How does a Core i5 laptop for 500 bucks sound to you? HP Pavilion 15-p151nr is such a computer, with processing power adequate for casual and professional users alike. Of course, CPU alone doesn’t tell everything about a computer. So let me tell you about various aspects of this HP below.
Intel Core i5-4210U is a so-called 4th Generation processor, launched in Q2 2014. It has two cores and clocks up to 2.7GHz when turbo frequency is activated. It’s faster than a regular Core i3 chip and a lot faster than low-end Celerons and Pentiums. The performance is good for multitasking, programming and other resource intensive tasks. Of course, all the daily activities such as web surfing and Netflix are piece of cake for it too, but that lightweight stuff can also be done with less powerful (and less expensive) processors.
The laptop comes with 4GB RAM installed on one chip. It’s also advertised as the maximum memory this HP supports, which I’m doubtful about. Usually, modern notebooks support at least 8GB memory, so chances are you could actually do the swap for bigger memory on this laptop, too.
750GB hard drive is a good compromise between a basic 500GB and a splurge 1024GB drive. The quarter a terabyte can still store around 150 DVD movies to give you an example. The dark side of these HDDs is the speed which is much slower than solid-state drives. If you want an SSD it should be possible to make the switch.
HP Pavilion 15-p151nr’s display doesn’t differ from other budget notebook screens in any way. It’s a 15.6″ diagonal non-touch display with 1366×768 resolution. Yep, not a Full HD this one. For everyday computing it’s still sufficient. Touch features of Windows 8.1 can’t of course be used on that screen.
Briefly on gaming
The HP can be used to play many games if you dare to keep settings and resolutions low. The graphics unit is called Intel HD 4400 which would run titles like Battlefield 3/4 at least on 25 frames per second. Minecraft, on the other hand, should have +50FPS even on higher settings. Just keep eye candy at minimum and you should reach alright frame rates on most titles.
HP Pavilion 15-p151nr has two USB 3.0 ports which is nice thing, considering many of its competitors come only with one USB 3.0. In addition, there’s one slower USB 2.0 as a backup.
HDMI output is available for those who like to use their laptop through a PC monitor or HDTV.
Internet can be reached with 10/100Mbps Ethernet (RJ-45) port and a 1×1 802.11b/g/n WiFi. Bluetooth 4.0 (with Miracast support) is also available.
DVD burner is installed on the laptop as well as SD memory card reader. A HD webcam is there too, allowing for video meetings and calls.
What other things to keep in mind?
The weight of HP Pavilion 15-p151nr is 5 pounds, an amount that most 15.6″ laptops weigh. There’s a 4-cell battery installed on it, allowing for 3 or 4 hours running time.
A numeric keypad is located at the right hand side of non-backlit keyboard.
The usual bloatware is pre-installed on this HP, along with 30-day trial for McAfee LiveSafe anti-virus program.
Summing it up
HP Pavilion 15-p151nr is a notebook for people looking for raw processing power on a budget. Intel Core i5 processor is a powerful tool to play with, but it would be best combined with appropriate memory. Indeed, the RAM in this laptop is only 4GB which might limit its usefulness for power users to a degree. Other than that, it’s not a bad choice if you want a system with more performance than a cheapo Celeron-based rig has.