So you require more performance than a basic starter laptop has to offer? In that case, you must look for notebooks with a faster processor. Like HP Pavilion 17-f114dx that comes with a speedy Core i7 CPU. It’s actually Intel’s fastest CPU series (as of the beginning of 2015) so a lot could indeed be expected from this HP. Let’s see below how well it would suit your needs.
Intel Core i7-4510U is a processor featuring two cores and up to 3.1GHz clock speed when turbo speed is on. It’s one of the Intel’s flagships, Core i7, which are meant for advanced programs and multitasking. This particular model is still not the fastest i7, reaching around 4000 points in PassMark whereas the top notch i7-4700MQ gets almost 8000 points. In comparison, the popular Celeron N2840 found in budget laptops rates at mere 1000. So, the i7-4510U model this HP has should be adequate for any kind of uses, ranging from daily computing to complex applications.
The laptop comes with 6GB DDR3L memory. Many low-end notebooks feature 4GB, while the current six gigabytes is a healthy amount for most power users. It’s installed on two chips (4GB and 2GB), and can be expanded up to 16GB if you require that much.
Storage is provided by a 750GB hard drive. The usual laptop storage size varies between 500GB and 1024GB, with this HP sitting in the middle. Personally, I’d be content with 750 gigabytes – for example, you could put around 150 DVD-grade movies on that drive. Of course, these “conventional” hard drives have one disadvantage, which is the slow read/write rates. That can have effect on user experience, where newer solid-state drives with hugely improved speed feel lots faster to use than old hard drives.
Display and graphics
HP Pavilion 17-f114dx has a non-touch screen with 17.3″ diagonal and 1600×900 resolution. An average notebook display is 15.6 inches so this one is slightly bigger, making it a good pick for movies and other entertainment activities. The resolution should be alright for most, although I know the pickiest usually look for a Full HD screen which could be possible for this price.
There’s a graphics chip called Intel HD 4400 in this laptop. It comes with the Core i7-4510U processor, although some beefier i7 models have an upgraded version, Intel HD 4600. Nonetheless, on HD 4400 most games should run with at least decent FPS on low to medium settings. To give you an example, Battlefield 4 has around 25 frames per second, Thief ~15 FPS. Minecraft, League of Legends and other less demanding titles much more than those, no matter what settings you’d use.
HP Pavilion 17-f114dx’s two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 can be used to connect your peripherals to the laptop. The HDMI-out is good if you like to use the notebook with a bigger display, such as HDTV.
Internet connectivity consists of a 100Mbps Ethernet port and a regular WiFi. Bluetooth is not available by default, but can be installed with an USB adapter.
For working with optical media this HP has a DVD burner. It also contains an SD media card reader for small memory cards.
There’s a HD webcam installed which should be of high quality, allowing for effortless video chatting.
What else to keep in mind?
The 6.23 pounds weight is not that bad for a 17.3″ laptop. But in general, that’s rather cumbersome to carry – something on-the-go persons should keep in mind. The battery can’t be recommended for road warriors either because it wont give more than 3-4 hours life on a single charge.
The keyboard of HP Pavilion 17-f114dx doesn’t feature backlight as far as I know, but the 10-key pad comes handy for those that need fast access to number keys.
A lot of auxiliary software is pre-installed on the system. It’s also known as bloatware, which you can get rid of easily if you want to. 30-day trial for McAfee anti-virus is probably good idea to keep, though.
HP Pavilion 17-f114dx looks like a good option for those who want lots of performance without paying an arm and leg. Indeed, at the current ~600 dollars price this Core i7 powered laptop gives rather good bang for your buck. Gaming also works on it, provided that you don’t try to up the settings too much. The only downside might the large size. But unless you plan to travel a lot with your notebook that shouldn’t be an issue. And big size also means a better experience for movie watching and entertainment use.