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.
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.
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.
|Product||HP Pavilion 17-g040nr|
|CPU Name||Intel Core i3-5010U|
|CPU Type||Dual Core|
|CPU Speed||2.1 GHz|
|CPU Cache||3 MB|
|Installed Memory||6 GB|
|Memory Type||DDR3L SDRAM|
|Total Memory Slots||2 slots|
|Storage Capacity||1 TB|
|Storage Technology||SATA, 5400 rpm|
|Screen Type||HD+ Touchscreen|
|Screen Technology||WLED Backlit|
|Screen Resolution||1600 x 900|
|Graphics Processing Unit||Intel Hd Graphics 5500|
|Graphic Card Type||Integrated|
|AUDIO & VIDEO|
|Audio Technology||Bang & Olufsen Play|
|NETWORK AND COMMUNICATION|
|Wireless LAN||802.11 b/g/n WLAN|
|USB Ports||2 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
|Headphone/Mic||Audio Combo Jack|
|Multi Card Slot||Yes, Multi Format|
|Touch Pad / Track Pad||HP Imagepad|
|Keyboard||Full Size Island (104 keys)|
|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″|
Scores, Pros and Cons
- Good CPU choice
- Enough system memory for most tasks
- Sufficient storage space
- Backlit keyboard
- Big screen size
- No discrete graphics
- No Gigabit Wireless Card
- Modest display
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.