If you thought a laptop with a fully fledged SSD unit, a Full HD screen and up to date specs was incompatible with a low price point you would have been right...until now. This week HP has launched one of its most viciously competitive laptops to the market with a set of specs that's almost unbelievable. We're talking about the HP 15-ay013nr.
HP's new laptop is clearly going for the kill with a 128GB SSD, Skylake generation i5, a Full HD screen, a lightweight design and all that for what's essentially an entry-level price. No, this is no April Fool's joke, so let's not waste another moment and get to the specs in our review of the HP 15-ay013nr. If you're looking for a version with a Core i7 CPU and 256GB of storage, read the review here.
HP 15-ay013nr Review AKA Best Budget Laptop in the Market
A display that needs no introduction and a carefully crafted design
One of the HP 15-ay013nr's most compelling features and a main selling point on its own is the screen. Specifically, we've got a 15.6 inch Full HD display with WLED-Backlit technology and an anti-glare coating to maximize viewing capacity even over direct sunlight.
Sure, HP could've gotten away with just this feature but it's clear the company has decided to go all the way, something made evident when we look at the brushed metal design, carefully placed trackpad and very lightweight body of just 4.6 pounds. Make no mistake, HP was crafting a premium laptop over here.
Actually, the keyboard is the only standard element of this laptop, with a typical island-style keyboard with a dedicated numeric pad on the side. No, there's no backlighting, but we're quick to forgive and forget as will you when you see its set of internals.
Chart-topping performance from start to finish (the Pros)
As if the Full HD screen and polished design wasn't enough to sway you, HP has endowed this model with a 6th generation Core i5-6200U processor. This is a Skylake chip (current generation) that works over 2 cores with a base frequency of 2.3 GHz that takes the plunge to 2.8 GHz when pressed against the metaphorical wall.
It's a 14nm chip that excels on all fronts providing incredible performance on pretty much everything you throw its way. It doesn't matter if you're looking at this laptop to write a novel, binge-watch house of cards at Full HD or compile the code to the next Snapchat, this processor can take all that and then some.
By the way, speaking of doing lots of stuff, you'll also be able to do all of these things at the same time thanks to the very generous 8 GB of DDR3L SDRAM. If you're a heavy user such as myself and you like running on all cylinders then 8 GB should fit the bill very nicely. On the other hand, if you've always been used to doing one, two or at best three tasks at a time then you've got the added bonus of a laptop that will be future-proof for when the next version of Windows comes around. It's a win-win.
RAM and CPU aside, the biggest feature we can find on the HP 15-ay013nr review is the storage. Finally, a company that steps up to the plate and offers plenty of SSD storage for a mid range price.
Specifically, we've got 128GB of SSD storage, if you haven't used a laptop running on an SSD unit before then you're in for a treat and if you have then you can quickly acknowledge the bargain at hand.
Just for the sake of comparison, the entry level MacBook Air priced several hundred dollars above the HP 15-ay013nr boosts precisely 128 GB of storage and runs on half the RAM and a 1600 by 900 display. Just saying...
What's the deal with gaming and battery life?
Finally we've found something this laptop can't do very well and we're happy we did because otherwise we might've thought we've gone mad. No, this laptop is hardly suited for gaming with an integrated Intel HD 520 Graphics chip.
Don't get me wrong, it's a good graphics chip for general performance such as streaming high quality video or editing your friends 4K wedding video it's just not the best graphics chip for hardcore gamers.
Battery life is yet another pro of the HP 15-ay013nr since according to the company we've got a little over 7 hours of battery life. We'll admit we're generally a bit skeptic when it comes down to trusting manufacturers and their claims of battery life so we're more inclined to believe this laptop performs well for about 6 hours on average use. That said, 6 hours is still pretty competitive and have you seen the rest of the specs on this thing!
A connectivity that makes no compromises
Forget about settling for what you can get when you can get it all. At worst the only fault we can find in the connectivity department is that it only has 1 USB 3.0 port and a couple of USB 2.0 ports. Setting that aside, there's an RJ45 port, HDMI, audio combo and, of course, an optical drive.
Did we also mention that WiFi is blazing fast thanks to its WiFi ac support. This is standard amongst high end laptops but not so much amongst mid-tier models. Then again, there's not much of anything "standard" on this laptop at this price point.
Wrapping it up: We Love It
At this point we sound like a teenage girl gushing over her first crush but when you've been at this for as long as we have, finding a laptop with this set of features at a mid range price is almost as rare as finding a unicorn on your way to work. That's how we felt with our HP 15-ay013nr review.
The design is sleek and modern, the storage is fast, connectivity is great, battery life is above average, GPU, CPU and RAM are up for anything. Truthfully this has got to be the biggest bargain we've seen since the launch of the F555LA-AB31 which now looks like a toy when compared to this model.
Our recommendation, if you're looking for a new laptop buy this one, unless you're looking for a gaming laptop in which case you should search for something with a dedicated graphics card. Other than that it's hard to see this laptop disappoint anyone.