HP Pavilion 15-R013CA Review

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January 8, 2015
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HP Pavilion 15-R013CA is a refurb item. But don’t turn it down right away. They can bring lots better value than brand new laptops – provided there are not many signs of use in them. In this review, we’ll concentrate on the performance and features of this refurbished notebook to see if it would answer your needs well.

The basics

This model sports Intel Pentium N3530 as its processor. It’s a 2.16 – 2.58GHz four-core CPU meant primarily for low-level use. Pentiums are still faster than Celerons, both good for casual users, but I wouldn’t recommend neither for heavier stuff. That goes for the whole laptop though, and power users should choose a more powerful and expensive item than this.

HP Pavilion 15-R013CA has 4GB memory installed on one DIMM. Again, it’s good for non-demanding use and to be honest, most people are fine with it. I’m pretty sure you can swap the RAM chip for a larger one if you wish, as these laptops support at least 8GB memory.

The storage comprises of a regular 500GB hard drive. It probably has enough space for you, but then again if you are prone to downloading big files half a terabyte fills rather fast. I can’t give any extra points for the 5400RPM speed either, but for those who are not familiar what solid-state drives offer in terms of speed this hard drive is just fine.

The laptop runs on Windows 8.1, the 64-bit edition.

Display and graphics

HP Pavilion 15-R013CA has a 15.6″ non-touch screen. Needless to say, the resolution is 1366×768 on such a cheap notebook. Some people prefer Full HD for larger screen estate and some are fine with lower resolutions. I’m alright with 1366×768, having used such a laptop for ages. But whether you are is entirely different question.

The graphics engine of this model is called Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail). Bad news for gamers, it’s a poor performer along with the processor when it comes to gaming. Graphics-heavy titles hardly run on this machine, with Battlefield 4 frame rates dropping below 10. The famous Minecraft should be playable – at least on the Optifine mod. Another example of a working game is Trackmania which runs on low to medium settings easily.

Connections

HP Pavilion 15-R013CA comes with three USB ports. As with most cheap notebooks, one of them is USB 3.0. The HDMI output lets you use this notebook with external monitors.

100Mbps Ethernet port and 802.11b/g/n WiFi allow you to connect to Internet. There’s no Bluetooth support by default.

The laptop houses a DVD burner and an SD memory card reader. There’s also a basic webcam for video conferencing.

Anything else to keep in mind?

The 4.9 pounds weight of HP Pavilion 15-R013CA is not heavy or lightweight when compared to its competitors. The 3-cell 31Wh battery should have up to four hours operating time web browsing.

Not surprisingly, this cheap model doesn’t come with a backlit keyboard. However, the keyboard includes a 10-key numeric pad.

Conclusion

A cheap laptop is a tempting buy. And also a laptop with better price-performance ratio than the others. Such is HP Pavilion 15-R013CA. Of course, other side of the coin is the danger of receiving a product with faulty something, because somebody has indeed used it before you. But also these items can be returned, and from what I’ve read people haven’t left complaints about visible wear and tear. So if you want an affordable Pentium-level (step above from Celerons) laptop this HP could be a good choice. All the daily activities are piece of cake for it.


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