It might be tough to pick a perfect budget laptop because there are so many available. And you might always get that nagging thought that “what if this and that model is not enough”. Well, you just need to settle for some computer and be happy with that. We’re here to tell you if HP 15-af020nr, a 15.6″ laptop powered by AMD A6 processor, would be a decent budget laptop that would also satisfy your needs…
You can accurately compare the performance of HP 15-af020nr to laptops with Core i3s (4th Generation) as their processor. The CPU in this HP is AMD A6-6310, a quad-core model featuring 1.8GHz base speed and 2.4GHz turbo. It receives ~2400 CPU Mark grade, around the same than those older i3s. A casual user will surely find such AMD enough for his needs, it will even play videos off various streaming services. For professionals and those who call themselves power users, I’d advice to pick a bit faster processor.
The notebook includes 4GB memory. There seems to be only one SODIMM socket on the motherboard, at least that what’s specifications suggest. If this is true, you would be able to upgrade the RAM to 8GB. It’s not as much as 16GB that you often see as the max memory, but believe me that four gigabytes is good for about 90% users and 8GB for perhaps 99%. The difference can be mostly seen in general performance, like running programs, but system-easy ones such as web browser work the same, be it 4GB or 8GB.
The notebook features a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive for storage. It’s not large or fast, but what can you expect for so low price? If you have the skills, removing it and adding a solid-state drive in does wonders for the performance.
Screen and graphics
It’s a 15.6″ touch display in HP 15-af020nr. A no-frills screen, the resolution won’t go past 1366×768. Also the display works only in laptop mode, it will not rotate more than the usual ca. 180 degrees.
It might be in your best interest to choose some other notebook if gaming is your hobby number one. This HP sports an integrated Radeon R4 for graphics, much slower than a dedicated unit would be. It’s in the same category than Intel HD 4000 (or even bit slower). Playing games heavy on graphics, like Grand Theft Auto 5 or The Witcher 3 would be a bad idea, FPS would be 15 or below on the lowest possible settings. However, types like Minecraft and League of Legends would work if only on conservative settings.
HP 15-af020nr can take up to three simultaneous USB devices. It includes two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port. And as usually, HDMI output is provided so you can use the notebook with external monitor – like your HDTV.
SuperMulti DVD burner is installed on the right, you don’t need to worry about portable DVD drives with this notebook. Media card reader is likewise there, you can pop in memory cards and transfer data from many devices, such as photos from cameras.
The usual networking interfaces are present: 1×1 802.11 n-type WiFi card and 100Mbps RJ-45 connector. As far as I know, Bluetooth wouldn’t be supported, but with USB adapter you can fix that.
The computer has a front-facing webcam, use that for Skype with your friends if you want.
Miscellaneous yet important things
HP 15-af020nr weighs 4.83 pounds, not a lot since 15.6″ laptops are always in the 5lbs range. The battery is a 4-cell 41Whr one, with the current components I predict it lasts no more than four hours.
Operating system is Windows 8.1 (64-bit), but free upgrade to Windows 10 is available for some time.
There’s no backlight for the keys, but a dedicated numpad is available.
Summing it up
HP 15-af020nr is one of the laptops that has a label “average” printed all over. By that, I mean it’s fast enough to run daily programs – such as Chrome browser, YouTube videos, Minecraft – and there’s also some (although not huge) storage for files large and small. However, the performance is hardly enough for very demanding use, let alone gaming, but that always happens with budget models. If it’s a basic laptop you’d be happy with, then you probably don’t need anything faster (and pricier) than this HP.