HP 15-p030nr is an extremely popular laptop, released in 2014 but still selling like hotcakes. There must be a reason for this, maybe it’s the performance that AMD A8 processor and 8GB RAM can offer, together with a very affordable price tag. Or perhaps it’s just the marketing tactics that the manufacturer and vendors use? Hard to say yet, we must take a closer look at this HP before deciding whether it’s good or not…
What programs can it run?
HP 15-p030nr is able to run all the common programs – a web browser, Netflix, MS Office Suite or even software from Adobe family. The AMD A8-5545M (quad-core at 1.7GHz base speed and 2.7GHz turbo) processor is a direct competitor of 4th generation Intel Core i3 models, all of those receiving more or less 2500 CPU Mark points. That’s not a wonderful score, but for the things mentioned above it works. The thermal design power is 19W, rather low, so heat buildup shouldn’t become an issue.
By default, the notebook features 8GB (DDR3L) system memory. It’s a one-DIMM configuration, there’s another free memory socket on the mainboard so maximum RAM is 16GB (two 8GB sticks). But entirely another question is how many people would need that much. Only a handful of professionals, if you ask me. Around 99.9% of people are good with 8GB.
It’s a big storage in HP 15-p030nr, precisely 1024GB. You can dump all the files for years in this hard drive and you won’t probably even run out of space (a real life example: around 200,000 high quality photos from digital camera can be put on such a drive). But the 5400RPM spindle speed doesn’t convince those concerned about performance, you might have heard modern solid-state drives make the system much faster. That is admittedly true, but you can do something yourself: take out the current hard drive and put SSD in place. Now, you have made your HP more pleasant to deal with.
Are there also games that are playable?
No matter what people try to say HP 15-p030nr is not a real gaming laptop. It lacks a powerful graphics card that could run new games with a lot of eye candy turned on. Instead, the computer features AMD Radeon HD 8510G, a graphics engine integrated to the processor with performance similar to Intel HD 4400. Here are some games with frame rates that you can expect to get:
– Minecraft, default settings, +50FPS
– League of Legends, default settings, +40FPS
– World of Warcraft, 720p and medium, ~30FPS
– GTA 5, 720p and low setttings, ~20FPS
What can you tell about the screen?
The notebook features a glossy 15.6″ touch display. Resolution is just 1366×768, some power users wouldn’t like that so much. You can’t use this screen in tablet mode (only laptop), it turns no more than about 180 degrees.
What peripherals can I connect?
Like basically every 15-inch model, also HP 15-p030nr comes with three USB ports. Two of those are USB 3.0, one is slower USB 2.0. Furthermore, there’s HDMI output in case you want to connect a monitor or television.
Networking interfaces are nothing fancy but should get you connected regardless: 802.11n Wireless + Bluetooth adapter and 10/100Mbps Ethernet RJ-45 port.
There’s a DVD burner on the right hand side. It works for writing and reading CDs and DVDs, but it doesn’t work with BluRays at all. Card reader is also available, it accepts at least SD type cards.
The HD-quality webcam can be used for video chatting with your buddies on Skype.
Anything else to keep in mind?
HP 15-p030nr is not very lightweight unit. It weighs 6 pounds which is a bit more than these things often are, which is ~5 pounds. User reports about the 4-cell 41Whr battery vary, some say it lasts only 4 hours while some have been getting over 6 hours. A good thing, it’s a removable one so if the battery malfunctions or just sucks, you can easily replace it.
The keyboard is backlit, quite rate in this price category. Numpad is available as well.
The operating system is Windows 8.1 Home (64-bit), but you can always upgrade it free to Windows 10.
Plastic seems to be the laptop’s material.
After further examination I can see why HP 15-p030nr is popular. It has a rather great price/performance ratio. The laptop doesn’t cost much at all, but in exchange offers a capable processor, a huge amount of RAM and an enormous hard drive. There’s also a touch display that some people prefer with Windows 8 (although after free upgrade to Windows 10 you might not need it so much anymore). One thing to keep in mind is the poor graphics performance; this thing is not a true gaming notebook even though advertising might suggest otherwise. So if you can accept that, there’s nothing stopping you from getting this HP for either home, office or student use.