Are you a power user looking for a decent laptop with affordable price tag. Phew, that’s quite a task, but here is one notebook candidate for you: HP Envy 14-j153ca. It comes with 6th generation Core i5 processor, Full HD display and 12GB RAM which seems pretty sweet. Another thing of course is, whether this HP is actually worth the money or not…
First, I want to say the display of HP Envy 14-j153ca rules. It’s not that big – 14 inches – but features a resolution of 1920×1080 which translates to great screen estate: there’s more stuff you can fit in the screen at a given time. It’s also IPS panel, it means viewing angles at least from sides are around 180 degree. The display has anti-glare (matte) coating.
There’s nothing wrong with the performance either. Processor is Intel Core i5-6200U, a 6th generation workhorse with two cores, 2.3GHz clock speed and 2.8GHz turbo. The CPU Mark score is high for a laptop, 3900, which also allows heavier programs to run. Memory amount is an unusual but plenty 12GB – four GB of that is integrated on-board and 8GB installed on a stick. I don’t think it can be upgraded.
Keyboard features backlight, rather rare for the price.
Storage drive of HP Envy 14-j153ca is pretty neutral, one terabyte 5400RPM hard drive. Naturally, for someone after huge storage it’s good, however performance is not the best. But fear not, if you’re well versed in hardware, you can always replace the drive with SSD.
Ports are decent, three USB 3.0 and one HDMI-out at your disposal. Hooking peripherals like printer and HDTV / PC monitor to those works. Internet access you can get with the WiFi adapter (2×2 802.11 AC standard + Bluetooth) or the Ethernet port (Gigabit RJ-45).
The 3-cell 55.5Whr battery isn’t wonderful, but it will last around 4 hours on a single charge if you’re just browsing the web etc.
Optical drive isn’t there, some don’t mind that, some find it a bummer. You can always plug an external one to the USB port. Also the media card reader might be helpful to you.
The integrated graphics engine Intel HD 520 isn’t going to earn HP Envy 14-j153ca any extra points. You can of course play many games on this rig, but top frame rates and high settings sadly aren’t going to happen. Grand Theft Auto 5, a famous game, should for example get ca. 25 frames per second if you put settings low and resolution as well. However, games like World of Warcraft and Diablo 3 will run much better, even with a lot of eye candy on.
I don’t see any particular reason to hate HP Envy 14-j153ca. It has everything most users need: powerful components, nice Full HD display and decent connectivity for peripherals. The only thing this notebook doesn’t have is great gaming performance, but they never do at this price point. So, if you have a knack for running some heavier software (but not games) then I think this HP should be worth your money.