HP Pavilion 17-g040nr

The HP Pavillion 17-g040nr is the definition of an atypical laptop. Looking at the technical specifications, we find that almost every hardware piece seems to be in between two generations, like a bridge linking old and new technologies. But I think it works great as a college or home notebook, simply because this mixture allows for a wide range of possible uses.

Review

HP have managed to make a truly unique and interesting large sized notebook which is especially useful to college students for a number of reasons we’ll list at the end of article. Exploring the technical sheet of the HP Pavillion 17-g040nr, we find it has a dual core Intel Core i3-5010U processor. With 3 megabytes of cache size and a benchmark score of around 3000 points – just 500 points under the ever-present Intel Core i5-5200U – this notebook will handle some multitasking and even more intense use such as heavy layering in CAD or Photoshop.

The HP also comes with 6 gigabytes of available system memory, an odd number for an odd laptop. They fitted it just so it will run every current program and app smoothly, but it’s likely not so future proof if you decide to use this notebook for more than 3 years. However, the memory can be upgraded by the user, thus nullifying the disadvantage we talked about earlier.

HP Pavilion 17-g040nr front view

See prices and read user reviews for this notebook on Amazon.com

The HP Pavillion 17-g040nr has 1 terabyte of storage space that can be used to house music or photo collections, but will likely slow down a bit as time passes and files accumulate. I recommend acquiring an affordable SSD further down the road to refresh the system performance and give it a new performance boost when things turn stale. But for a new device, the mechanical hard disk won’t be such a burden.

One thing I’m sad about is the lack of discrete graphics on the HP Pavillion. I really would have enjoyed any type of graphics card to take the load away from the processor and the integrated GPU and allow users to better use their system by also playing games on higher settings. With the Pavillion 17-g040nr, you’ll likely get low to medium game settings for almost all compatible titles.

The display is also a bit weird. It’s somewhere in the middle between an HD and Full HD display, but instead of calling it 1 and 1/2 HD or Full HD-, they decided to go with the HD+ variant. It’s not a bad resolution, it works fine on the 17.3 inch WLED backlit display, ensuring screen real estate is used efficiently, but it isn’t very crisp either.

It’s worth mentioning that the HP also has a DVD writer installed, a full sized island style backlit keyboard, Ethernet (but sadly no 802.11ac WiFi) and a battery life of up to 6 hours and 15 minutes, which is rather impressive when we think about that big, energy wasting HD+ display.

Technical Specifications


Product HP Pavilion 17-g040nr
PROCESSOR
CPU Name Intel Core i3-5010U
CPU Type Dual Core
CPU Speed 2.1 GHz
CPU Cache 3 MB
SYSTEM MEMORY
Installed Memory 6 GB
Maximum Memory Unknown
Memory Type DDR3L SDRAM
Total Memory Slots 2 slots
STORAGE
Storage Capacity 1 TB
Storage Type HDD
Storage Technology SATA, 5400 rpm
DISPLAY
Screen Size 17.3″
Screen Type HD+ Touchscreen
Screen Technology WLED Backlit
Screen Resolution 1600 x 900
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Touchscreen Yes
GRAPHICS
Graphics Processing Unit Intel Hd Graphics 5500
Graphic Card Type Integrated
Graphics Memory Shared
AUDIO & VIDEO
Audio Technology Bang & Olufsen Play
Speakers 2 speakers
Webcam Yes, 720p
NETWORK AND COMMUNICATION
Wireless LAN 802.11 b/g/n WLAN
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0
Ethernet 10/100 BASE-T
INTERFACE
USB Ports 2 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
HDMI Yes
VGA No
Headphone/Mic Audio Combo Jack
Multi Card Slot Yes, Multi Format
LAN (RJ45) Yes
INPUT DEVICES
Touch Pad / Track Pad HP Imagepad
Keyboard Full Size Island (104 keys)
Backlit Keyboard Yes
BATTERY
Battery Type 4-Cell Lithium-Ion
Battery Capacity 41 Whr
Maximum Battery Life Up to 6.2 hours
Other Features DVD Writer
Operating System Windows 8.1
Dimensions (W x D x H) 16.49″ x 11.29″ x 1.12″
Weight 6.84 lbs

Scores, Pros and Cons

75% Complete
70% Complete
80% Complete
  • Pros
  • Good CPU choice
  • Enough system memory for most tasks
  • Sufficient storage space
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Big screen size
  • Cons
  • No discrete graphics
  • No Gigabit Wireless Card
  • Modest display

Final Thoughts

I’ve said in the beginning of the article that the HP Pavilion 17-g040nr is a great laptop choice for college students. The reasons it is such a good option to consider are:

  • Having a big screen means not buying an external monitor to use when working on projects,
  • Decent battery life will ensure some portability, despite its considerable weight,
  • The hardware mixture is a perfect compromise between value for money and computing power,
  • It’s robustly built and will likely outlive many cheaper options.

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