Being interested in the HP 15-ac121nr laptop is not a stupid thing to do. First, it has received excellent reviews from people. Second, the price isn’t bad at all since you’re getting a new Core i5 processor and even a Full HD screen. Not every budget laptop will reach that. But let’s not forget there are also some drawbacks you should know about…
How does the engine room look?
HP 15-ac121nr houses a processor called Intel Core i5-6200U – a mid-range laptop unit with two cores and clock frequency between 2.3GHz and 2.8GHz (with turbo boost). Since it’s 6th generation, which in the beginning of 2016 means the newest, some snappy performance can be expected. This fact can be verified from CPU Mark, which gives the processor around 3900 points – a clear if not so remarkable difference from the i5-5200U’s 3500 points.
The laptop contains 8GB memory (one stick), the common amount in 2016 for power user oriented notebooks. You should be able to put in another memory stick, which means the most memory here would be 16GB.
Such a low-cost notebook can’t have all great components, indeed the storage drive here is a basic (if big) 1TB 5400RPM model. If you crave better transfer speeds, you can install a solid-state drive – however keep in mind the current drive must be removed first.
Is it good for gaming?
It wouldn’t be the first thing in my mind to recommend HP 15-ac121nr for gaming. Reason is the integrated Intel HD 520 graphics engine which can not answer to the demand of serious gamers. If you want to keep high settings and resolution, frame rates are going to suffer a lot. On the the other hand, if you don’t mind less eye candy (or are playing less demanding games) you should be OK. Some FPS examples you can expect:
– GTA 5, normal and 1366×768, ~25FPS
– League of Legends, high and 1080p, +40FPS
– Counter-Strike: GO, high and 1366×768, ~60FPS
What devices can I hook up?
HP 15-ac121nr offers a basic selection of ports, including one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 for peripherals and devices you’re likely to use – such as printers and extra drives. HDMI-out is offered for the video output, its practical use is to connect a second monitor to this laptop if you want to.
There is also RJ-45 port on the side if you want Internet access via cable. Going wireless isn’t a problem either, a basic (yet working) 802.11bgn WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter is included.
The notebook isn’t an ultrabook, it has space for an internal DVD burner – whether you need the installed optical drive or not is another question. There is a media card reader too, it accepts those small memory cards in digital cameras etc.
Other benefits for you
The display of HP 15-ac121nr is wonderful, considering how affordable this machine is. It’s a 15.6 inches Full HD screen, and for this price you often get only 1366×768 resolution. It does not seem to support touch on this particular model.
The ad copy speaks about over 7 hours battery life, however I would expect ~5 hours (still a decent amount) before you need to plug the laptop in and recharge.
Webcam is included, so video chats on Skype are possible.
Not really a benefit, but backlit keyboard is not available.
Windows 10 Home (64-bit) is the operating system for this computer.
Summing it up
HP 15-ac121nr is a laptop of great value. It is (or almost is) a budget notebook, however you’re getting a powerful Core i5 processor under the hood and Full HD screen for the display. These things are often found in laptops a notch pricier. If there was something bad about the unit, it would be the questionable gaming performance, but I’m not complaining. The hard drive you might want to switch to SSD for much better performance. In short, this HP is a recommended all-around laptop choice!