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HP Pavilion 17-e123cl is an interesting case. At least on Amazon, it’s sold as “certified refurbished” item. So somebody has used it before you. At best, there should no wear. At worst, only limited amount of wear should be visible. But what is essential, refurbished means cheaper price and better performance. Sounds pretty nice deal to me, let’s see how good the laptop really is!
The processor of HP Pavilion 17-e123cl is AMD A8-5550M. That model has 2.1GHz base speed, 3.1GHz turbo speed and runs on four cores. The A8’s are not the flasgship of AMD’s processor armada, but for a laptop in this price range they are very capable workhorses. For a typical home user, there’s nothing this processor couldn’t do.
The system memory in HP Pavilion 17-e123cl is whopping 8GB. It’s double from what you usually see in budget laptops. All that 8GB is installed with one module. There’s also one free slot, although the memory max is 8GB (and already capped) so installing another memory chip wouldn’t make any difference. However, I wouldn’t worry about the RAM at all, there’s so much of it you won’t ever need more.
The hard drive is also bigger than in most cheap laptops. HP Pavilion 17-e123cl features 1024GB storage drive running on 5400RPM. If you know about these things, you already know having 1TB of storage space is plenty – especially on any laptop.
Graphics & Display
Yes, it’s a touchscreen! The LED-backlit display is 17.3 inches big and has resolution of 1600×900. It’s not Full HD but pretty close. Using the pre-installed Windows 8.1 (64-bit version) should be a smooth sail with this touchscreen.
The graphics engine of HP Pavilion 17-e123cl is Radeon HD 8550G. These integrated Radeons are known for their limited gaming performance (see benchmarks if you’re interested about the details). All I can say that newer games with lots of fancy graphics would not work with this chip. But if your favorite games consist of older, less demanding titles, getting acceptable FPS should be possible.
Like most budget laptops, also HP Pavilion 17-e123cl contains 3 USB ports. Two of those are USB 3.0, one is USB 2.0. Both VGA and HDMI outs are also installed as well as the regular headphone/microphone combo port.
As we’re talking about a portable computer, getting access to Internet should be made effortless. Indeed, there is support for both wired (10/100Mbps Ethernet) and wireless networking. Bluetooth is not supported out of the box.
Anything else to keep in mind?
A lot. For starters, having the big touchscreen means added weight. HP Pavilion 17-e123cl weighs 7.74 lbs which is quite much for, erm, portable computer. I would say 5-6 lbs is maximum weight so one can comfortably carry his notebook around. With close to 8 pounds this HP is not friendly for those on the move. However, if you primarily use it at one location, the weight is probably not an important factor for you.
The HP features a DVD writer, allowing you to read and burn CDs and DVDs. There are also 720p webcam and microphone installed for your video sessions in Skype.
The keyboard is a non-backlit one and features 10-key numeric pad on the right.
HP Pavilion 17-e123cl’s price-performance ratio is excellent, at least on Amazon where the item is labeled refurbished. However, I saw comments from buyers that mostly they couldn’t tell this laptop is indeed a refurbished one. Thus, receiving a product with wear and tear is unlikely to happen.
Indeed the suitability for traveling people is limited due to heavy weight, but besides that I don’t see anything particularly bad about the HP. An everyday user at home or office whose computer activities consists of web browsing, email sending, YouTube videos and perhaps light gaming would get the most out of it.