comment), 4 usb ports and a hdmi port (there is also a vga port)
So what parts are bad about this laptop? The only major problem I have is the mouse; there is no problem with it the touch pad, but the scroll feature is terrible to say the least. In conclusion this isn't the most powerful laptop available, but you can't go wrong with it if you don't need to perform and process intensive tasks, it's bound to be better than the HP/Compaq competitors.