Let me tell you about HP Pavilion 17-f023cl. It’s AMD A10 powered touchscreen laptop, and at least on Amazon, it’s selling as a refurbished item. This often predicts better price/performance ratio, with the possible risk of wear and tear on the item. Most of the time signs of use are not present, so we’ll concentrate on measurable aspects of this laptop in the review below.
HP Pavilion 17-f023cl’s processor is AMD A10-5745M. Its vital stats include a quad-core setup and 2.9GHz clock speed on turbo use. The performance of A10 AMDs can be compared to some older Intel Core i3s, which are adequate for uses ranging from simple web browsing to Photoshopping and other tasks demanding more from the system. A graphics unit is also included in the processor, allowing you to play some games on this laptop.
Memory amount of this computer is 8GB. It’s more than your typical budget laptop has, and it’s enough for practically everyone. Sixteen gigabytes is the most this notebook supports, there are two memory sockets on the motherboard. Anyway, I don’t think that’s important to many as there’s so much memory already installed.
It’s a 1024GB hard drive that’s responsible for the storage of this laptop. It’s a lot – again more what you usually see in inexpensive computers. A terabyte drive can hold 10,000s of images, pieces of music and other small files, or hundreds of large movies or games. Lot of space indeed, but the speed of 5400RPM can’t be compared to swift solid-state drives. Swapping the hard drive for an SSD should be possible, although then you get less storage space in exchange for faster speed.
The laptop has a touchscreen, a feature you either use or not. The display itself is 17.3″ diagonal – bigger than a typical 15.6″ – and has 1600×900 resolution. I wouldn’t mind to see Full HD resolution on screen this big, but a budget laptop indeed has its shortcomings.
Operating system is Windows 8.1 (64-bit) which should work well with the touch display.
Briefly on gaming
You can play some games on HP Pavilion 17-f023cl, but don’t call it a true gaming laptop. It features an integrated graphics chip called Radeon HD 8610G. Looking at the benchmarks, its performance is between Intel HD 4400 and 4600. As such, many pre-2013 titles will run without issues, even with eye candy turned on. Minecraft should reach solid 60 on high settings. The heavier Battlefield 3 & 4 would run on around 30FPS on low settings, which is still somewhat playable.
Often, a cheap laptop has two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port. In HP Pavilion 17-f023cl the setting is luckily reversed: there are two USB 3.0s, and one USB 2.0 is left as a backup. The computer also has a regular HDMI output which can be used for hooking it with a HDTV or other external monitor.
The usual 100Mbps RJ-45 port and 1×1 802.11b/g/n WiFi take care of your networking needs. As far as I know, Bluetooth isn’t supported.
A true HP laptop, also this model comes with a SuperMulti DVD burner. In addition, there’s a SD memory card reader for extra storage and data transferring.
The notebook can be used for high quality video meetings: it features a front-facing HD webcam.
What other things to keep in mind?
HP Pavilion 17-f023cl is a big laptop. Its weight of 6.91 lbs is justified by the large screen, but for portability almost 7 pounds weight and 17.3″ screen don’t really work. And having only a 4-cell battery isn’t good idea for such a bulky notebook: most likely you’ll reach a maximum 3 hours running time on a single charge.
The keyboard is a non-backlit one. There’s a 10-key numpad on the laptop, a nice feature for somebody who hits number keys very often.
Looking at the pre-installed software I can say the HP comes with a bunch of bloatware. However, a 180-day subscription of McAfee antivirus program should be there which is definitely worth of keeping.
A refurbished laptop might scare some people off, but after reading user reports I can recommend these things. They are usually in excellent condition, leaving you with a notebook of high value. HP Pavilion 17-f023cl is indeed a fast computer: the AMD A10 processor and 8GB RAM work for home and power users alike. Considering the large screen and surprisingly capable graphics card, also low-level gaming should be possible and enjoyable on this rig.