February 27, 2017 4:01:05 pm
A lot of people still ask me to suggest a good, affordable laptop and I tell them to push their budget to get the cheapest Mac, the MacBook Air. My reasoning for this is simple: ever since Windows 10 has come out. buying an under-specced laptop might not give you a great user experience with the Microsoft operating system. I am speaking more from experience as I had to return my office issued laptop and move to a workstation instead. Anyway, it is rare to get hold of a laptop to review these days, and so I latched on the opportunity to test an HP laptop that is powered by AMD, and not the ubiquitous Intel.
HP15-BA021AX is one giant laptop, especially given that we are now in 2017. This model seems to have been designed by someone, who was under a rock when the world was talking about Ultrabooks and ultra-thin laptops. Anyway, this is more a desktop replacement, rather than something you would enjoy lugging around on your back.
But most of us will not have a choice as this is what we will be able to afford, or what the IT department of your organisation will choose for you. But let’s look beyond design.
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Specs: 15.6″ diagonal HD SVA BrightView WLED-backlit (1366 x 768) | AMD Quad-Core A10-9600P (2.4 GHz, up to 3.3 GHz, 2 MB cache) | AMD Radeon™ R7 M440 Graphics (2 GB DDR3 dedicated) | 4GB DDR4 1866MHz | 1TB HDD | 4-cell, 41 Wh Li-ion | Windows 10 | Card reader, HDMI, LAN, 802.11b/g/n (1×1) and Bluetooth® 4.0 combo
Price: Rs 38,690
My objective with this laptop was to test if the processor is able to take in the rigours of daily (online) life these days. For instance, in my line of work I have scores of tabs open on multiple browsers by the end of the day. This would invariably prompt a medium range Windows laptop to express its displeasure and stall. My IT department came up with a simple solution: open just one tab on Chrome, which is just impossible to follow.
So I started with multi-tab browsing and the laptop held up well. Yes, it did slow up a bit as the Firefox browser crossed 12 tabs, still it was not that bad. I am not sure this is better than the experience I have had on similar laptops, but this was certainly not worse off.
The other test was with high resolution images. Again with mid range photos, the laptop had no issues. But when I got into the really heavy photos, it take time to load. Once the initial loading was done there wasn’t any issue doing regular edits and flips of the images.
With Full HD video, the laptop performed reasonably well. However, it could not play either 2K or 4K content. I tried different players, but to no avail.
Overall, the HP15-BA021AX powered by the AMD Quad-Core A10-9600P APU seems like a value for money laptop. But it should also be understood that at this price you are not expecting a device to be able to offer much in terms of high-end performance. If you need a regular laptop that has good processing power and are not very ambitious about what you expect from this device, then this seems like an option you can explore.
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