How does an affordable laptop with 17.3″ touchscreen sound to you? It might be a great choice for multimedia use, for example. HP Pavilion 17-f220nr is such a large notebook with touch display, and the engine room is decorated with components like AMD A8 processor. The current price isn’t that bad either, so heck, why not to examine this HP further…
HP Pavilion 17-f220nr features a processor called AMD A8-6410. It has a base speed of 2.0GHz, although you’ll get little more (2.4GHz) with the turbo boost. There are four cores in this AMD, and in benchmarks it gets similar grades to Intel Core i3 processors. Solid general performance can be expected, and the A8-6410 model is a working compromise between a very cheap but ineffective CPU and an expensive, power user oriented bit cruncher.
The laptop has 6GB DDR3L RAM installed. Both memory slots on the mainboard are taken, but you should be able to replace those memory modules if you want to perform a RAM upgrade.
For storage a conventional hard drive is offered, meaning lots of space (750GB) at the expense of speed (5400RPM). Such a drive can host hundreds of games and ten times more images and music files, but has considerably slower read and write rates than a solid state drive. This translates to worse user experience because program and system startup times are slow. If you’re concerned about this, you must do a swap for an SSD which costs money.
Display and graphics
There’s a touch screen in HP Pavilion 17-f220nr so you can enjoy the pre-installed Windows 8.1 to the fullest. It’s also quite big, at 17.3 inches the display should work well for movies and videos. But not that well compared to a premium screen, because this display sports a resolution of 1600×900. It would give you more screen estate to work with if it was Full HD. But this price category isn’t quite ready for 1920×1080 monitors.
The AMD processor has a built-in graphics engine, bearing the name Radeon R5 (Beema). In professional benchmarks it gets worse grade than Intel HD 4000, so in comparison to most Intel Core i3 models the graphics performance is inferior. As a result, old games will run fluently, but 2014-2015 titles likely not. For example, Battlefield 4 will get ~25FPS while Tomb Raider closer to 40. With lightweight games like Minecraft you should get even more.
The connections of HP Pavilion 17-f220nr include three USB ports, and two of them are USB 3.0. There’s also a standard HDMI output, so you can just plug an external monitor in and enjoy this laptop on a bigger display.
The networking is based on a 10/100Mbps RJ-45 port and a 1×1 WiFi adapter. Nothing fancy here, but at least Bluetooth 4.0 support is built-in.
A SuperMulti DVD burner is installed, creating and reading CDs and DVDs works. So does working with memory cards due to the SD card reader.
Like with all laptops, there’s a webcam (HD quality in this model) available, so video chatting is possible.
Something else to keep in mind?
As you might figure out, HP Pavilion 17-f220nr is not a road warrior’s best companion. It weighs good 6.91 pounds, much more than an average 15.6″ laptop of ~5 pounds. There’s also a 4-cell battery installed, but considering the big touch display, the battery will likely give only three hours running time.
In this HP, the keyboard is non-backlit. The trackpad and keyboard are moved left due to numeric keypad on right. This might or might not be a preferred setting for you.
According to specifications, the laptop comes with HP bloatware installed. This is essentially harmless, but it might have impact on performance. If you experience slowness you can uninstall these programs through the Control Panel.
Summing it up
HP Pavilion 17-f220nr looks like another solid laptop of HP’s, providing a large touch screen for effortless Windows 8.1 and entertainment use. The processor and RAM are capable of running most applications without breaking a sweat, and 750GB hard drive should easily suffice for the lifespan of this notebook. Some worse things include questionable graphics performance – you can play old games fine, but for newer games the Radeon R5 is hardly enough. So if you’re a player, get something else, but for everybody else I could recommend this HP thanks to the reasonable current price.