HP has found tremendous success with it's new laptop lineup. Truth is that most people looking to buy a new laptop will surely place HP at the top of their list thanks to the companies continuos commitment to excellency. Proof of said commitment is one of the companies latest forays into the mid range; the HP 15-ay020nr.
This new laptops doesn't really stand out when you take a simple glance at its specs but its the fact that its an HP product coupled with good hardware what makes you ultimately take the plunge and buy this model. That said, let's take a deeper look in our review of the HP 15-ay020nr.
The Good: 5th gen Core i3 CPU, 1TB of storage, 6 hour battery life, lightweight design, competitive pricing.
The Bad: 4GB of RAM should be a bit more for hardcore multitaskers.
HP 15-ay020nr Review of a laptop for the people
A lightweight design and a standard display
One quick differentiator between this laptop and most other laptops in its price and size bracket is its weight. Specifically, the HP 15-ay020nr weighs quite a bit less with 4.68 pounds, thats roughly 10% less than what you'll find on most mid range 15 inch laptops and at the end of the day that's something you end up noticing.
The display, in this case, is a 15.6 inch WLED-Backlit display with Brightview technology and an HD resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. Truth is that's not all that much resolution these days but for most people who are looking for a more robust battery life it's more than enough.
What I like about this model, aesthetically speaking, is its ample trackpad as well as its comfortable keyboard which delivers a good experience when typing away in the middle of the night. It's not a backlit keyboard but it's a comfortable keyboard which is half the battle.
Specs, specs, specs...
The key specs on the HP 15-ay020nr are comprised of a series of high end components such as a dual core fifth generation Intel Core i3-5005U processor which clocks in at 2.0GHz and works with 3MB of cache over four threads.
This is a pretty good processor for day to day tasks such as video streaming, video chatting, editing docs and surfing the web. That said, we wouldn't recommend this processor for very intensive tasks such as editing 4K video or doing some graphical design since load times could end up being frustrating.
As for the RAM, we've got a single 4GB DDR3 SDRAM module operating at a base speed of 1600MHz, this is standard on many laptops and though 8GB would've been nicer for multitasking purposes, the truth is that most of us could perfectly manage with 4GB without noticing that much of a difference unless we where doing some resource intensive tasks.
On the storage front we've got a 1TB hard drive which works at a standard speed of 5400 revolutions per minute, that's the standard storage speed for most laptop integrated hard drives, unless it has an SSD in which case it's considerably faster (and far more expensive).
Is it equipped for gamers?
Once again, we're sad to report that this isn't a gaming laptop. Equipped with an Intel HD 5500 Graphics chip, you'll be well off when editing the ocasional video and streaming high definition video but anything that goes beyond that is a non-starter from a graphical standpoint. It simply doesn't have the horsepower to allow you to let your inner gamer thrive.
Battery life and connectivity options
Battery life is where the HP 15-ay020nr makes up for having a "standard display" by including a 3 cell battery that delivers up to 6 hours of battery life. If we where to expect a bit less, which is always a healthy exercise when talking about battery life then we'd still be pretty happy with a 5 hour battery life in a more realistic scenario.
Finally, our connectivity segment in this review of the HP 15-ay020nr has you pretty much covered on all fronts with the latest WiFi a/b/g/n/ac standard as well as Bluetooth 4.0 support. We always recommend laptops that come with the latest WiFi standard since you can get download speeds up to three times faster when using a compatible router.
As far as the rest of the connectivity options go we've got a couple of USB 2.0 ports, your mandatory USB 3.0 port, an HDMI output, ethernet (RJ45) input, SD card reader as well as a DVD drive. There's also an integrated HD webcam and DTS Studio Sound technology.
What's the verdict?
Unimpressive? Yeah. Bad? No way. After taking a deep look throughout our review of the HP 15-ay020nr and its overall performance we gotta say that while we're not particularly impressed by any particular feature we do like the laptop as a whole.
Overall, we've got a good spec sheet, specifically when it comes down to battery life, storage and CPU. These aren't game changing specs but all in all it's clear that we're looking at a perfect laptop for students and people who aren't going to spend hours editing 4K video on this thing, alas; a laptop for the people. You can take a look at pricing and availability for this model here.