Pros: Skylake Core i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB of storage, suitable for casual gaming, long lasting battery life, relatively cheap price, excellent customer service.
Cons: Hard Drive instead of an SSD.
More often than not there's not that much of a price difference between an entry level laptop and a mid range laptop. However, the difference in terms of performance is usually quite noticeable, especially when you're an intensive user -such as myself-.
Today we're going to talk about one of those affordable mid range models that stand out thanks to its Full HD display, 6th generation Core i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM. Yes, that's right, today we're all set to review the HP 15-ac121nr, wanna come?
Review of the HP 15-ac121nr , High Specs at a reasonable price
Incredible Display on top of a polished design
If you're reading this review it's likely that one of the main things that caught your eye about this laptop was it's stunning Full HD display. You wouldn't be wrong. Specifically, the HP 15-ac121nr comes with a 15.6 inch WLED-Backlit display that features a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels and a standard aspect ratio of 16:9.
This is especially surprising when you look at other models within its price range since most of them don't really go the extra yard and stick firmly with a heavily outdated resolution which is the 1366 by 768 standard.
In terms of design, we really like the clean cut that the 15-ac121nr boosts. It's not an especially premium device but it's nice enough that on first glance it's pretty clear you're not looking at an entry level machine. As for the keyboard, we've got a standardized island style keyboard which is typically preferred by those of us who spend several hours a day typing away.
The size and weight is also within standards, with 0.96 inches and a weight below the 5 pounds it's a pretty portable device though not nearly as much as we would find on an ultrabook, for example.
What's under the hood? What can I do with this notebook?
Once we've moved past the more aesthetic point of this review it's time to take a hard look at the key elements that conform this notebook. On that point, the HP 15-ac121nr is powered by a Core i5-6200U CPU. This is a dual core processor with 4 threads and 3 MB of L3 Type Cache that works at a 2.3 GHz speed, bumping it up all the way to 2.8 GHz when the demands of the system require it.
All in all, this is a very good consumer processor, ideal for powerhouse users who are looking to do some processor intensive tasks but not for those who need maximum power since those will be better suited with an i7. Overall there's not that many limitations to a 6th generation i5 and most consumers will have more power than they actually need.
In regards to the System Memory, we're glad to say that HP pulled out all the stops when prepping this notebook and has endowed it with 8 GB of DDR3L SDRAM. That's more than most users actually need since it offers up users with the ability to do some heavy multitasking.
Either way, it should be noted that the RAM may be upgraded to 16 GB through an additional 8 GB though it's our opinion that most people really won't need nor notice the difference in a real case scenario.
Is it well suited for gaming?
Though not oriented specifically towards this kind of consumer, the HP 15-ac121nr in review is definitely a valid choice for the casual gamer. Inside we'll find an Intel HD 520 graphics card which will perform rather well at low and medium settings in games like Metal Gear Solid V or World of Warships or even Fifa 16.
More demanding games like The Witcher and Far Cry Primal won't do very well, even within low settings, therefore we don't really recommend this laptop for hardcore gamers but casual gamers will be more than pleased.
Good Storage and Battery Life
While an SSD would be optimal, such is not the case when it comes down to the HP 15-ac121nr's storage. No, for this notebook we've got a 1 TB Hard Drive that works at your standard speed of 5400 rpm. This is the norm and we know that if this laptop had an SSD it wouldn't go beyond 128 GB so all in all I guess we really can't complain.
The battery life is actually quite good. Surprising when you consider that the laptop boasts a Full HD display. However, the optimization of the Skylake processor coupled with a 4 cell battery gives us roughly 7 hours of battery life which in general is pretty good.
Let's talk Ports and Miscellaneous extras
In closing we're going to take a quick look at the ports. In this case there aren't that many surprises. We've got our typical 3 USB ports, of which one is USB 3.0, an ethernet entrance to access the internet at faster speeds, HDMI outlet to connect the laptop to the TV as well as an SD card reader. For all those avid Skype users it's also worth noting that this laptop features an HD webcam as well as DTS sound technology.
It also has Bluetooth 4.0 as well as your standard WiFi support. System-wise we've got a Windows 10 laptop so there's no downloads needed when the laptop arrives at your doorstep.
Some reviews are easy, others are harder because the laptop just doesn't offer a lot of value for the money. This review of the HP 15-ac121nr goes into the "easy" category. Overall we really can't complain when it comes to this model. We love the display, enjoy the processor and have more than enough RAM to handle all of our multitasking demands. The battery life is good enough to make this laptop a truly portable device and the price is on par with what we'd expect.
If to all this you also add that the laptop comes straight from HP which has the best customer support then it's clear that you're looking at a complete winner. There's really not much more to say.