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HP 15-dy2021nr: Review of a Portable and Powerful Ultrabook

HP 15-dy2021nr: Core i5 laptop with SSD drive, QWERTY keyboard and Wi-Fi 6

Pros
  • Stylish ultrabook design
  • 15.6-inch Full HD IPS Display 
  • Expandable SSD storage
  • Wi-Fi 6
Cons
  • RAM memory not upgradeable 
  • The keyboard is not backlit
Finding a stylish ultrabook that features a decent set of key specs, doesn't weigh a ton, and isn't extremely overpriced is quite frankly a very challenging task. Most ultrabooks will feature either very limited specs or will try and seduce us with a novel design at the cost of a massive price tag, whilst still keeping the spec-sheet hungry for more power.

It's with that in mind that today we're happy to be reviewing one laptop that seems to be the exception to this rule. We're talking about the HP 15-dy2021nr, a lightweight 15-inch ultrabook that packs an 11th generation i5 processor, Intel Iris XE graphics, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage for the lightning-fast performance of everyday tasks. 

In short; the perfect student or business laptop. But don't take our word for it, check out everything there is to know in this review or see what people are saying about this model here



Index


HP 15-dy2021nr Technical Specifications


Make modelHP 15-dy2021nr
Dimensions14.11 x 9.53 x 0.71 inches
Weight3.75 lbs
DisplayIPS | 15.6-inches
ResolutionFull HD (1920 x 1080 píxeles)
ProcessorIntel Core i5-1135G7 (4 cores up to 4.20 GHz)
RAM8 GB (DDR4)
GraphicsIntel Iris X Graphics
Storage256 GB (SSD)
Battery3 cells (Litio)
OSWindows 10 Home
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
USB-A (x2) 
USB-C
HDMI 1.4b
Audio jack
SD card reader
HD webcam
Microphone


Who's it for?

As we pointed out in the intro to this review, the HP 15-dy2021nr is perfect for business professionals and students who need a capable and relatively lightweight laptop to take with them on the go.

It's a capable laptop with mid-range specs and enough RAM to be capable of performing a wide array of everyday tasks such as editing spreadsheets, streaming movies, listening to music, and working with several tabs open at the same time if you're a big multitasker.

We would NOT RECOMMEND this laptop for graphic designers or people who make a living with image/video processing due to the fact that this is still a mid-range laptop and therefore lacks a dedicated graphics card for that would be ideal to perform this kind of activity on a professional level. That's not to say you can't do some video editing and some image editing on this laptop, just not at a professional grade. 


Design

HP 15-dy2021nr display and design


Measuring 17 mm (0.7 inches) thick at its thinnest part and weighing just 3.7 pounds, it is clear that one of the biggest advantages of the HP 15-dy2021nr lies in the portability it offers compared to other 15-inch models. 

This coupled with a silver plastic chassis delivers a pleasant feel in terms of quality build that will be noticeable as soon as you touch it. Complete that with an elegant brushed metal look and you've got yourself a stylish yet discrete laptop that's ready for meetings or classes.

Keyboard and trackpad

Writing documents and editing spreadsheets is handled by a spacious full-size QWERTY keyboard with a built-in numeric keypad to facilitate your daily office tasks.

And although it is not backlit, the truth is that the typing experience will be very comfortable and fluid, thanks to the correct distribution of its keys and high precision of the integrated trackpad, compatible with various touch gestures.

Would we have liked a backlit keyboard? Yes, definitely. But, at least for us, that's hardly a dealbreaker when you consider the price/specs ratio we're looking at here. 

Display


Implemented within a thin black frame, its 15.6-inch display features IPS technology -to favor viewing from multiple angles- and a matte surface that will drastically reduce the presence of reflections, especially in outdoor locations.

In terms of brightness, it has the more than decent 250 nits that we are used to seeing in HP devices of this range; while its Full HD resolution and 45% coverage of the NTSC spectrum ensure the sharpness and color fidelity you need when watching movies, series and other multimedia content.

