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[Review] HP 15 DY1031WM: HP (Almost) Nailed It!

  • Core i3 CPU for a solid performance
  • 8 GB of RAM for comfortable multitasking
  • 256 GB of Storage
  • Massive battery life w/quick charge.
  • HD Display
  • No Ethernet port

HP has managed to fill up 2020 with a slew of interesting laptop proposals that go from the very basic entry-level models, such as the recently reviewed HP 15-DW1083WM, to very high-end laptops designed for the most demanding set of users. 

However, most of us don't fit in either of these use cases as most people need a nice mid-range laptop that can deliver a solid performance on everyday tasks without emptying out or bank accounts in the process. 

Such is the case of its shiny new mid-range, the HP 15 DY1031WM. A compelling laptop that hooked us in with its competitive price and knocked us out thanks to its pretty awesome features. Without further ado, let's see what all the fuss is about. 

Technical specifications overview

  •  Make / Model Hewlett Packard 15 DY1031WM
  •  Dimensions 14.11 x 9.53 x 0.71 inches
  •  Weight 3.75 pounds
  •  Backlit LED Panel TN | 15.6 inch 
  •  HD resolution (1366 x 768 pixels)  
  •  Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor | 2 cores | Up to 3.4 GHz 
  •  8GB RAM (DDR4) 
  •  Intel UHD Graphics G1 Graphics Controller (Integrated)
  •  256GB storage (SSD) 
  •  3-cell battery (Lithium) 
  •  Windows 10 S Operating System  
  •  Wi-Fi connectivity Bluetooth 4.2 USB 3.2 Type A (x2) USB 3.2 Type C HDMI Multi-format SD card reader Audio combo connector HD webcam Digital microphone 

Who's it for?

This laptop is the perfect option for professionals and students looking for a laptop that's good for typical tasks such as editing documents, streaming videos and music, chatting with zoom, learning programming, and, of course, browsing the internet in search of that perfect meme.  Overall, a device that was built to handle the most common tasks both in terms of productivity as well as content consumption.

Design and Panel

The HP 15 DY1031WM offers a rather traditional design, simple and functional, in a sober silver-gray color. At its base, a full keyboard stands out, with good corridors and large keys for good travel and response. At the top, a grill covers the speakers, for a rather modern design. The touchpad is located towards the left side, with a strip at the bottom to rest the hand. 

Limited resolution display 

While this laptop does not disappoint when it comes to key internals, it did drop the ball when it comes to the screen. Specifically, HP has decided to sell this model with a 15.6-inch HD display, that's 1366 by 768 pixels, roughly half the resolution that you'll find on most of its competitors which will typically boast a Full HD display. 

For many people it's not a big issue but for those who really care about image definition they'd be better off with a Full HD laptop such as the popular Lenovo IdeaPad 3 81W0003QUS which packs similar overall specs to HP's model but brings the resolution up and keeps within the same price range.

That said, beyond the resolution, we do appreciate the slim bezels and the 220 nits of brightness which offer a lively image even if not the one with the highest resolution. 

Let's talk about the key components

HP has left the performance of this notebook in the hands of the 10th generation Intel Core i3-1005G1A dual-core chip that naturally runs at 1.20 GHz and can clock up to 3.40 GHz in turbo mode. It is a mid-range processor that should be fine for most use cases. 

It is necessary to emphasize that, although it only has 2 cores, each one tolerates up to two threads, therefore performing as a quad-core processor. 

What tasks can you do with this processor and this RAM?  

With 8GB of RAM, this laptop offers efficient performance for common tasks: working on text files, spreadsheets, streaming movies, stalking your ex on social media, and all your average tasks.

The Core i3 manages to keep the system stable in parallel and demanding tasks, with good power management and without suffering from computer overheating. 

Also, thanks to its 8 GB of memory capacity, your multitasking needs should be more than covered, being able to open browser tabs to your heart's desire. 

A spacious and efficient storage

 256GB of space on an SSD (solid-state) drive make the HP 15-DY1031WM a good alternative for those who need to store and carry a large volume of data (from documents to videos, through mockups and multimedia projects). Consider that many laptops in this price range will typically offer 128 GB.

What's more, if you're coming from a laptop that used a Hard Drive - probably the case if you haven't updated your laptop in 4+ years and you're replacing another mid-range model - then prepare to have your jaw drop at the massive upgrade in speed and performance you're about to witness.

 Forget about going for a coffee in between clicking the power button and seeing the Windows Logo, this laptop's got game, and thanks to its SSD its also got speed.

Graphics and Battery Life

In the graphics section, this computer has an integrated Intel UHD Graphics G1 card, which has very low results in benchmark performance tests, although it is better in its performance than previous versions of Intel chipsets.   

What can I do with this dedicated graphics card?

Basically, it's a GPU that's suitable for streaming movies, having video-conferences, and so forth but not anywhere near the GPU you'd need to play games. 

In any case, who really needs a laptop that can game when you can now buy an awesome Oculus Quest Gaming VR system for less than the cost of this laptop, it's like having a gaming laptop in your head!

In regards to battery life, HP has really managed to step it up with claims of over 11 hours worth of juice. However, since this is not our first rodeo, we're very much aware that claimed battery life and actual battery life are two very different things, with a good rule of thumb being to slice 25-30% of the advertised time which should get you a realistic ballpark figure. In this particular case that would be roughly 8 hours which is still a very respectable number. 

In any case, it also features fast charging, something we truly appreciate, being able to juice up to 50% of its battery capacity in just 45 minutes, which means we should get about 4 or so extra hours of battery after that charge. 

Variety of connectors for all uses 

The DY1031WM comes with the basic connectors for good interconnectivity: USB 3.2 Type C, USB 3.2 Type A, HDMI output, 3.5mm audio output Multi-format SD card reader.

Its wireless connectivity consists of Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac (also known as WiFi 5). Unfortunately, due to its compact size, it lacks an ethernet connection, and since its 2020 and not 2010 there's also no trace of a DVD reader, R.I.P.

Verdict: Is it worth it?

If we set aside the display resolution in this review of the HP 15-DW1031WM we can confidently say that this laptop delivers on almost every front.

 It has a good processor and enough RAM to offer up good performance on everyday tasks, more than enough storage to allow you to host both your software and your multimedia library, and an incredibly respectable battery life which, combined with its lightweight design, make it a very portable laptop. Buyers seem to like it and if we're being honest so do we.  

It's a great laptop for most users. However, if you're not tied to the brand, we'd recommend at least checking out the aforementioned Lenovo IdeaPad 3 81W0003QUS, it packs very similar features as the HP model but increases the bet with a Full HD display at a very similar price

Ultimately, with the price being equal we would be remiss if we didn't recommend you get the Lenovo, otherwise, the HP is still a very good proposition and if you're not going to watch movies and series on the laptop then you're fine either way.