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[Review] HP 16U74UA#ABA (17-by3072cl): Impressive Stuff!


While it's true that 17-inch laptops are far from mainstream these days when the new standard is the 14-inch laptop, we can't forget that there's still a market who looks for bigger screen real estate, a market that's looking for a laptop that's powerful as well as big enough to replace their desktops yet allows for portability when needed.

Such is the case of HP's recently launched HP 17-by3072cl, also known in some sites as the HP 16U74UA#ABA (one is the product number and the other the laptops name). Either way, HP's new laptop has managed to gather quite a following thanks to its integration of the latest Core i7 processor, a generous storage option of 512 GB, a relatively lightweight design that doesn't reach the 6-pound mark as well as its extremely balanced price point

Yet, is it worth buying? And, more importantly; is this the laptop you've been looking for? Today we're set on figuring this out on this review of the HP 16U74UA#ABA / HP 17-by3072cl. 

Technical specifications 

  •  Make / Model HP16U74UA#ABA/ HP 17-by3072cl
  •  Dimensions 16.33 x 10.72 x 0.96 inches
  •  Weight 5.44 pounds
  •  WLED Panel SVA Panel | 17.3 inch 
  •  HD resolution (1600 x 900 pixels)  
  •  Intel Core i7-1065G7 Processor | 4 cores | Up to 3.9 GHz 
  •  8GB RAM (DDR4) 
  •  Intel Iris Plus Graphics Controller 
  •  512GB storage (SSD) 
  •  3-cell battery (Lithium) 
  •  Windows 10 Operating System   
  •  Wi-Fi connectivity Bluetooth 4.2 USB 2.0 USB 3.2 (x2) HDMI Ethernet Audio combo connector DVD + RW drive

Who's it for?

With its massive touchscreen, high-end processor, and substantial storage, this laptop is well suited for students and professionals who won't settle for the 14-inch format. 

For people looking to increase their productivity and for those who don't want to coddle their laptop because they're either tight on CPU power, on RAM, or on storage, this is the perfect option.

 Ultimately, we're talking about a powerhouse laptop capable of taking on just about any task you through in its direction with the only exception of graphically intensive tasks such as professional-grade video editing, gaming, and the likes.

Design and Panel

Let's get one thing out of the way: HP didn't re-invent the wheel when they sought out to design the 16U74UA#ABA. Honestly, it's got quite a standard design, one we've been seeing rather frequently over the past few years and one that does little to innovate, however that is to be expected when a device isn't priced at the higher end of the spectrum.

Also, being a 17-inch laptop means it's thicker and heavier than its 15.6-inch counterparts, measuring almost 1-inch of thickness and weighing almost 5.5 pounds

The keyboard is centered on the base, with the trackpad located right below it. The keyboard, by the way, is also backlit, to allow for late-night typing sessions. Basically, it's one of those features you never actually look for but then you end up being surprised by how much you actually use it. 

As far as the screen is concerned, we've got a 17.3-inch display that features slim bezels and is touch-sensitive. This is far from common on 17-inch laptops yet greatly appreciated for those looking for it. However, it should be pointed out that this is not a convertible laptop, you can't flip the screen 360 degrees or anything of the sorts, it's just a touch screen

As a drawback, we must point out the resolution of said display, which is limited to 1600 by 900 pixels, also known as an HD display. This is below the standard Full HD resolution we've grown accustomed to in the last couple of years and is possibly the biggest drawback we see to the HP 17-by3072cl. 

Let's talk about performance

This HP 16U74UA#ABA comes equipped with a powerful 10th generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, with 4 cores, that clocks in at a base speed of 1.3GHz, and can reach a maximum clock speed of 3.9GHz in turbo mode. 

This is an excellent processor that manages to balance high-end performance with energy efficiency offering a sorts of fusion between what was traditionally the hardcore i7 and the more balanced Core i5, delivering us the power of the Core i7 alongside the energy efficiency of the i5.

Couple that with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and we're looking at a laptop that means business. What's more, if you're looking to expand, per Crucial we know that this laptop accepts up to 64 GB of RAM.

 Now while that amount is definitely an overkill for most of us, upgrading to 16 GB by adding an additional 8 GB module is definitely worth considering, be it now or later on as it's a very affordable way to further future proof the device as well as allows you to go to town when it comes to multitasking. 

Finally, when people think about performance on a laptop they automatically think about the processor and the RAM, hardly anyone ever stops to think about the storage, as if didn't have anything to do with performance. However, the type of storage your laptop comes with will have a massive impact on the speed at which your laptop gets things done.

In that regard, we're very happy to announce that the 17-by3072cl comes with a 512 GB SSD storage unit.

First of all, a big thank you to HP for going all out and offering that much space and secondly, the fact that it's an SSD unit instead of a hard drive that was standard just a few years back means that this laptop can offer speeds up to 10 times faster on anything from downloading files, rendering images, turning off your laptop or launching software, pretty much everything you do will be benefited by the inclusion of an SSD. 

So, what does this all mean in day to day tasks?

You might be thinking; "that's all good, but I don't speak nerd-ish, what does this mean for me?". If that's the case, we hear you loud and clear. 

Basically, this set of key specs mean that we're looking at a laptop that's well suited for demanding software such as VMware, launching virtual machines, programming, rendering images, and of course tasks such as videoconferences, editing spreadsheets, browsing the web, and streaming movies will go off without this laptop as much as breaking a sweat. 

Graphics and Battery Life

When it's time to take on the graphics department there are two kinds of users; those who take full advantage of the GPU with gaming, 3D rendering, professional-grade video editing, and those who could hardly care less because they're not going to do anything of the sorts. If you're part of group one then you're out of luck, the HP 16U74UA#ABA features an integrated Intel Iris Graphics Card

This GPU is good for streaming movies, playing some extremely light gaming, and doing some image retouching with Photoshop. It is not, however, the GPU you want if you're planning on playing the latest AAA games and doing some 3D rendering. 

If that's the case then you'd be far better off with the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53-72XD, a laptop that was built with those objectives in mind. 

What about battery life?
In terms of battery life, it's often the case that 17-inch laptops have a rather poor battery life because manufacturers assume that people don't care as much. Fortunately for us, HP didn't make that assumption on the 17-by3072cl which claims roughly 9 hours of battery life.

In our extensive experience covering laptops, we've found that a good rule of thumb when looking at manufacturer's battery life claims is to reduce it by about 25% which in this case still leaves us with a very respectable 6-7 hour battery life. 

Connectivity Options

A limited variety of connectors extend into the sides of this notebook: 1 USB 2.0,  USB 3.2 (x2), Ethernet port, HDMI, 3.5mm audio output DVD player, and recorder. Oddly enough, it does not feature a USB Type C port, there's also an SD card reader.

As for the wireless connections, we've got Bluetooth 5 and WiFi 6, which is much appreciated as it's a standard that offers up to 40% better upload speeds. 

Verdict: Is it worth it?

17-inch laptops are becoming less and less common with most manufacturers focusing their work on 14-inch models. That said, in this review of the HP 16U74UA#ABA / HP 17-by3072cl  it's clear that not all hope is lost and some manufacturers do still care about this particular niche. 

The laptop we've covered today is an excellent value proposition. It's got killer internals that allow you to get your work done and an interesting touch-screen for those who are looking for said feature. It also boasts a generous battery life and a very substantial storage capacity that means you can forget about storing everything on separate drives for fear of running out of space. 

Its only drawback is the lack of a Full HD display but if this isn't a deal-breaker for you (which it's not for many people)  then this laptop offers excellent value and we can't imagine anyone not benefiting from it.