HP 15-f003dx Review

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December 18, 2014
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HP 15-f003dx is one of the affordable 15.6″ laptops recently released to the market. It comes with a quad-core AMD processor which also integrates a Radeon HD 8400 for some low-level gaming. The price point being around 300 bucks makes this notebook an excellent candidate for the Tech For Pennies review team. Enjoy!

The performance

So the processor is a quad-core AMD A6-5200 APU with 2.0GHz clock frequency. It lacks turbo feature, but in benchmark tests still reaches almost same levels than many 2013 Intel Core i3 models. You wouldn’t have any problems with simple tasks such as web browsing and Office, and might even be able to run heavier applications if top-notch performance isn’t your highest priority.

Typical for a laptop of this price point, the HP contains 4GB memory installed on a DIMM chip. There are in total two RAM slots on the motherboard, so doubling the RAM to 8GB should be possible.

For hard drive you’ll get a 750GB one which is step up from regular half a terabyte drives. The speed is just the low-end 5400RPM so don’t expect performance levels solid-state drives offer, though.

Display and graphics

Not much can be said about the screen of HP 15-f003dx. It’s a regular non-touch 15.6″ display with a resolution of 1366×768. Yep, you won’t find a new Full HD laptop for this price.

The AMD processor has another function besides being CPU: it’s also a graphics engine. According to benchmarks, that AMD Radeon HD 8400 chip is comparable to mid-range Intel HD models like the popular 4000 one. For example, the famous Battlefield 4 would reach 20 FPS at best on low settings. Another crowd’s favorite, Minecraft, should get 25 FPS with eye candy and resolution turned low.

Connectivity

Like most budget notebooks, this model too features three USB ports. Surprisingly, two of those are USB 3.0. The obligatory HDMI output is also present for a HDTV connection.

For Internet you can choose between a regular WiFi adapter and 10/100Mbps Ethernet port. There’s no Bluetooth support so you’d have to get an USB dongle for that.

The front-facing webcam on top of the screen allows for video meetings. However, it only features VGA (640×480) resolution as opposed to many models having Full HD webcams.

A DVD writer is installed for your optical media needs. Furthermore, there’s also a memory card reader for SD format cards.

Something else to keep in mind?

The operating system choice in this model is Windows 8.1, the 64-bit edition.

HP 15-f003dx weighs just 4.82 pounds which isn’t bad at all for a 15.6″ incher. Battery life is listed as 4.5 hours, however I doubt the basic 3-cell battery gives that good running time in reality. Probably you’ll end up with 3-4 hours battery life.

A numeric keypad is featured on the non-backlit keyboard’s right.

What comes to pre-installed software, there is a bunch of HP “utility” programs of varying usefulness. HP also bundles a trial for McAfee antivirus software which is probably one of the keepers, though.

Summing it up

HP 15-f003dx is a basic Windows 8 powered laptop for users without huge performance requirements. That would include home and office people, also many students and occasional gamers, but would exclude power users and especially serious gamers for whom the Radeon HD8400 graphics engine is just insufficient. However, from a 300 bucks laptop you can’t expect too much. There are good things too, like the 750GB hard drive which is a welcome sight compared to most budget laptops’ 500GB storage. All in all, this notebook should have all the functions for effortless everyday computing. If that’s what you’re after, you don’t really need anything fancier (and more expensive) than this simple HP.


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