HP 15-F211WM, it doesn’t look bad at a glance: a 15.6″ touchscreen laptop with a Celeron processor and 4GB RAM. The price is very affordable. And in addition, the unit has been selling well lately. So the essential question is, is this laptop really so good or are there bad things about it too..?
The best thing about HP 15-F211WM is the price. It’s in the same category that high-end Chromebooks, yet the performance is superior to those (although still quite low compared to laptops costing 100-200 dollars more). The Intel Celeron N2840 processor here offers a dual-core setup with 2.2GHz base frequency, and turbo will increase the speed to 2.6GHz. The CPU Mark score of ~1060 is rather low, but for web surfing, YouTube, email and the like that’s certainly enough.
Many people see 4GB memory insufficient these days, but for a casual user that’s really all you need. This laptop is indeed equipped with four gigabytes RAM (single stick). There are no extra slots, but you should be able to remove the current stick and put 8GB in if you wanted to upgrade the memory.
A touchscreen for this price is nice to have. The specs are 15.6″ diagonal and 1366×768 resolution, so nothing fancy in that department. And keep in mind you can’t turn it 360 degrees, this unit works in laptop mode only.
The 3-cell 31Whr battery should last around 5 hours, not bad for a budget computer.
It’s quite obvious that you can’t have cutting-edge technology for pennies, but the hard drive is probably the weakest point in HP 15-F211WM. It’s a 500GB 5400RPM SATA drive, the one that was common two-three years ago. It’s still good for casual users, and if you find it too slow, there’s always the possibility to upgrade it to a faster SSD one.
Connections are like in any other laptop, three USB ports (two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0) accommodating your peripherals like printer and mouse. Also the obligatory HDMI-out is there, you can hook up an external display to that and use the laptop through the monitor.
Networking interfaces are nothing special but still useful: 100Mbps RJ-45 port and 802.11b/g/n WiFi adapter. Bluetooth is not supported (unless you get a special USB adapter yourself).
DVD burner is available, might be you don’t need it though since a lot of stuff can be downloaded from Internet. SD card reader is available as well.
The unit weighs 5.05 pounds, just the average of 15.6″ laptops.
Probably the biggest disadvantage is the gaming performance. HP 15-F211WM doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card; instead it relies on the processor-integrated (= slow) Bay Trail based Intel HD Graphics chip. You can play low-level titles like Minecraft, Sims 4 and League of Legends, but triple A games such as GTA 5 and The Witcher 3 are way too heavy. And you can’t do anything about this, installing a graphics card is not possible here.
Not a big thing, but the webcam is quite poor, offering only VGA (640×480) resolution.
If you don’t do much more than surf the web, work with MS Office, send emails and watch YouTube, this kind of lightweight HP 15-F211WM should do the trick: it has sufficient processor, RAM and hard drive for that. You can even try to play some less demanding games, but a hardcore gamer definitely needs a faster computer. If you’re good with that limitation, you might want to include this HP in your shopping list.