A Core i3 laptop on budget, does it exist? Sure, HP 15-r150nr is one, although around 500 bucks it’s still bit more expensive than those rock-bottom notebooks sporting low-end Celerons and Intel Atoms. This HP also has a touchscreen which increases the price a bit. However, we still saw it as a budget laptop and wanted to tell you if it’s something you might want to consider buying…
HP 15-r150nr has a dual-core Intel Core i3-4005U processor with 1.7GHz clock frequency. It’s a solid CPU, definite step up from those budget Celerons and Atoms. In general, these i3s can be used for both lightweight and demanding work, including also some gaming. This is naturally reflected in the price, and if you use your laptop only for web browsing and checking emails, getting one with Core i3 might be bit of an overkill.
There’s 4GB DDR3L RAM installed on one chip. As far as I know, it can’t be upgraded. You’ll have to settle for the four gigabytes, which is still an acceptable amount these days.
The hard drive is 750GB big, more than a typical half terabyte drive found in budget rigs. It however runs only on 5400RPM which is nothing to celebrate about. Solid-state drives easily beat that in speed which translates to smoother user experience on SSD-driven computers. With that said, if you’re just replacing your old notebook, chances are it also sports a conventional hard drive so you won’t see any difference.
How about display and graphics?
The 15.6″ touchscreen of HP 15-r150nr is a fun tool to play with, especially with the pre-installed Windows 8.1 (64-bit). That said, the display resolution of 1366×768 might disappoint some. In this price range, that resolution is however prevalent and for basic use works just fine.
The Intel HD 4400 is responsible for the graphics of this HP. It’s a bit faster than the popular Intel HD 4000, but not in the league of true gaming cards. You are likely to reach FPS of 20-30 on games like Battlefield 4 if you keep settings to minimum. For older titles like Minecraft, World of Warcraft and Diablo 3 you can expect smooth frame rates on low to medium settings. Put simply, this rig is enough if you mainly play less-demanding games.
HP 15-r150nr has two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 for your peripherals. It’s also possible to plug the notebook in to a HDTV through its HDMI output.
Networking options are 10/100Mbps LAN port and a 802.11 b/g/n WiFi adapter. Bluetooth shouldn’t be supported by default – using a USB dongle would help in that.
The HP features both DVD burner and SD card reader for transferring files to and from the laptop.
There’s also a front-facing HD-quality webcam and digital microphone installed on the screen.
HP 15-r150nr weighs 5.34 pounds which is the average for notebooks sporting a 15.6″ screen. The laptop’s advertised as having 5 hours battery life, but I doubt with the installed 4-cell battery you’ll hardly break the five hours marks.
The keyboard does not feature backlight, but has a numeric keypad like basically any laptop of similar size.
There’s some bloatware loaded on the system. You can uninstall them from the Control Panel – or then you just leave them as they are. There’s at least a 30-day trial for McAfee LiveSafe that you might want to keep unless you already have an antivirus program.
HP 15-r150nr looks like a viable touchscreen notebook in the affordable 500 dollars price range. It also boasts solid performance thanks to the Core i3 processor, and even many power users would find this laptop powerful enough. A wide variety of games will run on it assuming you can play with lots of eye candy turned off. Conversely, for many people who want the cheapest of the cheap, this HP might feel like an overkill. But if you’re a home user, going for it means you won’t probably have to upgrade your laptop anytime soon.