Customer Reviews: HP Pavilion 14-b010us 14-Inch Laptop Sleekbook (Black)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 20, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )

* Nice looking thin form factor
* CoolSense Technology is top notch, laptop just doesn't get HOT (warm but after long use)
* Good mix of ports (2xUSB 3.0 and single USB 2.0, HDMI output -> video AND sound to your TV)
* Very quiet
* External battery can easily be replaced by user


* Synaptics PS/2 Port Touchpad is finicky under Windows 8
* No optical drive (but advertised as not having one - just beware)
* battery life on short side ("up to 4 hours")
* Upgrading memory basically requires you to take entire laptop apart

HP has put out an entire, and sometimes confusing, range of what are called "Pavilion" or "Envy" laptops, usually coupled with the words "Sleekbook" or "Ultrabook." This specific model, the HP Pavilion 14-b101us Laptop Sleekbook, is advertised as, and is at the low end of the spectrum of this class of laptop. Windows 8 is optimized for touch screens (e.g., tablets) and is actually pretty nice. If you don't have a touchscreen, you can still benefit from Win 8's interface design if you have a good touchpad WHICH THIS UNIT DOES NOT HAVE!!! The built-in Synaptics PS/2 Port Touchpad is just bad. Even with tweaking settings, I couldn't get it to consistently operate with double taps, and two finger scrolling (which I love) is spotty and sometimes is interpreted as a "pinch" and changes the size of your screen. After a LOT of tweaking, updating drivers, etc., I've got the touchpad working better, but still not as consistent and smooth as I'd like.

I like this class of laptop as an entry level, non-gaming general purpose computer. The specs should indicate the obvious, that this isn't a powerful graphic gamer. So, given similar price points with other laptops of this class, I recommend you look for ones with the "HP Imagepad" such as the HP Envy 4-1110us 14-Inch Ultrabook or any other similar unit so long as it has "HP Imagepad" in its specifications. If it's got "Synaptics PS/2 Port TouchPad" I'd run for the hills. My Envy 4-1110us with the "HP Imagepad" is a lot of fun to use with Windows 8 and I'd actually recommend you check that unit out if the price is close to this one.

Again, this is a very nice intro level unit, and with an external mouse it works very nice. I suspect the hardware was originally designed with Windows 7 in mind, and Windows 8 (which I like) has been grafted onto a unit for which that may not have been an optimal decision.

Also note that to upgrade memory requires an almost complete dismantling of the entire unit. This is the second HP Sleekbook I've used where this is so (the other is the Envy 4-1110us mentioned above). This isn't one of those "open the memory access plate on the bottom" kind of laptops.

If this were a laptop running Windows 7, I'd probably give it 4 stars. The deal breaker for me really is the touchpad which you can't replace. If you get a good price and don't mind using an external mouse, this could still be a nice unit.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's light. It stays cool! It works faster than my Food Processor and it has Windows 8. I love this guy. I recently had another model in this line which I passed on to my granddaughter and thought I'd not find another one as good but I was wrong. This 14 inch has an I3 processor. Plenty of Ram and a large harddrive to store things. Windows 8 takes some getting used to but the startup and shutdown times will stun you on this new operating system.

I floundered around til my granddaughter took pity and showed me how to get to the desktop I was familiar with quickly and then I was unleashed. I'm actually getting used to the app start screen now and use it more and more, but that is turning this into a review of Windows 8 and this is about the laptop itself. This is also one of the few new models that has a removable battery so you can change them out if you're a constant user like me. A lot of the new ones are built in and when it's dead you gotta plug it in (make sure you check that). The touchpad is opened up a lot with this computer because of the Windows 8 and by that I mean it has a lot more functions than just point and tap. It's under four pounds with the battery in! The display is stunning for a 14 inch widescreen and the sound is very good for a laptop.

One of the best things about it that the HP maintenance software runs unobtrusively in the background and right off the bat my laptop had a problem with the fan suddenly spinning up quite audibly and locking the laptop up completely somehow until you had to reboot. This happened twice and I was about to throw the thing away when I did a third reboot and the laptop informed me that it was updating the bios and not to turn the power off. I was surprised at no popup informing me of the fact beforehand but I guess with the laptop frozen that would have been hard to do. At any rate the bios installed flawlessly and after the restart the laptop fan has never acted up again nor has the notebook frozen since. I can only surmise that HP was on top of the problem in hardware conflict or whatever it was and took steps to correct it immediately. Since we pay quite a bit for these toys I really appreciated that fact I can tell you.

The 4 gigs of ram and the 1.5ghtz processor make it sail along and the 500gb hard drive is more than adequate for my needs. The built in hi-def camera and software keeps you looking good in all kinds of light when skyping or whatever you do. The fact that it stays cool is really neat too and I can just lay it on my lap without any uncomfortable heat building up. All in all a great little machnine that does what it's supposed to. It does not come with a cd/dvd drive which seems to be the standard now. I guess everybody uses flash drives and external hard drives for storage of media etc now. It has an outlet for plugging it into your HD TV with hdmi outlet and you can watch videos (in true 1080p with surround sound (dolby dts etc) which surprised me again) and see pictures or listen to music etc. It holds it's charge for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours of constant use. It's also pretty tough and the hard drive has extra protection. I tend to drop them so that helps. With the windows 8 you have to add some software to do some things but that's easily done and available.

