A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away HP 15-an050nr was made. The imperial laptop featured components only second to Death Star, namely the brand new 6th Generation processor and 6GB system memory. There was also a regular 15.6″ screen for watching X-Wing fighters fly by. But what happened to this piece of electronics, could Luke and his posse salvage it before Darth Vader conquered the galaxy…
What are the strong points?
Let’s forget the Star Wars theme and looks for a while, and see what’s actually inside the HP 15-an050nr… Well, there’s the Intel Core i5-6200U processor to begin with, it’s a brand new model, belonging to the 6th Generation. The dual core chip sports a 2.3GHz clock frequency with 2.8GHz turbo, tad better than the previous version i5-5200U with 2.2/2.7GHz setup. This is evident in benchmarks, the i5-5200U getting 3800 points while i5-5200U receives 3500 points in CPU Mark. Not a huge gap and hardly noticeable in real life. Nonetheless, a rather good grade, not many applications I can think of would pose a problem for this system.
6GB memory is also something you can enjoy, it’s high enough to keep things running lag-free. The distribution is of course 2GB and 4GB sticks – for some reason the notice “Memory slot not user accessible” is present in specifications, but I’m pretty sure you can take those sticks out and put more if you want. The maximum RAM should be 16GB here, the standard amount indeed.
And does the laptop suck at something?
I’ve said this many times that hard drive doesn’t suck, it’s just not for everybody. The 1TB 5400RPM in HP 15-an050nr give you a lot of space, perhaps you have gargantuan files and it’s good for you. But in case you don’t have these huge files – ie. you’re not a video editor – then faster solid-state drive can be a better choice for you. Installing SSD here is luckily possible.
There are good and bad things about the 15.6″ screen. The advantage is panel type IPS, often considered the “professional” choice because of superior viewing angles and accurate colors. The bad side would be 1366×768 resolution, for this price it’d be more or less expected to get a display supporting 1080p resolution.
Gaming will only happen if you can play with less than full eye candy, the integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 is only good for that. It’s a part of the processor (which is new, hence the graphics card is new too) so there aren’t a lot of benchmarks available yet, but similar performance to Intel HD 5500 should be present. It’s possible to get ~25 frames per second with GTA 5 using conservative settings. Counter-Strike: Go will get closer to 60FPS with medium-high settings.
What devices can be plugged in?
Unsurprisingly, HP 15-an050nr sports one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports to accommodate your devices such as printer or flash drive. A monitor of some sort, like HDTV, can also be connected, the laptop comes with HDMI-out. You’ll be able to hook up network cable to the 100Mbps RJ-45 port, although the more common way to connect to Internet would be the built-in 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth card.
You don’t need an external optical drive here, the notebook has a DVD burner. Memory card reader is likewise available. The front-facing HD webcam can be used to make videos or yourself seen in chats.
Traveling with HP 15-an050nr is like traveling with any 15.6″ model, this one weighs the standard 5 pounds (5.07 to be exact). A basic 4-cell 41Whr battery is included, four hours web surfing with a single charge is your best bet.
Thankfully, the keyboard is backlit with red glow. Operating system is Windows 10 Home.
HP 15-an050nr is advertised as Star Wars edition, but don’t let that cloud your judgment. The design surely looks like the Dark side, and there are some funny things inside (like SW wallpapers etc). But surely, that kind of stuff is not essential – performance and features are. A good thing, the laptop is quite powerful: the new i5 processor is strong, and 6GB RAM should please most users. Gaming performance unfortunately isn’t that good, but you’re be able to play many older games (including those Star Wars ones like SWTOR!) without issues. I don’t think the SW theme made this item over-priced, rather the HP is quite affordable considering what it really offers.