HP Pavilion 17-f210nr Review

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February 26, 2015
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How does an AMD A6 powered HP laptop sound to you? HP Pavilion 17-f210nr is a new release from the well-known computer manufacturer, featuring a ~500 dollar price tag with performance above a typical budget laptop. It is indeed a good pick for examination by Tech For Pennies review team. Here are our findings which will hopefully give you better idea about it!

Performance

HP Pavilion 17-f210nr comes with AMD A6-6310 which is a quad-core Accelerated Processing Unit of 1.8GHz base speed and 2.4GHz turbo. Its direct competitors are many Intel Core i3 processors, so average performance could be expected. That translates to suitability for everyday computing or office use well. Since the AMD is an APU, it also has a graphics engine allowing for some gaming which I’ll elaborate further down.

Six gigabytes of DDR3L memory is installed on this system. The configuration is one 2GB chip and one 4GB chip, occupying the two memory slots on mainboard. Installing more should be possible by replacing the smaller module. But another question is whether adding extra RAM is worth it. Probably not, since 6GB will take most users far.

The storage consists of a 750GB hard drive. It’s between a full terabyte and 500GB drives, giving plenty of space for your big files (images in hundreds of thousands, for example). Size is not a problem, but the 5400RPM speed could be for some. A good thing, this laptop model supports SSD if you’re willing to replace the hard drive.

Operating system is the today’s standard, Windows 8.1 (64-bit).

Graphics and display

HP Pavilion 17-f210nr has a screen of 17.3″ diagonal, so it’s bigger than a typical 15.6″ notebook. This can be a good or bad thing depending on how you use the computer. At least for multimedia use such a large screen would work. A small disadvantage, the resolution is just 1600×900 so you wont be able to enjoy native Full HD support. But the current resolution is good enough unless you’re a professional user.

A Radeon R4 is the name of the graphics engine. As some people might already know or guess, it’s just an integrated unit so not too great gaming experience can be expected. In benchmarks, the engine gets similar points to some mid-range Intel HDs, namely the 4200 model. You’re lucky if you get smooth frame rates in most current games, with Battlefield 4 giving mediocre 20FPS on low settings. For older titles the Radeon R4 chip should be better. Minecraft and other less fancy games would run with very playable frames per second.

Connectivity

The connectivity of HP Pavilion 17-f210nr doesn’t really surprise. It has three USB ports in total, with one being USB 3.0. The other are slower USB 2.0. For those who want to plug in their laptop to a bigger display, HDMI output is offered.

Networking consists of a 100Mbps Ethernet port and regular WiFi adapter. As a small bonus, Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported.

Typical for a big laptop, there’s a DVD drive installed. Its usefulness can be debated but I wouldn’t mind having it. There’s also an SD media card reader if memory cards are your thing.

The built-in HD webcam should be good enough for basic video chatting.

What other things to keep in mind?

HP Pavilion 17-f210nr weighs 6.2 pounds which is not a lot for a 17.3 incher. But generally for road warriors I wouldn’t recommend this big laptop. Not only because of the size alone but also due to the 4-cell battery. It won’t probably give more than four hours running time on a single charge.

No backlit keyboard is found in this laptop – such a feature is left for pricier models. However, a numeric keypad is included and comes handy if you’re doing bookkeeping or other work where effortless access to number keys is required.

Taking a look at the software section of specifications I can see there are many HP utilities pre-installed. They can be annoying, in which case uninstalling those programs helps.

Conclusion

HP Pavilion 17-f210nr is a common mid-range laptop, above cheapest Celeron-based models but below notebooks considered power user friendly. Its AMD A6 processor and other components will be sufficient for everyday computing, while the big screen suggests entertainment use. Of course, the laptop is lacking many premium features, including Full HD display, which might upset many techies. But a home user can very well live without these fancy things. As such, I can recommend this HP for the affordable price it currently has.


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