Again, we should point out that this is not for image professionals. In that regard, don't expect a high-end display such as the one you would see on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. If image quality is a very big deal for you then we would encourage you to opt for something along those lines, more so with the price reduction you can find these days on the M1 Macbook Air. 

HP 15-dy2021nr Ports and Connectivity


The HP 15-dy2021nr's key hardware sets the tone with the 11th generation of Intel processors, the Core i5-1135G7 chipset. A balanced yet powerful CPU with 4 cores, operating at frequencies of up to 4.20 GHz through TurboBoost, with 8 MB of cache and 8 execution threads.

Memory-wise we've got 8GB of DDR4 RAM (2666 MHz), - divided into two 4 GB modules -. This provides the necessary bandwidth to work with multiple apps at a time while ensuring more efficient power consumption.

For storage, there's a 256 GB SSD, whose speed when turning on the computer (8 seconds), opening applications, rendering CAD projects, and transferring files, only adds to your daily productivity. 

Trust us, if you're coming from a laptop that featured a hard drive or a hybrid storage solution the difference between these systems of storage is night and day when it comes to performing everyday tasks. Ask anyone who has swapped from an HDD to an SSD and they'll all tell you the same thing; it's a game-changer. 

Ultimately, when it comes to performance, this set of key components is not only more than enough to perform typical office tasks (office automation, Internet, mail, video calls, etc.) but also manage more demanding tasks (programming, virtualization, light photo retouching and CAD design)  rather smoothly.

Obviously, by not having dedicated graphics you can't expect high-end performance on graphics-intensive software but this laptop can hold its own quite nicely with some light photo retouching.

In any case, the worst that will happen if you start using it more intensely for these kinds of tasks is that it will just start lagging behind and that'll be your cue to look for something else if that's the case. 

Ports and Connectivity

Moving on to the connectivity department, we should highlight the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 standards, to ensure fast and powerful wireless connectivity, as well as a single USB-C input with transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps.

The remaining terrestrial solutions are quite varied, as they bring together an HDMI 1.4b output, 2 USB-A inputs, a multi-format SD card slot, a 3.5 mm audio jack, a webcam with HD resolution, as well as a dual matrix digital microphone, for clearer voice calls, something many of us need these days.  You're still better off with a dedicated set of headphones with a microphone but it's better than average in any case. 

To cover the sound section, a pair of discrete quality stereo speakers are added, which you can optimize through external solutions such as headphones or higher-powered speakers.

Battery Life

In terms of battery life, we need it to be good in an ultrabook and HP has certainly delivered good. Is it great? No. But it's good enough for most of us. Specifically, we've got a battery that can manage up to 9 hours of video playback or 7 hours under mixed usage. 

That's what HP claims at least. On the other hand, its buyers assure us that it can manage 5 hours under continuous mixed-use, that is, multimedia entertainment and web browsing with several open tabs. 

Overall, your mileage may vary depending on how you make use of the 15-dy2021nr, but you should consider that it should deliver you anywhere between 5 to 7 hours under normal usage. 

That being said, a really cool feature of this notebook is the fact that it has quick charge technology, being able to charge it to a 50% capacity in under 50 minutes. 

Can the RAM / Storage of the HP 15-dy2021nr be increased?

According to official information provided by the manufacturer, it is not possible to increase the RAM memory on this model.

On the other hand, the integrated 256 GB SSD can be expanded by installing a second additional M.2 PCIe NVMe drive in the free M.2 slot.

Bottom Line: Is the HP 15-dy2021nr worth buying?

Productivity and mobility are two of the most important factors to take into account when choosing a laptop, with this model being a great option, thanks to being able to deliver on both of those fronts.

Ultimately, if you are looking for that perfect hybrid between elegance, mobility, and performance, the HP 15-dy2021nr is one of the most complete solutions that the market currently has to offer within its price range.  A great choice for students, business professionals, and small business owners who want a laptop that can do more than browse the web and hold Zoom calls.