HP Pavilion 15-p033cl Review

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November 19, 2014
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A refurbished laptop like HP Pavilion 15-p033cl might be a great deal: you get better performance for your buck, and there are no signs of use on it. But that’s the best case. In some rare cases, these refurbished items have minor flaws, like scratches in chassis or screen. Naturally, whether these flaws actually matter are a very subjective thing. Plus, wear and tear only appear on handful of devices, and it’s of course impossible to say before buying if the version you’re ordering has any on it. Because of that unpredictability, we’re going to focus on measurable qualities of this HP laptop in the review below.

The main things

The processor of HP Pavilion 15-p033cl is AMD A10-5745M, a power saver CPU of four cores and 2.1GHz base speed. It also has a turbo feature, which overclocks the processor up to 2.9GHz when you’re running demanding programs or games on it. In detailed benchmarks, it is similar to modern Core i3s from the Intel side, which means it’s rather powerful component and no home user should steer away from this AMD processor. It should also be sufficient for occasional heavier use, although for a dedicated power user laptop I’d probably get a tad more powerful CPU.

OK, the memory amount of 12 GB is little out of place. I can’t name many things somebody would need that much RAM for, especially on a 500 bucks laptop. Many laptops of similar price range offer 4GB memory, 8GB at most. At least it’s safe to assume that memory-wise, the notebook is alright for light and heavyweight use. The information about RAM expandability wasn’t unfortunately available, but I guess not many would need to do that on this Pavilion anyway.

The terabyte hard drive is plenty for a laptop, allowing you to host tens (probably hundreds) of thousands photos and other small files on it. The speed is just 5400 revolutions per minute, so reaching the solid-state drive speeds won’t happen on this Pavilion. However, one must choose between a large but slow hard drive and a small but fast SSD, and in this HP they simply chose the former. For users who don’t want to resort to cloud or external storage, a big hard drive like this is the way to go.

How’s screen and graphics?

HP Pavilion 15-p033cl comes with a touchscreen. In my opinion, it’s a great partner for the pre-installed Windows 8.1 (64-bit) since that OS has much advertised touch features. The screen size is 15.6 inches and while its 1366×768 resolution won’t please professionals, for basic use such a resolution goes. Watching Full HD videos from YouTube and streaming services is possible in a sense. Those videos will just be downscaled to fit your screen, and while they are obviously not Full HD anymore, they’re still as watchable as any video on a 15.6″ laptop screen.

For graphics, the HP offers an integrated chip called AMD Radeon HD 8610G. Tests indicate it’s somewhere between Intel HD 4400 and 4600 in terms of performance. As such, it’s not a true gaming card, but keeping in mind the huge RAM amount this Pavilion suffices well for some titles. Older games, like the popular World of Warcraft and Minecraft would run flawlessly with around medium settings. Demanding titles like Battlefield 3 would most likely end up with FPS around 25 on low settings.

Connectivity

As expected from a 2014 Pavilion, also this model sports one USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.0 ports. There’s also a HDMI output for HDTVs and other external displays.

To access Internet, you’ll get both 10/100Mbps Ethernet adapter and the standard WiFi on HP Pavilion 15-p033cl. Bluetooth wasn’t listed as supported, but you can use a cheap USB dongle as a remedy.

As it is, there’s also DVD burner installed on the right. A media card reader located on the opposite side supports at least the SD card format.

For keeping in touch with the world, the HP features a HD webcam and microphone.

Other noteworthy things

HP Pavilion 15-p033cl has the weight of 5.62 pounds. I consider this an average weight for a 15 incher with a touch display. I own a smaller screen but similar weight notebook and don’t have experienced any problems carrying it in my backpack. Battery life of this HP wasn’t listed in the specifications sheet, but I’d expect it to be around 4-5 hours.

There’s a 10-key numeric pad on right side of the non-backlit keyboard. The reason I mention this, some people love the numeric pad for convenient access to number keys. Some just hate it because they don’t use number keys often and as a result, the 10-key pad is just on their way. However, you don’t see many 15″ or bigger laptops these days without a numeric pad.

The Pavilion has a host of software installed in it. Some is useful, some is not. Free 6 months subscription for McAfee LiveSafe probably belongs to the list of useful software.

In conclusion

To be honest, these refurbished laptops always look good on paper. Their price is reasonable, while the performance is always better than that of brand new laptops of similar price. Indeed, the quad-core CPU and 12GB RAM are a powerful combo that would easily satisfy the needs of home users and many professional users alike. Gaming would be possible on low settings, and connectivity in general is good in this laptop.

The drawback of these items is unpredictability. It is possible (however very unlikely) that you receive product with visible wear and tear. Reading reviews around Internet nobody mentioned receiving a bad product though, so chances you’d receive a bad laptop are very small. Keeping in mind the previous, and the sleek design and capable performance of this Pavilion, I’d probably give myself a try for the laptop. That’s why I can also recommend it to you, no matter if you’re home user, office worker or a student.


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