HP Pavilion 15-p157cl Review

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January 1, 2015
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A Core i5 laptop like HP Pavilion 15-p157cl is something a power user might be thinking to buy. The price isn’t still that high, so doubts about the performance might rise. That’s why the friendly TechForPennies.com reviewer took a closer look at this notebook and found out more about its features. So continue reading to see how this HP would suit your needs.

The performance

The dual-core Intel Core i5-4210U processor can indeed be described as power user friendly. There’s a turbo boost feature that increases the clock frequency up to 2.7GHz and according to various benchmarks demanding software is very unlikely to bog this CPU down. Granted, it’s not the cheapest option but smart choice nonetheless if you want that extra performance Core i3s and basic Pentiums don’t have.

HP Pavilion 15-p157cl has 6GB memory installed. It’s obviously more than the common four gigabytes, and adding even more is possible. That said, you’d have to replace the old chip(s) in order to achieve the maximum 8GB RAM.

A 750GB hard drive is plenty. Chances are it has all the storage you need. To illustrate this, the drive can take around 150 DVD quality movies. It’s not a solid-state drive though so you can say goodbye to very fast operating times – but in storage space a good old 5400RPM HDD like this can’t be beaten.

The operating system of this computer is 64-bit Windows 8.1.

How about display and graphics?

HP Pavilion 15-p157cl has a display with 15.6″ diagonal and 1366×768 resolution. I know many people dislike the latter, longing for a Full HD screen. You might get a 1920×1080 laptop close to this price but performance would probably suck. You’d have to shell out more money to get a proper Full HD laptop or settle for 1366×768 like this HP. Depending on your preferences, both are viable options.

Graphics engine in this notebook is called Intel HD 4400. It’s faster than basic Intel HD chips (without numbers in the end) and can run many games flawlessly, especially the older ones. Reaching playable frame rates (~30) should be possible on Battlefield 4. Add couple of dozen frames more for Minecraft and even more to old titles like WoW and you’ll get an idea what this laptop is capable for.

Connections

The connectivity of HP Pavilion 15-p157cl isn’t that different from cheaper notebooks. There are the typical three USB ports of which two are USB 3.0. The HDMI output will let you use this laptop with a HDTV.

You can get Internet access with 1×1 802.11b/g/n WiFi or 100Mbps Ethernet port. Also Bluetooth is supported.

If you have DVDs and CDs you’ll be pleased to know this HP comes with a DVD burner ready to rock. If you prefer the modern way, there’s also a media card reader for SD cards.

A HD webcam is available, allowing for high quality video meetings as opposed to many notebooks sporting just VGA-level cams.

What else to consider?

HP Pavilion 15-p157cl weighs 5.62 pounds. I must say that for a 15.6″ laptop it’s quite heavy, reducing the portability to a degree. The advertised battery life of 6 hours should be taken with grain of salt: in practice, the 4-cell battery probably gives the regular 4 hours operating time.

As usually, there’s a numeric keypad included on the keyboard for those who want a convenient access to number keys.

I had a look at the pre-installed software and noticed there’s a lot of bloatware. Not a big deal, you can either leave them be or uninstall them. In case you don’t have better anti-virus, the 30-day trial for McAfee should probably be left installed.

Summing it up

If you want a wallet friendly laptop that won’t slow down on heavier use, you are on the right track with HP Pavilion 15-p157cl. The Core i5 CPU, 6GB RAM and Intel HD 4400 form a rather capable trio for both casual and power users, and as noted above, some gamers will find the notebook enjoyable as well. The two USB 3.0 ports and Bluetooth are also nice little features, although for the 5.6 pounds weight I’m not giving any extra points. As it is, a powerful rig with not so expensive price. If that’s what you want, consider getting this HP.


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