HP Pavilion 15-ab020nr is a Summer 2015 release boasting Broadwell-based i5-5200U processor, 6GB system memory and a big (although slow) 1024GB hard drive. The operating system is the much-criticized Windows 8, although free upgrade to Windows 10 should be available (which is a smart move from Microsoft, by the way). In the below review, we’ll explore this laptop more and find out if it offers decent value for someone looking for a powerful computer to work with…
What things does it run?
There’s nothing wrong with the overall performance of HP Pavilion 15-ab020nr. It has the Core i5-5200 (two cores, 2.2GHz clock speed, 2.7GHz turbo) commanding the system. In CPU Mark, the i5-5200U receives a decent 3500 points, around 500 more than modern i3s but 500 less than low power i7s. All in all, the i5-5200U is a capable processor good for running most things – including usual online stuff such as YouTube, emails and browsing but also dedicated programs like image editors or virtualization software.
The total memory is 6GB (DDR3L 1600MHz). It is distributed on one 2GB and one 4GB stick. As such, there are no free slots available but you can always remove the 2GB chip and put another 4GB in, thus reaching the maximum 8GB RAM. But it wouldn’t make so much sense, 6GB is enough for about everybody and the 6GB-8GB difference is minimal.
Hard drive is big here, it must be said. At 1024GB you shouldn’t have problems finding space for bigger or smaller files. But as you might know, such a drive is a mechanical one, running at a measly 5400RPM. It’s not nearly as fast as modern solid-state drives. Thus, if you value smooth user experience over huge storage, you can always replace the drive with SSD if you know how to do that.
Can it also run games?
The laptop features Intel HD Graphics 5500, an integrated unit, so not great gaming performance can be expected – but there are still some games HP Pavilion 15-ab020nr can handle. For example, the system is able to run GTA 5 with playable ~20FPS, but that will only work with 720p and medium details. But titles with easier graphics, such as League of Legends and CS: Go, will work on higher settings while retaining better frame rates. Also any game running on a browser will work without hiccups.
Is the screen decent?
HP Pavilion 15-ab020nr has a 15.6″ touchscreen featuring 1366×768 resolution. To some, this 720p is a disappointment, to some, it doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t personally mind seeing a Full HD display but understand it might not always happen for this price. Also keep in mind this is not a 2-in-1 model, the screen won’t rotate past a certain angle, about 135 degrees.
What devices can I connect?
Just like with any other 15″ notebook, also HP Pavilion 15-ab020nr accepts three simultaneous USB peripherals – there are one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 connectors available. On top of that, plugging in a desktop display or HDTV is possible, the laptop features a dedicated HDMI output.
The laptop comes with an internal DVD burner. There’s also SD media card reader which can be good for uploading stuff from memory cards (e.g. from digital cameras).
Networking interfaces include all the essentials, 100Mbps RJ-45 port and a WiFi adapter (although just b/g/n, no AC). Bluetooth 4.0 is likewise supported.
All laptops have a webcam of some sort. That’s also true here, you’ll get a decent HD camera useful for video chats and conferences.
The listed weight for HP Pavilion 15-ab020nr is 5.5 pounds, bit on the heavy side for 15 incher on paper (many are about 5 pounds) but in real life the difference isn’t noticeable. The included 4-cell 41Wh battery is said to last up to 7.5 hours, but I’m pretty sure you’ll end up with ca. 5 hours.
The system doesn’t seem to have a backlit keyboard. A dedicated numpad is installed on the right.
Starting with the advantages, HP Pavilion 15-ab020nr has a solid backbone: i5 processor, plenty of RAM and a big hard drive. They should ensure that applications – be it a simple web browser or heavier style like VirtualBox – run with no issues, and all your files can be easily put to the terabyte storage drive. But a large drive also means slow transfer speeds: if you want to make this notebook even faster, a solid-state drive would need to be installed. Another thing to be wary of is the graphics performance. With integrated Intel HD 5500 you’re not having wonderful frame rates and much eye candy with many games, however low-level gaming is still very possible. All in all, the HP doesn’t offer excellent value considering its current price, but should you be able to grab it at discount, this notebook would make sense for the power user minded.