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[Review] HP 15-ef2025nr: Balanced & Affordable with a Punch


  • Decent Battery Life
  • Upgradable RAM and Storage
  • Extensive connectivity options
  • Powerful octa-core CPU
  • No backlit keyboard
  • No Full HD Display
Finding the perfect mid-range laptop is no easy task. A laptop that's too expensive won't provide enough value and a cheap one will come with too many compromises. HP has recently released the new HP 15-ef2025nr which is aimed directly towards those looking for a solid mid-range unit.

HP's new laptop is one of the first units to arrive with Windows 11 right out of the box and also features a generous storage capacity, decent RAM, and a powerful AMD processor. However, the laptop isn't without its faults, mainly its HD display. Today we tackle everything you need to know about this notebook to help you decide if this is the right laptop for you or if you're better off elsewhere.

Who is this laptop for?

=>Students: This laptop is ideal for students. The processor, RAM, and SSD are powerful enough to run most programs thrown at it while the battery life is over 7 hours which means you won't have to look for a power supply in your bag or next to whatever desk you're studying at.

=>Home Office users: This laptop is perfect for home office usage. The same applies to students who need a laptop they can comfortably work from at home while still offering solid performance and decent battery life so you don't have to keep looking for a wall socket nearby.

=>Business professionals: This laptop is also suitable for business professionals who need something powerful and reliable without having to spend more than $1000 on a thin and light laptop. While the display is not the sharpest, this laptop features excellent connectivity options, solid performance, and decent battery life so it's perfect for those working in an office environment that requires them to do some typing from time to time.

Design, Display & Keyboard

HP didn't re-invent the wheel when they crafted the design of HP 15-ef2025nr. It's got your standard silver design with a nice "brushed metal" look on the palm rest. It's a fairly minimalistic design, only featuring the HP logo on the back cover and the center of the lower bezel.

Construction quality is decent but don't expect an aluminum build on a mid-range laptop, it's plastic, let's not kid ourselves.

The keyboard features a solid key travel distance which is appreciated but the contrast between the lettering and the background color on the keys isn't all that with the background color being silver and the lettering being a dark grey.

There's also no backlight so essentially if you're not a touch typist and you need to look straight at your keyboard when typing then you better make sure you're in a brightly lit environment.

For us the keyboard isn't that big of a deal since we're touch typists but we can see this being an issue for people who aren't.

The display is a surprise. Sure enough, the picture quality is fine but we've come to expect a Full HD display on mid-range laptops and this unit features a standard HD display with a 1366 by 768 pixel resolution.

Honestly what surprises us is that these days you'd be hard-pressed to find a laptop that doesn't have a Full HD display. As an example, we could point out to our recently reviewed Acer Swift 3 SF314-59-75QC or the Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R3UB, both mid-range laptops with similar specs that go ahead and include a 1920 by 1080 pixel (Full HD) display. Just something worth considering.


While we're not the biggest fans of the 15-ef2025nr's display and keyboard, we've got to give credit where credit is due and HP did deliver on the performance front, as many customers can attest to. Specifically, this notebook packs a powerful octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU clocking at a base 1.8 GHz and reaching stellar speeds of up to 4.3 GHz when we set out to perform intensive tasks.

Couple that with a blazing fast 256 GB of PCIe NVME SSD with read/write speeds that surpass the 3000 MB/s and a respectable 8 GB of DDR4 RAM clocking in at 3200 MHz and you've got yourself what we would call a powerhouse laptop.

Specifically, while RAM is a bit tight for our tase - and you can upgrade the RAM on the HP 15-ef2025nr rather easily - this is a powerful laptop, capable of working on numerous virtual machines, editing pictures at a professional grade - provided you connect a high-quality monitor of course- as well as manage your everyday set of chrome tabs and programs running in the background.

Overall, be it for students or professionals who need a powerhouse laptop that won't break the bank this model is an excellent choice if you value performance above display quality or having the latest bells and whistles inflating the price for gimmicky features you'll use once or twice in the laptop's lifespan.

Is this laptop good for gaming?

In a nutshell: no. This model is not best suited for gaming. The graphics card it features is good for stuff like streaming video and maybe playing some light games but a barely decent graphics card coupled with an HD display put this laptop out of the running to be a gaming machine.

Battery Life & Connectivity

As we've come to expect from HP's latest ventures into the mid-range space, battery life is actually rather respectable.

Specifically, the company claims 10 hours of battery life. However, we know better than to trust the manufacturer's claims on this. Specifically, our rule of thumb is to shave off 25% of the battery claims made by the manufacturer, which in this case still leaves us with over 7 hours of battery on normal usage which is still pretty good.

As far as connectivity is concerned, obviously, we've got the latest Bluetooth & WiFi standards as well as a slew of ports.

On the left side, there's a couple of USB Type-A ports to easily connect most peripherals bought in the last decade, a USB Type-C port on the right side of the laptop, an HDMI port, and most importantly an SD card reader which is exciting considering it's not all that common for a laptop to feature an SD card reader lately.

Verdict: Should I buy the HP 15-ef2025nr?

In a nutshell: yes.

For the price, the performance -provided you don't overdo it- is excellent, battery life is decent, and while we aren't particularly fond of the display or keyboard that doesn't take away from the overall essence of an excellent laptop. If you're in need of something powerful and don't care much for bells and whistles, this laptop offers plenty of power at a good price.

However, if you're looking for something more powerful or better suited for gaming we'd advise you to look towards other models ranging from HP's Omen line-up to the latest Dell XPS laptops both of which go ahead and offer significantly better performance than this laptop, though at a higher cost of course.