HP 15-r063nr Review

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October 3, 2014
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HP 15-r063nr is a fresh addition to HP’s line of low end laptops. Another notebook of theirs, HP Black 15-f039wm was recently reviewed which turned out to be one of the the cheapest laptops currently out there. Well, this HP 15-r063nr is bit more expensive but at a quick glance has more powerful components. Let’s see whether this HP would suit your needs better or if the cheaper model would be all you need.

The core

HP 15-r063nr has Intel Pentium N3530, a quad core 2.2GHz processor, working behind the scenes. It has around two times more PassMark points than the Black model’s CPU has. There’s also difference in cores: the Celeron model has just two while this Pentium has four. All in all, if you require more oomph from your desktop – say, you’re a power user of some sort – getting this model could be a justified choice.

RAM in both models is 4GB. Both also have just one user accessible memory slot so adding more memory is not possible even if you wanted to. However, I don’t believe that to be necessary. With 4 gigabytes you can still go far, dealing with tasks like Office, YouTube and Skype is no problem for either HP 15-r063nr or the HP Black.

Not only is the amount of RAM same in these two models. They also have the same storage drive. Both feature a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive which, for a typical home user, should suffice very well. As such, both models are winners and the buying choice should not be based on the storage space since there’s no difference here.

How about the graphics?

Similarities don’t end here. HP 15-r063nr has Intel HD Graphics 4000 unit responsible for running your games smoothly. That’s also the case for the another HP model. Unfortunate for gamers, that graphics chip is already getting old (it was announced in the beginning of 2011). And the Intel HD 4000 was never a powerful graphics engine in the first place. You’ll have hard time keeping up smooth FPS and high quality settings at the same time. You have to skimp on either one, at least if you’re planning to play one of those later, graphics heavy titles like Thief or Assassin’s Creed. With that all being said, these models can still easily run lesser games like Minecraft without a lag.

The monitor in HP 15-r063nr is a 15.6″ touchscreen one. In the Black model, it’s a non-touchscreen. Since both come with Windows 8.1 (64-bit edition) and if you have the desire to use the Microsoft’s latest to the fullest, pick this HP. Windows 8 has some touch and swipe features which are supposed to be cool. For some they are, although I don’t mind at all using any operating system with old school keyboard and mouse style.

Connectivity

They both have 3 USB ports, although the HP 15-r063nr’s ports are 2 USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0. With the Black model it’s another way around: 1 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0. Not a big deal all in all, but if you have lots of peripherals it might do you well to pick the other model with more USB 3.0 ports.

About other connections, the two models seem to be similar. There are HDMI, headphones/mic jack, 10/100Mbps Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi adapters in both as well as a SD card reader.

A minor advantage for HP 15-r063nr is the webcam: it’s HD, while the other one has VGA (640×480) resolution cam in it.

Bluetooth is missing on both, if you require support for it simply get an inexpensive USB dongle.

What else to consider?

Both models feature a DVD burner so reading and burning CDs and DVDs is not a problem. Pre-installed programs are not many, and to use MS Office you’ll have to pay.

HP 15-r063nr weights 5.25lbs while the Black model is a bit lighter at 5.05lbs. To be honest it’s no big difference, I don’t think anybody would notice. Battery life in both is around 4 hours.

Which one to choose?

The two models have different price points while still being in a budget laptop category. That said, there’s no big difference in the pure performance. RAM, graphics chip and hard drive are exactly same, only CPU is faster in HP 15-r063nr. I wouldn’t say it alone justifies the heavier price tag, but the more expensive model surely has another things to vote for. It has a touchscreen which can be the dealbreaker, especially if you’re excited about interacting with your computer “the new way”.

Essentially, both models are aimed at home, small office or student users. Hardcore gaming is not realistical with either model. My advice is this: If you fancy a touchscreen and are willing to pay for the premium, go for HP 15-r063nr. However, if you prefer to save money and get a compromise that’s still up for basic everyday tasks it might be the HP Black 15-f039wm that is better suited for you.


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