A budget laptop can be too slow if you do more than browse the web occasionally. Getting a mid-range notebook like HP ENVY 15-v010nr might come into question then. I’m here to tell you more about the HP’s good and bad sides. Obviously, in the ad copy the laptop is promised a lot, but its true nature can only be discovered after further examination…
HP ENVY 15-v010nr is powered by a latest 5th generation Intel processor dubbed Core i5-5200U. The CPU features two cores and clock speed of 2.2GHz – 2.7GHz (with turbo). It has been spotted in many new notebooks after its release in early 2015, and early benchmark tests indicate a ~10% increase from the previous i5-4200U model from 2013. As such, the performance should be well adequate for people who indeed run heavier programs than a simple browser. You can also play some games on it, and I’ll elaborate that more below.
8GB DDR3L RAM is available on the laptop, amount that makes a power user smile. It’s installed on one memory module and there’s one slot free. You can add a 4GB or 8GB chip to that free slot if you want to get more RAM. But if you ask me, that’s not necessary for the vast majority. The current eight gigabytes is plenty.
A terabyte hard drive is large in storage size, easily taking all your holiday photos, movies and game files (quick example: 1024GB can store data of ~200 DVDs). Speed is just the common 5400RPM, with faster 7200RPM hard drives providing slightly better user experience. And if it’s a lot faster solid-state drive you want, you have to uninstall the 1TB drive first and only then put the SSD in.
Display and graphics
HP ENVY 15-v010nr has a 15.6″ screen, the most common laptop display size. A great feature, it’s also Full HD which can be very well expected in this price category. This will mostly benefit digital artists and power users who deem the usual 1366×768 resolution not enough for their needs, although a casual user might enjoy the added screen estate as well. It is also a touch screen so the concept of pre-installed Windows 8.1 (64-bit) shouldn’t be hard to grasp.
Graphics are provided by Intel HD 5500 chip. It’s an upgrade from the previous HD 4400 model, but due to the integrated nature it still can’t be called a true gaming unit. On low details, the popular Battlefield 4 should reach decent 30FPS, but upping the settings and resolution would quickly make it (and other similar games) choppy. However, titles with lesser system requirements will run smoothly with eye candy on. Those include the types like Minecraft, sports games and Steam-powered titles.
Like most 15 inchers, HP ENVY 15-v010nr has three USB ports. But unlike many models, all of those are USB 3.0, allowing you to enjoy quick transfer rates on all ports. There’s also a dedicated HDMI output so you can attach the HP to a HDTV or any monitor sporting a HDMI input.
For networking, Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) and single-band WiFi adapter are available. Smartphone owners might also like the Bluetooth 4.0 support.
DVD burner is fixed on the right hand side. SD card slot is installed on the left, good for quick data transfers or temporarily expanding the local storage.
The 1280×720 webcam with dual array digital microphones work with your favorite video chat software (Skype?).
Other noteworthy things
HP ENVY 15-v010nr is bit on the heavy side. Weighing 5.9 pounds, it’s more than an average 15.6 laptop’s ~5 pounds weight. The replaceable 4-cell battery is listed as working for over 6 hours. There are no confirmations about this yet, but I’d expect at least 4 hours of use.
A treat for techies, the keyboard is illuminated. It also contains 10-key pad on the right.
30-day anti-virus trial is pre-loaded but so are other programs, mostly HP utilities. I don’t know if they’re useful at all. They might slow down the system, if you’re concerned just remove the unwanted software from Control Panel.
Summing it up
HP ENVY 15-v010nr is a laptop of real power and useful features. There are not many things a new i5 processor with 8GB memory can’t do, and a terabyte hard drive won’t probably fill up during the whole lifespan of this notebook. The Full HD screen is nice to look at, and people excited about Windows 8 can try its touch features no problem. Smaller yet still great things include backlit keyboard and three USB 3.0 ports. The HP is of course not a road warrior’s dream due to heavy weight. But if you don’t travel much with your laptop, there’s nothing stopping you from getting this excellent HP.