HP Black 15-f039wm Review

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October 1, 2014
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HP, the grandaddy of computer manufacturers has released yet another laptop model called HP Black 15-f039wm to cater needs of the penny pinching crowd. At a quick glance, thanks to its sleek black design one might think the laptop looks more expensive than it actually is, but as they say you can’t judge a book by its covers. So lets see what kind of content this (note)book has…

The core

HP Black 15-f039wm is a budget laptop and hence has likewise budget components. The processor is Intel Celeron N2830 which runs on 2.4GHz clock rate and two cores & threads. It must be pointed out this CPU is very, very slow and will choke if you want to do advanced stuff on this computer. With that being said, and keeping in mind the low price of this laptop, you can still expect adequate performance for simpler stuff, like web browsing and video streaming.

There’s 4GB system memory installed on HP Black 15-f039wm. Even today, you can go far with that amount and only power users might realistically want more. There’s however just 1 memory slot in total so you can’t add more RAM even if you wanted to.

For storage, there’s the typical 500GB hard drive which can host, for example, movies in low hundreds depending on the quality. However it’s not a solid-state drive – something for which you’d need to pay more. Thus bootup times might be not on par with SSD notebooks but rumors are Windows 8.1 64-bit (that is pre-installed on this HP) starts up fast nonetheless.

Screen & Graphics

The monitor is LED-backlit 15.6 inches screen. Don’t get too excited about the label HD in it – it surely is “high definition”, but only 1366×768 resolution one. Still, watching Full HD stuff is not a problem for this or any laptop that doesn’t directly support 1920×1080 quality. The Full HD content will still play on the monitor, however with slightly reduced quality.

Graphics of HP Black 15-f039wm are on the poorer side. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 isn’t known for its great performance with games. Year or two old titles with heavy graphics will most likely choke on this CPU/graphics chip. As such, a true gamer makes a very good decision getting something else than this HP. But one must also reflect the price on this – the laptop itself is very affordable and running some older games like Minecraft with reduced settings should work just fine with it.

Connections

The connections are typical for a budget laptop. You’ll find 3 USB ports on HP Black 15-f039wm, one being USB 2.0 and two are faster USB 3.0 ports. There’s also a HDMI out for connecting this laptop to a TV or other external monitor. Naturally, headphone and microphone jacks are both installed as well as SD card reader.

For network connectivity you can use both Ethernet and Wireless adapters. Minor disadvantage of the former is the speed: It’s not a Gigabit Ethernet but just the common 10/100Mbps one. However, this wont probably make any difference whatsoever with the real, outside Internet. In another words, for local networks there’s a difference in bandwidth but accessing the Internet should be all the same (unless you have faster than 100Mbps line).

Other things to keep in mind

The laptop weights 5.05lbs and has 4.5 hour battery life. Those are about average for laptops in this price category. Finding a power socket won’t be your highest priority with this HP, although during a full day at some point you’ll need to find one for sure.

While HP Black 15-f039wm has Windows 8.1 64-bit there are not many other programs pre-installed. For example, if you want Microsoft Office you must acquire it separately.

The keyboard is a non-backlit one and it has a 10-key numeric pad on right hand side. The system also has a DVD burner for reading and creating CDs & DVDs as well as webcam & mic for video sessions online.

Conclusion

HP Black 15-f039wm is very, very affordable laptop for anyone who’s not too much after big performance. It runs basic tasks like Office, browsing, email, Skype etc. very well. The problems only arise if you try to play latest games or do some heavy multitasking on it. The Celeron processor and the associated Intel HD graphics chip are not just up for those things and you’d end up growing grey hair. But don’t get discouraged – for your everyday use this HP should be well worth it. If you can grab it for a good price, I’d say do it.


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