HP Pavilion 17 G101DX with i5-5200U via Amazon
HP Pavilion is a high speed and power medium level 17.3 inch computer with a HD+ screen, the latest Broadwell dual core ultra low voltage Intel i5-5200U processor (3MB cache) at 2.2GHz speed up to 2.7GHz with both turbo boost and hyper threading features, 6GB DDR3L SDRAM on 2 DIMMs at 1600MHz for reliable multitasking power, very large 1TB Serial ATA hard drive at 5400rpm spindle speed for all your important data and multimedia files and the great new late 2015 release 64-bit Windows 10 operating system. This is a fast computer overall that can handle both the basic daily and more demanding tasks as the Jan 2015 release i5-5200U CPU has the benchmark score of 3507 at the of this review, placing it as a high to mid range CPU. 17.3 inch non-touch display has the HD+ BrightView WLED backlit display with 1600 x 900 pixel resolution and offers quite clear picture with vivid colours but it has no IPS panel so the image is nice when viewed from centre, not at wider angles and HD+ resolution should be the minimum for a 17 inch laptop screen.
It has the integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500 which is like the NVIDIA GT 620M for playing older titles at higher and latest titles at low settings. B & O dual stereo speakers are OK but not impressive even when you play with the audio settings and the integrated front facing high definition TrueVision webcam with integrated double digital microphones is good for live Skype chats with friends and family. Horizontal brushing in natural silver HP Pavilion is easy on the eyes, weighs 5.3 pounds and has the measurements of 15.10 x 10.18 x 0.93 inches so it is portable enough for a 17 inch laptop. Keyboard is full size, island style and backlit for comfy and accurate typing in the dim light but is not particularly the best feeling keyboard but being a 17 inch laptop it has the numeric pad on the right hand side. 4-cell 41WHr 2.8Ah lithium ion battery should last you around 5 hours in normal use-when watching videos or browsing the net at normal brightness. Connectivity options are the SuperMulti DVD/CD Burner, an HDMI output to connect to your HDTV, 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet LAN with RJ-45 connector, 802.11bgn WLAN wireless, Multi-Format Media Card Reader for easy transfer of multimedia, 2 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port to connect more peripherals and audio headphone out and microphone in combo jack.
Conclusion: Intel i5-5200U is up to 15% faster than the previous generation Haswell i5-4200U and is good enough for a variety of easy and difficult office and multimedia stuff, multitasking efficiently and running demanding apps. Integrated Intel HD 5500 graphics card is more capable than both the Intel HD 4400 and 5000 of the previous generation but you still can not play the latest games at high settings- you’ll need to reduce the settings for the games of 2015. Thermal Design Power- TDP is only 15 watts and the focus is more on energy saving and better lasting batteries so there is a slight sacrifice on performance too. 5400rpm speed of the hard drive is only standard speed but still fast enough for overall daily use. RAM is not easily upgradeable without opening the case. Windows 10 with the new Edge browser, Win 7 start menu, Cortana personal assistant and other useful features runs fast and smoothly- quicker boot ups and waking up from hibernation. Laptop runs relatively quietly and stays cool even after hours of operation. Another advantage is there is not much of a junkware you need to get rid of when you first turn it on. This is a decent laptop with enough power and speed, adequate image and sound, decent battery life and price- good value 17 inch HD+ laptop.