HP Pavilion Power Laptop (15-cb071nr) Review

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A powerful laptop comes handy if you don’t want to suffer from lagging programs and slow response times. At the same time, such a notebook can be quite pricey. To solve this problem, manufacturers often have to make compromises on either, but what if you could include both performance and tolerable price on a single item? We will take a look at the HP 15-cb071nr laptop and determine its suitability and value!

Processor Top of the Line, Hard Drive Big but Slow

As I have said before with other laptops containing the Intel Core i7-7700HQ, it’s truly the best widely available processor in 2017. The reasons are many; for example, it has four cores which makes the CPU ideal for multitasking, another reason is the base frequency which starts already high 2.8GHz and ends up at 3.8GHz with the help of turbo boost. These processors are often chosen by people who know what they want: a high-speed system that minimizes the chance for lag.

While the processor department is undoubtedly great, the storage section might divide opinions. In there, you’ll find a SATA hard drive containing 1 terabyte of storage space and spindle speed 7200RPM. The advantage of such a drive is the humongous raw storage it offers: 1 terabyte is 1024 gigabytes, which equals to around 200,000 JPEG images that are sized 5 megabytes each. While the drive is big, it also suffers from worse performance than solid-state drive. SSD can be two times faster, and what is the best thing, there seems to be a free M.2 slot to install a tiny solid-state drive inside!

For memory, the laptop offers 12 gigabytes DDR4-2133MHz type RAM. This amount is achieved by 4GB and 8GB sticks installed on the mainboard. In my books, twelve gigabytes is already plenty, but upgrading to 16GB is certainly possible by replacing the 4GB stick (if you think it will make the laptop any faster, which I doubt).

Full HD Display is Today’s Standard, Truly

There are hardly any laptops that sport 720p resolution anymore; pretty much every manufacturer has jumped on the Full HD bandwagon. Also this HP notebook features such a resolution on its 15.6″ display. The 1080p is fine as the resolution itself goes – you’re bound to have plenty of screen estate at hand. However, the ratio this brings – 16:9 – is often regarded good for movies and videos, but websites could be best served on a 4:3 ratio (like 1600:1200). To be honest, this is quite nit-picking, and there is no big reason to dislike 1920×1080 resolution. The panel type is IPS (In-Plane Switching), which is good news for accurate colors and viewing angles. There’s no touch support on this display.

A few words about the graphics performance, there is Radeon RX 550 (2GB GDDR5) commanding that department. It’s easily better than integrated graphics cards so there’s some chance that gamers will like this laptop. However, the RX 550 is not a fast graphics card, so with Triple A titles you might want to keep an eye on the settings. For example, to run Doom on appropriate frame rates (30-40), you’d need to use 720p resolution and medium settings. This graphics card can not be upgraded later.

Unboxing Video

Enough Interfaces, the Lack of DVD Burner Doesn’t Surprise

The HP 15-cb071nr laptop does not skimp on USB ports: three fast USB 3.1 are available, but also USB Type-C (up to 5Gb/s for data). As you might know, it also supports a few video connector technologies like DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI. That being said, the laptop also has its own HDMI output so you don’t need to play with adapters if you want to connect an external monitor. Of course, the obligatory headphones and microphone jack is provided for audio.

HP made the decision to leave optical drive out of this laptop. That is quite understandable as the interest for DVD is dying and the interest for streaming is not. Well, you can still salvage your old discs by hooking up an external DVD drive to this laptop, they work through USB.

Connect to Internet either through Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) if you want the real high speeds, or use the WiFi adapter (2×2 antenna and 802.11ac technology for speed and range) for wireless convenience. Also your smartphone can be hooked up by using the laptop’s Bluetooth 4.2 support.

Like in most other notebooks, also the HP comes with memory card reader. The best utility for that (which I can think of) is to upload photos from cameras, like I do.

Don’t Forget These Things

This notebook draws its power from the 4-cell 70Whr battery which, according to HP, lasts up to 11.5 hours on mixed usage consisting browsing and video playback. Do not get too excited about this as manufacturer-announced battery running times often differ from the reality, a lot. However, I would expect the battery to last at least 6 hours, probably even for a full day if you are careful with the screen brightness.

The keyboard is illuminated with a single color. Too bad for some, its brightness (or the color itself) can not be adjusted; it remains the same all the time.

The notebook seems to be made of aluminum. That is good for the looks, but beware of scratches!

Powerful processor - Having Intel Core i7-7700HQ is an excellent thing if high speeds and real performance is what you are after. Programs such as photo/video editors and virtual environments will be a piece of cake.

Some gaming performance too - While not a true gaming laptop, this HP still packs a punch for many gamers to enjoy.

Can not adjust backlight - A few users, also me, don't like that you can not change the keyboard brightness or the key colors. They are either on or off.

HP 15-cb071nr fits the bill for power users and occasional gamers who don’t want to get a full-blown heavyweight/gaming laptop. Its components, especially for everything software-related, are great: the best Core i7 processor, an ample RAM configuration and the possibility to upgrade to solid-state drive. Players are not forgotten as the mid-range Radeon graphics card keeps up decent frame rates given settings are kept at bay. According to user reports, the Full HD display is also quite pleasant to look at. The HP is a good tool if you want to make sure there is enough capacity in the reserves when a high-end program or new game hits your system!

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