A big laptop might be something you’re after if you’re not looking for a portable type. Those large notebooks have advantages – like better readiness for movie watching. HP 17-f113dx is such a laptop of XXL size, sporting a 17.3 inches non-touch display. In this review, we’ll delve deeper into the matter and figure out if the HP should find its way to your shopping cart.
The most important stuff
Let’s start with the processor. HP 17-f113dx contains Intel Core i5-4210U, a 1.7GHz clock speed dual core CPU. Launched in 2014, it has the typical Core i5 features like hyperthreading and turbo boost of 2.7GHz. Generally, Intel i5s are considered a step up from regular i3s and they certainly have enough performance for casual and power users alike – all MS Office, video streaming and image editing are piece of cake for it.
The laptop has 4GB DDR3L RAM installed, a good amount for almost any kind of use these days. The memory is installed on one chip, and while I couldn’t find official information whether it’s upgradeable type I strongly suspect it’s not, based on the specifications of other similar HP notebooks.
The hard drive on HP 17-f113dx is 750GB big, somewhat larger than your usual half a terabyte drive in many similar laptops. The speed is just the regular 5400RPM so reaching solid-state levels won’t happen.
How’s the display and graphics?
The display of this computer is 17.3″ big screen sporting a 1600×900 resolution. As it doesn’t feature touch, you can’t utilize all the Windows 8.1 (64-bit) features on it.
It’s possible to play some games on this rig. The graphics are handled by integrated Intel HD 4400 which is tad faster than the basic Intel HD 4000 chip of most budget laptops. However, looking at the benchmarks, even this big brother is far from top-notch graphics engines. Low-end (or old) games like Minecraft, Trackmania and Diablo III have no problems running on low to medium settings. With heavyweight titles, like Assassin’s Creed IV and the latest Need for Speed, you’ll probably average 25-30 FPS, although only on low settings.
The HP 17-f113dx offers one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports. That’s excellent since usually the version numbers are other way around. A HDMI output is likewise there, so somebody with HDTV could use the laptop through the television.
The networking is based on 10/100Mbps Ethernet port and 802.11b/g/n WiFi adapter. To my knowledge, Bluetooth isn’t supported by default.
A big laptop like this has lots of space for peripherals. As such, a DVD burner and SD media card reader are available.
For video chats, there’s the regular front-facing HD webcam with a dual array microphone.
Other things to keep in mind
Portability is not the best side of HP 17-f113dx. The big screen takes its toll and ups the weight all the way to 6.2 pounds. Compared to most laptops, that’s quite a heavy weight – and together with the 17.3″ diagonal screen doesn’t make this notebook very mobile one.
The regular 4-cell battery on a big laptop means subpar battery life. It’s listed as 4 hours 30 minutes but I’m sure you’re not going to reach that. The reality would be something between 3 and 4 hours.
Like all the big laptops, also this one’s keyboard contains numeric pad on right.
Summing it up
HP 17-f113dx offers some upgraded performance for those who find smaller and cheaper laptops too weak for their daily tasks. At around 500 bucks, this machine is indeed more expensive than Chromebooks and other subnotebooks, but in exchange you’ll get a fast Intel Core i5 processor, a 17.3″ display and a generous 750GB storage. These are the things a power user or occasional gamer would value. Conversely, the mobility suffers and somebody on the move wouldn’t find the 6 pounds weight and poor battery life enjoyable. So, if you’re not planning to travel with your laptop but want sort of a powerhouse-on-budget, this HP might be the answer to your needs.