Not in the mood for a full length review today, so here is the short version:
Good: Display (17.3inch, good color and clarity)
Performance (quad core is snappy and responsive, video card is decent)
CD/DVD Tray (auto eject capable, large tray)
Webcam/Mic (decent quality)
Windows 8/8.1 (Comes with windows 8 preinstalled, with free upgrade to 8.1. Windows 8 is very efficient compared to 7 and earlier.)
BAD: Display :contrast is bad at any extreme viewing angles.
Performance :description states 2.5ghz processer. It is actually 1.4 in energy star mode, 1.9 in performance, and 2.5 when overclocked. Description also mentions software for the overclocking, but at this time, it is not easily found and I have not yet discovered it. Though I am familiar with how it works.
CD/DVD Tray : large side piece of tray also doubles as part of the body of the laptop. Not a big deal, but being used to slimline trays, it was a bit of an adjustment to make.
Body :overall is of good quality and is light, but I feel that their is too much springyness to the overal laptop. It makes it feel cheap. The screen also does not lock to the body of the laptop so the screen is held in the folded position by tension. This is also a personal preference. I also believe that there is too much space between the keyboard and the edge of the unit. I dislike the mini desk created by larger laptops.
Charger: The unit came with a straight style plug instead of an angled bracket. Personal preference for me is the angled type, but not a big deal.
Battery: Battery life is 4 hours on engerystar mode, internet browsing at most. Play any 3d game and it is under 2 hours. Put the system in performance mode, and it is lower still but any games you might play will run much better. Battery is also part of the body of the laptop so it is not completely hidden. I personally also dislike this method of storing a battery, but not a deal breaker.
Touchpad: I love and hate touchpads. They are great to have when no mouse or suitable surface is available, but they are always either too sensitive, too slow, or have extra features that sound cool but end up getting in the way. It is also not clear how to disable touchpad even though it is available to do so.
Speakers: As with most every mobile device, the speakers are tiny sounding and just do the job.
No HDMI input: Not a dealbreaker, but with out a tuner prevents use of the screen for any secondary use.
No blueray: Not a major issue, but would have been nice to have.
Windows 8/8.1: I have been using windows xp forever. It was hard for me to accept winsows vista, then 7, and so soon after the previous two, I feel betrayed and have to learn an even more dramatically different version of windows. That being said, if you have never used a computer before, 8 is not so bad, but for a more experienced user, it is a pain to relearn more inefficient methods to even pull up a simple program.
Refurbished Manual: The manual for this is mostly not very helpful in making my first refurb purchase a very comfortable one. This was made even worse by the lack of knowledge by the walmart sales people. So knowing that a factory refurb is a great buy already, I felt better buying it, but both the site and sales dont do a very good job of getting you to buy one.
In conclusion: The laptop is definitely worth the price. With a few tweeks here and there, a backup made, 8.1 installed, it is a wonderful computer. It does act more as a desktop replacement system than a carry around laptop, and keeping that in mind for my uses, works very well. Hp bloatware is minimal, and they seem to have a slew of support tools installed to help you which is nice. Though, all the redundancy is a bit intrusive with the user and demanding.
I would recommend this computer to anyone who wants to spend $400 or less and wants a good deal for a laptop in terms of performance and capability. It is highly capable and can play most newer pc games when in performance mode. (Have not tried to overclock with the "included" tools yet, as i have not found them.)
As a side note, the laptop has a AMD radeon 7000 series video card tied to an A8 cpu, which is actually better performer(similar to a radeon 6600 desktop card) than the A7/A6 with the radeon 8000 series cards (similar to a radeon 6400 at best).
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