HP Pavilion 17-G040NR might seem like a good deal for people looking for an inexpensive yet big laptop. After all, the screen size is 17.3 inches, definitely larger than laptops often have, and that’s exactly what people wanting to replace their desktop might need. In addition, performance isn’t too bad – the notebook has Core i3 processor and 6GB RAM keeping things running smoothly, the terabyte hard drive isn’t shabby either. But don’t rejoice yet, this notebook has some disadvantages. And I’m going to tell you more about those below…
The processor of HP Pavilion 17-G040NR is 5th Generation Intel Core i3-5010U. It’s quite a new model, released in 2015, with two cores and 2.1GHz clock speed (no turbo available). Its faster than the previous generation i3s, receiving over 3000 points in CPU Mark (4th generation i3s get ~2600). To put it short, the i3-5010U can be used for all daily tasks, including entertainment like watching movies.
There’s six gigabytes DDR3L SDRAM memory installed in the laptop. It comes on two DIMM-type sticks. This means you can go all the way to 16GB RAM if you feel the need. However, for most users, I think 6GB is the sweet spot for memory. It’s not too little such as 2GB (or even 4GB for some instances) might be or not an overkill like +8GB.
For storage, the computer relies on a good old hard drive. It’s very big, offering a 1024GB storage capacity. Speed is also the “good old” 5400RPM, not great at all, and if you’ve tried SSDs you will probably notice this notebook feels slower in use. In that case, you could remove the hard drive altogether and put such a fast solid-state drive in.
Display and gaming
One of the distinctive features in HP Pavilion 17-G040NR is the display – it’s not your regular 15.6 inches but a bigger 17.3″ touchscreen. Don’t look for great portability here, instead for entertainment use such a bulky screen might be spot on. But the resolution is just 1600×900 so you won’t be watching Full HD movies without them being downscaled. Not a big deal in my opinion anyway, but good to keep in mind.
There’s nothing stopping you from gaming on this notebook if you don’t mind reducing eye candy. The graphics are powered by Intel HD 5500 engine that uses shared memory – in other words, it’s an integrated graphics card. If you keep settings low and resolution 1366×768, you should be able to get 15-20FPS with heavier games such as GTA 5. You’ll do much better with simpler games, titles like Sims 4, Fifa 15 and Team Fortress 2 will work fluently here.
HP Pavilion 17-G040NR comes with three USB ports. Two are USB 3.0, one is USB 2.0. The notebook also sports a full-sized HDMI output; connect a TV to that if you want to use the laptop through a bigger screen.
An optical drive is included, you can burn and write DVDs with that. Media card reader is available too, you’ll be able to insert memory cards from digital cameras etc.
It should be quite convenient to connect this HP to networks. The laptop features 802.11 n-type WLAN + Bluetooth card and a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port with RJ-45 connector.
Obviously, there’s also a webcam (HD quality) which can be used for video meetings and chatting.
Anything else to keep in mind?
HP Pavilion 17-G040NR weighs a lot like these bigger models always do. The unpackaged weight is 6.84 pounds. The unit’s 4-cell 41Whr battery is likely to last the usual 4 hours under light workloads, like web browsing.
Unfortunately, keys don’t light up on this model, it would be bit pricier if backlit keyboard was supported. However, numpad is planted on the right hand side.
A big laptop is never a bad choice if you don’t care about portability or you’re not a “road warrior”. These things work wonders for home or office use where you don’t have to carry them for long times. You’ll be able to use HP Pavilion 17-G040NR for all the most common programs, also gaming is not off limits given you can play with lower settings. Replacing the hard drive with SSD will provide a big performance increase. All in all, a very well priced general use laptop.