[Review] HP 15-DW1083WM: A Student Laptop With a Bang


Pros
  • Stylish design in red
  • Extensive battery life
  • Full connectivity suite
  • 128 GB of SSD storage
Cons
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • Dual core Processor
HP has worked hard this year to develop a laptop lineup that's as interesting as it is diverse, with several laptops that cater to the ever-increasing market of people who've taken on the task of working from home. 

However, not everyone who's working from home needs a state of the art laptop with all the bells and whistles, some just need a laptop to be able to perform the basic set of tasks we've come to expect from these devices ( ie: surf the web, edit documents, stream movies, write emails, listen to music, etc.)

Such is the case with this HP 15-DW1083WM, which arrives in a bright red color - that immediately manages to set it apart -,  a vibrant 15.6-inch screen - not all that common these days - a decent SSD storage of 128 GB, as well as a brand new Intel Pentium Gold CPU, all for a seriously competitive price point.

 Today we take it upon ourselves to dig deep and uncover everything there is to know about this budget laptop in this extensive review of the  HP DW1083WM.



Technical specifications 

  •  Make / Model: HP 15-DW1083WM 
  •  Dimensions 15 x 13.3 x 0.8 inches
  •  Weight 3.94 pounds
  •  IPS LED panel 15.6 inch 
  •  Resolution HD (1366 x 768 pixels)  
  •  Processor  Intel Pentium Gold 6405U  | 2 cores | Up to 2.4 GHz 
  •  RAM 4GB  (DDR4) 
  •  Graphics Controller Intel UHD Graphics 605 (Integrated)
  •  Storage 128GB  (SSD) 
  •  Battery 3-cell (Lithium) 
  •  Operating System  Windows 10 Home S 
  •  Connectivity Wi-Fi 5,  Bluetooth 4.2 Ethernet RJ-45 USB 3.1 GEN 1 (Type C) USB 3.1 GEN 1 (x2) HDMI Multi-format card reader Audio combo connector HD webcam Digital microphone 

Design and Panel


The first thing that stands out about this HP DW1083WM is its chassis in a bright scarlet red color. Made of plastic, its lid features the Hewlett Packard logo in silver and feels firm and smooth to the touch. When opened, it highlights a large, complete keyboard (with numeric keypad) with big, and highly responsive keys. 

The touchpad is oriented to the left - something that might not be to everyone's liking -,  and offers a wide base to rest your hands with soft edges to not strain your wrists in long typing sessions. At the top of the keyboard are the speakers in a single, elegant strip, good quality audio BTW. 

The screen of this laptop features a 15.6-inch diagonal, with a resolution that is not the best (1366 x 768 pixels), but well within what you see in this price range. Beyond the resolution, the screen is clear and crisp, with vibrant colors - as other customers have pointed out - and offers a slightly immersive experience thanks to its reduced bezels. 

 

Let's talk about the key components


Powerful performance 

The HP 15-DW1083WM offers outstanding performance thanks to an Intel Pentium Gold 6405U processor. It's a dual-core chip that runs at a speed of 2.4 GHz. It is not a model that can be taken to turbo mode, so its speed cannot be increased. However, each of its two cores can tolerate up to two threads, giving you the performance of a 4-core processor (depending on the CPU of course). 

As far as memory is concerned, this entry-level laptop features 4 GB of DDR4 SDRAM that operates at a rather impressive 2400 MHz. This amount of memory is decent enough to perform basic tasks but you should not expect a multitasking powerhouse. It's a perfect laptop for students or professionals. 

Specifically, with 4 GB of RAM and this particular processor you can expect a laptop that will work well when operating several browser tabs at the same time and you could easily stream music, chat with friends and do some document editing. As long as we're clear on this you're good to go. 


A limited but efficient storage  

When it comes to storage, we've been pleasantly surprised by a 128 GB SSD unit. This is rather generous for two reasons; first of all because of the capacity and secondly because of the format, with many laptops within its price range opting for slower storage options such the eMMC storage we've seen on the likes of the substantially cheaper Asus L510MA-DB02

That said if you come from a laptop that features a hard drive let me just say you're in for a real treat once you switch over to an SSD-packing laptop as the difference in speed in just about everything you do is abysmal.

Be prepared to say "wow" several times during your first interactions as everyday tasks such as starting office, downloading files, shutting the laptop off will be done in a matter of seconds and your world will be forever changed - ok, maybe it's not THAT big of a deal, but I'm a nerd so... -. 

So, what performance can I expect on day to day tasks?

Sure, we've spoken a lot about each component individually, but you want to know what this means FOR YOU. 

Well, it means we're talking about a laptop that's well suited to perform tasks such as browsing the internet, stream movies, listen to music, edit office documents, and have a skype call with friends. Though, being mindful of the rather limited RAM it's best if all these tasks are done separately. 

On that front, if you're fond of careless multitasking then we would advise you to upgrade the RAM on the HP 15-DW1083WM. You can do so by adding an additional 4 GB DDR4 PC4-21300 2666MHz Non-ECC SODIMM. 

You could upgrade to a maximum of 32 GB with two 16 GB sticks of compatible RAM though with this set of specs we would definitely advise for at least an extra 4 GB module to easily - and cheaply - get you the multitasking performance you could want. If you never want to worry about having too many tabs open you could also go for two 8 GB modules but 8 GB as a whole should likely do it for most users.

Graphics and battery life


As for the graphics department, this model packs an Intel UHD 605 controller. That's the graphics card you'd expect on a budget laptop so we're not going to do a deep dive into the specs and performance you can expect. Suffice to say this isn't a laptop aimed at gamers but you knew that already going in. 


Excellent battery life

One department where HP did a very good job is battery life - and people love to brag about this -. Specifically, this entry-level laptop delivers - according to them - about 9 hours of video playback.

However, with extensive experience on our backs, we know better than to trust the manufacturer's battery claims in this day and age, therefore, in an effort to manage our expectations, you should really consider battery life, in this case, to be anywhere from 6 to 7 hours with moderate usage.

In our experience, a good rule of thumb is to take claimed battery life and slice it by 25-30% and that's what battery life you typically end up getting on average tasks such as surfing the web and editing docs. 

However, a great feature that this model includes is fast charging, being able to charge up to 50% of its battery capacity in as little as 45 minutes. Impressive.

Variety of connectors for all uses 

Moving onto connectivity we can honestly say we're well served with a USB 3.1 Type C port, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, an HDMI port and an RJ-45 Ethernet portIn addition to a 3.5 mm audio output and a multi-format SD card reader.

There's also WiFi 5 connectivity and Bluetooth support because it's 2020 and what device doesn't carry Bluetooth?

Wrapping it up: Should you buy it?


HP did a good job and developed an interesting laptop for what it is; an entry-level laptop aimed at students and casual users who're not big on multitasking and don't mind watching things on an HD screen instead of a Full HD display. Overall, in this review of the HP 15-DW1083WM we can say we're witness to an interesting laptop that has certainly managed to find its customer base in students and casual users.

Having said that, we reiterate the option to upgrade the RAM on the HP 15-DW1083WM as a strong selling point for those looking to do heavy multitasking either now or down the line, making this the perfect laptop for anyone looking to get an affordable device that's not just a paperweight. 

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