Feeling a little bit adventurous? Want to get more value for your money? Perhaps you should take a look at something unconventional. Like HP Pavilion 15-r030wm. It’s otherwise perfectly normal notebool, but it’s dubbed as certified refurbished. So in essence, somebody has used it before you. This naturally leads to a price drop which probably attracts budget hunters. Sounds good, eh? Well, let’s see if this HP would be better than brand new laptops!
The price-performance ratio is understandably better in refurbished items. In a way, you’re paying less because there’s the “risk” that the laptop shows some signs of use. However, from what I’ve seen people who brought these items say, they don’t generally show any wear or tear whatsoever. So it’s probable you’d get a good version, too.
Performance-wise, HP Pavilion 15-r030wm is good for the money. Its processor is called Intel Pentium N3520. It’s a power efficient quad-core CPU with 2.2 – 2.4GHz clock speed (the latter is for burst frequency). Features like hyper-threading found in faster Intel i3s and i5s aren’t available, although the processor is comparable to some older i3s in terms of speed. As such, it’s sufficient for home and office use – gamers and power users should probably get a laptop with better processor.
The notebook contains 4GB DDR3L RAM on one DIMM chip. The maximum should be eight gigabytes. If you wanted to upgrade, you’d have to swap the old chip for a new one since there’s just one memory slot on the motherboard in total.
There’s a 500GB hard drive installed in the laptop. Operating at 5400RPM speed you won’t get benefits of a quick solid-state drive. The half a terabyte space is rather common amount these days and can host thousands of files no problem.
The non-touch display of HP 15-r030wm features 15.6″ size and a 1366×768 resolution. Also a common sight, it’s fine for basic use. If you were, say, a photographer, getting display with Full HD resolution would probably be a better idea.
Playing games on this HP laptop can work, depending on the game age and requirements. The Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) engine runs low-end titles just fine, including Minecraft, Trackmania and League of Legends on low settings. However, the same won’t happen in heavy 2013-2014 games. Most new titles, like Thief and Battlefield 4, would have frame rates below 20 even with eye candy turned off.
The basic 10/100Mbps Ethernet port and WiFi adapter allow you to connect to Internet with or without wire. Bluetooth is not supported.
HP Pavilion 15-r030wm has one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports for your peripherals. For HDTV or other external display the laptop contains an HDMI output.
DVD burner and media card reader for SD are installed on the notebook, so working with discs and memory cards is possible.
A HD webcam and digital microphone are featured on this computer.
What else to keep in mind?
The operating system is Windows 8.1, the 64-bit version. You can’t use all of its new features due to a missing touch display on the laptop.
4.92 pounds, the weight of this laptop, is perhaps a bit smaller than the average weight for 15.6 inches notebooks. For battery, you’ll get a basic 3-cell Li-ion one, so don’t expect more than 4 hours running time with one charge.
Other pre-installed software besides the operating system includes bunch of bloatware. A free 30 days trial for McAfee anti-virus program might be worth keeping, though.
Summing it up
Looking at the specs and price of HP Pavilion 15-r030wm I can say it’s a good deal. This is, of course, not the whole picture. You must also consider the fact it’s a refurbished computer. Chances are high you’ll get one in pristine condition, but of course the risk that wear and tear is visible exists – hence the lower price. If you’re fine with this, the computer offers you real value. Be it a home user, student or small office worker, you’d probably be happy with this laptop.