So do you want to get a powerful touchscreen laptop from a reputable manufacturer? How about HP ENVY 15-K230nr? It’s a 15.6″ model with an extremely fast i7-4720HQ processor, nice 8GB memory and a terabyte hard drive. These things should make sure that no program is lagging and frustrating the heck out of you. But there are also a couple of drawbacks in this system – what they are, the below review will tell you!
HP ENVY 15-K230nr is not a cheap laptop, but if you’re willing to pay you’ll get very strong performance. The processor here is Core i7-4720HQ, Intel’s beefy quad-core CPU with clock speed between 2.6 and 3.6GHz depending if turbo mode is activated. It gets over 8100 CPU Mark points, just one or two common processors score higher so that should give you some idea how powerful the i7-4720HQ is. Any piece of software is easy prey for it, the CPU shouldn’t slow down no matter how demanding program you throw at it.
There’s 8GB DDR3L memory installed on one DIMM stick. That gives a strong foundation for a power user laptop, most people wouldn’t certainly need more than that. As far as I know, there’s another unoccupied RAM slot if you still want to upgrade the memory to 16 gigabytes.
The one teraybyte 5400RPM SATA hard drive gives you a lot of storage for files. Another thing is the raw performance of such HDD, read/write rates are much worse compared to solid-state drives. In real life, this means sluggish Windows loading times. Also programs and games will load slower than on SSD. But fear not, there’s a way to fix this issue: just replace the hard drive with a solid-state drive and enjoy the increased performance.
I already mentioned HP ENVY 15-K230nr is somewhat expensive notebook, so it should be good for gaming, right? Well, not really. Many times these pricier laptops have dedicated graphics card but that’s not the case here. The HP sports a processor-integrated Intel HD 4600 unit which uses shared memory. It’s not all bad, but you really have to reduce eye candy if you want to have nice frame rates on many games. For example, with conservative 720p and medium details you’ll reach ~30FPS playing GTA 5. With similar settings, Battlefield 4 will give 25-30 frames per second.
The touch display in HP ENVY 15-K230nr should be decent, at least that’s what other reviewers were talking about. The 15.6″ screen features 1080p resolution which is good news for movie watching and perhaps digital artists. However, Full HD gaming might not work because of the poor(ish) graphics card. The display won’t turn past certain angle, so the unit works only in laptop mode.
HP ENVY 15-K230nr has three USB ports. All of those are USB 3.0, slow USB 2.0 ports are not present. Of course there’s also HDMI-out which you can use to connect this thing to a television or external display.
I think networking interfaces are everything one could ask for: 802.11 A/C Wireless + Bluetooth card and Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 adapter.
The notebook sports an internal DVD burner and card reader. The latter can be used to transfer photos from digital cameras, for example. There’s also the usual front-facing HD webcam for video chatting etc.
The unit is bit on the heavy side for a 15.6″ model, it weighs 5.74 pounds. The removable 4-cell 41Whr battery should last around 4 hours – it’s advertised as +6 hours model but you probably won’t get that much.
The case material is plastic. Keyboard has backlit keys and a numpad on right.
Some things in HP ENVY 15-K230nr are excellent. Starting with the obvious, processor performance is top-notch, the Core i7-4720HQ beats pretty much any other CPU there currently is. 8GB RAM isn’t bad either, and the terabyte hard drive should be enough for anyone’s data storing needs. But indeed, a worse thing would be gaming performance: as there’s no dedicated graphics, you’re left with the integrated, rather feeble Intel HD 4600. It’s no problem as long as you’re not a gamer, but a player would most likely find it too slow to deal with. If that concerns you, get another laptop (that is hundred or two dollars more) with a proper graphics card. But if you don’t play fancy games on your notebook, this HP should deliver a powerful and reliable package for years to come.