In terms of battery life we were forced to go with a subjective test. I ran it twice solely off battery power. I used maximum CPU and brightness and Wi-Fi enabled so it was quite a test. The first time I saw just over two hours of use, while the second, with no DVD playback and only light use, got me closer to three. It’s was satisfactory, but you should be able to eek out more by dimming the screen and turning off Wi-Fi.
HP’s presentation and design of the notebook is undoubtedly consumer friendly and on the whole this is a good thing. Inevitably though, this means that you have a smattering of unnecessary items clogging up the desktop, such as shortcuts to Napster, Yahoo and eBay of all things. Clearly there’s been some sort of commercial deal behind this but it does feel patronising, as if those who buy HP will not be able to find these sites without this help.
Overall, this is a very convincing package for £900 asking price. It’s big rival, the Samsung Q70 is lighter, sleeker and some may prefer its minimalist styling. It also has better graphics performance. However, it’s screen is smaller and not as good, and it lacks features such as the better speakers, the webcam and niceties such as the fingerprint reader. If you need to take a notebook with you in your bag in a regular basis, the lighter Samsung will be preferable, if not I’d go with the HP – it’s a better notebook.
HP has put together a convincing package for the money. It features a good quality 14.1in screen and the design and feel is a cut above, especially the keyboard. It’s well featured too with a webcam and a fingerprint reader. Faster networking and graphics would have been nice, but as it is this is still a good buy.