Have you been thinking of getting HP 15-f004dx? That Windows 8.1 powered laptop is indeed a cheap, less than 300 bucks computer, so it might look like an attractive choice. However, these budget notebooks have their drawbacks – otherwise, they wouldn’t be so budget anymore, would they? So read our review to find out more about this laptop’s suitability to you.
The dual-core AMD E1-2100 APU offers rather poor computing power with its 1.0GHz clock frequency. It’s much slower than mid-range laptops containing Intel Core i3 processors, but this notebook’s price is of course more favorable as well. It suffices for lightweight use like Internet browsing where the CPU and RAM strain isn’t significant. Naturally, for use that hogs resources – like video editing or CAD – such a low-level AMD processor isn’t good at all.
The system has 4GB DDR3L SDRAM memory installed. As far as I know, that is also the maximum amount for this laptop. Going with 4GB should be sufficient for any home user.
A 500GB hard drive is the storage solution of HP 15-f004dx. It’s rather understandable choice, given the low price of the laptop. There is enough space for pretty much all the photos and other small files you have (and will have). If you’re used to quick solid-state drives, you’ll notice the decrease in speed because this drive runs on basic 5400RPM, though.
On display and graphics
A 15.6″ display with 1366×768 resolution is adequate for everyday computing – at least to my eye. It’s not a touchscreen, so using Windows 8.1 (64-bit) with touch features won’t naturally happen.
There’s an integrated graphics card inside the AMD processor. It’s known as Radeon HD 8210 and performs similar to the older Intel HD chips. That’s not much, and also taking into account the CPU limitations, playing graphics-heavy titles on this laptop is quite impossible. For example, Battlefield 3/4 would have frame rates below 20. In Minecraft, the FPS would often drop to around 15, which I also deem unplayable. Indeed, this laptop is bad choice for gaming, unless you’re into some lightweight titles like League of Legends.
HP 15-f004dx has 100Mbps Ethernet LAN and 1×1 WiFi for networking. Bluetooth is not supported.
The total number of USB ports is three. Two of those are USB 3.0 which is nice, since you usually have only one USB 3.0 on cheap laptops.
A HDMI output is included. Thus, connecting the laptop to a HDTV is supported. Webcam is also installed, although only in VGA (640×480) resolution.
For file transferring the laptop features DVD burner and SD digital media reader.
What else to keep in mind?
The 4.8 pounds weight of HP 15-f004dx isn’t that bad – should I even say it’s below average. For the battery, you’ll get a 3-cell one which should have life of around 4 hours.
Like with any 15 inches laptop, also this model comes with a ten-key numeric pad on the right hand side.
You’ll get a free access to Word, PowerPoint and Excel right away. However, only for a month, after which you have to buy Office in order to continue using them.
If I had to get a laptop for the simplest of tasks, like the said web browsing or text editing, it would be something like HP 15-f004dx. Oh, and also if I was short of money. Because the laptop is very cheap. This also has its drawbacks, like almost non-existent gaming support. But as somebody put it, if you’re looking for a great starter notebook, getting a basic one like this HP is probably all you need.