Some notebooks feature powerful components while the price is low. So why do they seem to have outstanding value? Is the vendor being generous? Manufacturer’s a charity? Not really. These laptops are most likely labeled as “certified refurbished”, which means they’re not exactly brand new. HP 15-d071nr is just like that, and in this review we’ll tell you if getting a refurbished notebook is just a big fat no-no or a guarantee for affordable but powerful computer!
The processor of HP 15-d071nr is AMD A4-5000. It’s not only a processor, but also integrates a low-end graphics chip. The CPU part runs on 1.5GHz and contains four cores. The clock speed is indeed slow, although for multitasking the quad-core setup is solid. The performance is similar to some Core i3s, and suffices well for everyday tasks like web browsing and YouTube.
The laptop features four gigabytes of DDR3 memory. It can be upgraded to 8GB, although no free memory slots are available.
The storage solution is a conventional hard drive with 500GB space. For home and small office use it’s probably enough, since tens of thousands of smaller files can be hosted there. For a devout downloader, half a terabyte would hardly suffice. Its 5400RPM speed can also be seen as a disadvantage, albeit a small one, and if you haven’t used the fast new solid-state drives you’re not going to see any difference for worse here either.
Display & graphics
The 15.6″ inch display allows for effortless everyday computing. Its 1366×768 resolution is nothing to brag about, but low-end laptops like HP 15-d071nr hardly ever have Full HD resolutions. It’s not a touchscreen, so some new features of Windows 8 can’t be used.
As was briefly discussed before, there’s a graphics engine included in the processor. It’s a little less known AMD Radeon HD 8330 chip that reaches similar performance levels than the (in)famous Intel HD 4000. New titles, especially those GPU/CPU heavy ones like Battlefields, Thief and CoD: Ghosts would have hard times running on this rig. On the other hand, sports games like Fifas or older Blizzard games such as StarCraft 2 and World of Warcraft have no problems running on it, even on medium settings.
These budget HPs usually come with two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0. That stands true also here. For external monitor or HDTV, there are HDMI and VGA outputs located on the left.
The laptop has both WiFi and 10/100Mbps Ethernet for networking. The product description also mentions that Bluetooth is supported.
To upload data to the laptop, you can use optical drive and media card reader. The former reads from and writes to CDs and DVDs, while the card reader supports SD memory cards.
A webcam is installed on top of the screen. It sports HD quality, so you’ll be having some sharp video sessions with this computer.
Anything else to keep in mind?
HP 15-d071nr weighs 5.1 pounds, which is just an average weight for a 15.6 inches notebook. Battery life isn’t directly listed anywhere, although you can expect it to last around 5 hours.
Typical for a laptop of this size, there’s 10-key numeric pad on the right hand side of the keyboard. This also means the trackpad is shifted towards left. Such a setting can be slightly inconvenient at first if you’re used to a keyboard with no numeric pad.
In addition to Windows 8.1 (64-bit), there’s a bunch of software installed in the system. Some call it bloatware, some actually useful programs. Removing the unnecessary software is easy, but you should probably keep at least the 30-day trial for McAfee LiveSafe.
HP 15-d071nr seems to be like any other budget laptop: useful for everyday computing, awkward for heavy use. Demanding tasks are not out of question for it, but the laptop is clearly aimed for home, student and small office use. What comes to the fact it’s refurbished, chances are you’ll receive a version with no or very little visible wear and tear. So if you’re brave, and want some good value for your money (in exchange for the “risks” of a refurbished item), getting this laptop for around 300 bucks is definitely something to think about.