HP 15-f019dx Review

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February 11, 2015
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HP 15-f019dx is a Core i3 powered budget computer between the slowest Celeron-based laptops and speedy Core i5 workhorses. A quick look at the HP makes me think it’s good notebook for everyday use, but as usually, devil is in the details. So let me introduce the various features of this notebook and find out if they would be any use for you.

Performance

The processor in HP 15-f019dx is Intel Core i3-4030U, a 4th generation CPU with two cores and 1.9GHz clock frequency. There’s no turbo boost available. The processor, having been released in 2014, reaches around 2700 CPU Mark points which is 10-15% less than the slowest Core i5 models. In general, this Core i3 is a good all-around processor, with no problems running web browser, Netflix or many older games whatsoever.

6GB memory is installed on the laptop, which is a respectable amount for this price. The configuration is one 2GB and one 4GB chip. Even though it’s not explicitly mentioned in the specifications, it should be possible to upgrade the RAM to (at least) 8GB if you feel the need. However, I don’t recommend that right from the start, because the performance boost from 6GB to 8GB is probably not worth the money.

There’s a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive for storing the files. This is a very common type and size of drive for budget laptops. For example, if one DVD movie is 4.7GB big, you could in theory store around 100 of those DVD flicks in this drive. That’s enough for most use I’d dare to say. Same goes for the speed: a 5400RPM is not the fastest one, but unless you’ve been using solid-state drives for long time you don’t really notice its dated read and write rates.

Screen and graphics

HP 15-f019dx runs on Windows 8.1 (64-bit), so it might be a good idea to have a touch display. However, the screen in this model is a non-touch, 15.6″ diagonal. The resolution, as you might expect, is basic 1366×768. It’s understandable for a budget laptop to have a stripped down screen like this, and it should have sufficient quality for everyday use.

The graphics unit is called Intel HD 4400. It’s not the slowest of Intel HDs, although it’s still an integrated chip with limitations. Battlefield 4, for example, would have ~20FPS on low settings which means barely playable. The popular World of Tanks should do a tad better, averaging 30 frame rates per second. Furthermore, if you only play old, app-like games (Minecraft to name one), you could expect higher FPS.

Connections

HP 15-f019dx has three USB ports like many cheap laptops. But unlike most, two of those are USB 3.0 instead of one. In addition, there’s a regular HDMI output if you want to connect the notebook to an external monitor, such as HDTV.

For Internet access you may choose either 10/100Mbps Ethernet RJ-45 port or 1×1 802.11b/g/n WiFi. There’s no Bluetooth support.

Despite being a thin laptop (just 0.89 inches), there’s still space for a built-in DVD burner. Likewise, an SD media card reader is installed if you prefer to use the tiny memory cards.

The laptop features a webcam, although just a VGA one, but it should be adequate for casual video chatting.

What other things to keep in mind?

HP 15-f019dx weighs an average 5.05 pounds. There’s a 3-cell 31Whr battery for which I can’t predict a very good battery life. Probably 3 hours at maximum.

Being a cheap notebook, the keyboard is not backlit. But for effortless numeric key access there’s a 10-key pad on the right hand side.

Like I always say in budget HP reviews, they do have bloatware. The main harm probably comes from possibly slowing down the system. If you experience that you should just uninstall the unnecessary programs, and the problem is solved.

Summing it up

HP 15-f019dx is a budget machine which doesn’t seem to differ much from other cheap laptop. It offers baseline performance for everyday computing and affordable pricing for the financially challenged, such as starting businesses and students. It’s clearly faster than a 200 bucks Celeron laptop, so there’s definitely some potential in this rig, especially for this low price.


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