Normally I would place hardware reviews over on Unpwnd.com but this one is special. It makes my website and games go.
This particular HP is only available from Best Buy. At the $299 price point, you know this isn't a gaming machine.
- Screen Size: 14 inches
- Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768 (HD)
- Processor Model: AMD Athlon Silver 3000 Series
- Processor Model Number: AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
- Processor Speed (Base): 2.3 gigahertz
- Solid State Drive Capacity: 128 gigabytes
- System Memory (RAM): 4 gigabytes
- Graphics: AMD Radeon
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home in S Mode
- Battery Life: (up to) 8 hours
This laptop isn't a powerhouse but is adequate for webwork, minor photo editing, and lightweight games.
For some buggy reason, Best Buy's spec sheet proactively shoots this laptop in the foot. It is not a 2-in-1, does not have a touch screen, a keyboard backlight, or a voice assistant. In my mind, these missing features actually define a functional laptop, so they aren't really lacking. I expect a phone or a Chromebook to talk back. I expect a drawing surface on a tabby. Not so much on a laptop. Not having these features is a-okay.
The one stat that jumps out at me is the screen resolution. 1366x768. That is the finest screen of 2002, it's a weak point. In the image below, the desktop looks sharp due to the vibrant colors of the photo. When you go text on white, the weakness of 1366x768 is pretty apparent.
It does have three other flaws, all of which revolve around the keyboard. The layout is "creative", placing the question mark on the bottom row, arranging the navigation keys vertically down the right-hand side of the keyboard and the trackpad doesn't have much in the way of palm rejection. It's really annoying, like $300 dollars annoying.
On the plus side, the keyboard is responsive. The boot time is very nice and storage space is more than adequate at 128GB. Four GB of memory is kind of on the low end, but it's enough to run multiple tabs, GIMP, or Inkscape. The trackpad has actual buttons which are nice.
The port arrangement and loadout are really great. It has 2 USB, 1 USB-C, HDMI, a card slot, and an ethernet port. While these are all pretty standard, but having all of them on a budget frame is surprising.
A handful of items I missed. This laptop has great speakers for a subpar machine. Streamed movies actually look good on this machine. Neither is "brilliant" but this is more than what $300 should get you. The battery life is a quandary to me. I've had sessions where it pooped out in 3 hours and others that lasted all day long. I suspect that A/V software stresses the poor thing too much and text-only operations don't tax it at all.
All in all, I give it 2.5 of 5 stars.