Overall I'd recommend it without hesitation. Especially after the hardware issue was self-resolved so quickly and efficiently!
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on March 25, 2013
if you're like me, always mindful of maintaining a budget, or has a son just entering college, this is a highly recommended laptop:

- light and thin but no filmsy
- more than enough power for web surfing and college tasks
- nothing extra special but good looking (fingerprints are not a issue here)
- you may gradually improve it's performance changing the hd for a ssd o adding memory
- remains fresh without the need of a stand or fans
- one hdmi and one usb 3 port (if you haven't try one before, you don't know what you are missing, it's so much faster than usb 2)

- the trackpad SUCKS!!! is almost unusable besides click and double click, a mouse is a must (maybe later i will buy Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 with Windows 8 Multi-Touch Navigation - Black (910-003057))
- it comes with the tricky windows 8 (well, i know this is not a flaw of the laptop itself but without one the other is useless)

on the last point i see two solutions, get used to it or patch it to work like windows has always worked since windows 95 (i prefer the last one, it's easy)
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VINE VOICEon December 26, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
...and that's about it.

One of the challenges of reviewing something like a computer is that the reviewer must consider it on the basis of what it's trying to be, not on the basis of everything a computer COULD be. This machine is not intended for gamers or musicians or video editors.

The Pavillion 14-b010us is everything a basic computer user needs and little beyond. By 'basic computer user', I mean someone who primarily needs an internet/email machine. A student will also fall under this definition, as this machine is ideal for throwing in a bag and taking to class for note-taking, etc. It's light, thin, and it stays cool even after prolonged use (one of HP's big selling points). In brief, this is highly portable no-frills computing.

What potential buyers need to know is that 'no-frills' MEANS 'no-frills.' There's no optical-media drive (CD, DVD, etc.), so any burning, movie-watching, or software installing will need to be done via an external drive. This is becoming less and less of a need for upwardly mobile computer users, but it's still a consideration that merits mention. Beyond that, performance is what you'd expect from an entry-level laptop: the picture is fine, but it's not exceptional; same with the webcam. The audio output is particularly forgettable, but that's to be expected from a machine at this price-point.

Performance is adequate. I have a battery of tests I run to gauge the performance of machines, and this one did about what I expected. Photoshop works fine, if a little slowly; video-editing is basically a no-go unless the user uses SD footage in an entry-level program like Movie Maker. Don't bother trying to run games newer than four or five years. If you stick to tasks in the realm of basic computing, you'll be fine.

Win8 is an adjustment, and although this is not a review of that operating system, the potential buyer just needs to know that there's a bit of a learning curve for the average migrant from Win7/Vista/XP. This OS really does seem to thrive with a touchscreen, and the Pavilion 14-b010us doesn't have one of course, so there were a few times when I caught myself trying to navigate by touch.

In summary, then, this is a fine, solid, unspectacular machine for everyday computing; it has a nice aesthetic and is highly portable. For the current price (a little over $400 as I type), it's a good buy.
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on February 8, 2013
I bought this laptop for my wife to commute with to PT school. She need a small, light laptop with decent battery life to do web browsing and Word/Powerpoint work on. So far this laptop has fit the bill quite nicely. Its thin and easy to carry, it has a decent bit of proccesing power (we aren't talking gaming levels, but you wouldn't buy this laptop for that) and the battery life is good. The only complaint I have is it came pre-loaded with a bunch of crapware, as all PC's do nowadays. However, props to HP or Windows 8, for adding the ability to easily restore to a clean version of Windows 8 right out of the box.

Decent Screen
Battery Life is good

Processing Power is on the light side (but really quite acceptable for a commuting laptop)
Crapware (easily fixed)

WIndows 8, I like it but I know a lot of people don't.
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on January 19, 2013
Very good laptop from HP...Light weight,Compact,Nice sound,good speed...They could have included a CD/DVD drive...But Overall satisfied with the purchase...Thanks amazon,HP..
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on April 14, 2013
It says on the laptop sticker that the HP ProtectSmart feature "keeps data safe in case of a drop". I had a headphone with a really long wire which I trampled on twice, and the computer dropped from about 3 feet onto hard tile...and it was like nothing happened at all. Literally nothing happened. I once dropped a Coke bottle on my old Toshiba, and the hard drive instantly wiped. So don't think that the small slim look makes it fragile...the HP ProtectSmart feature most definitely works. I'm not a clumsy person--those were, in fact, the only three instances of dropping the computer or dropping something on it. But when it happened, I was glad the ProtectSmart feature worked.
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on June 6, 2014
I got this unit to take on a trip to the UK, and it worked great everywhere. The unit boots really quickly, you can get to the password screen in about ten seconds, and get to the desktop in another fifteen. It's the first Windows machine I've had that does it. It boots faster than my iPad 2.

As for the unit itself, it's nice and small and fits easily into a simple sleeve case, no need for a bulk book bag for this computer. (of course the power cable/charger is another matter) I had great battery life when doing non-movie related items. If you are actually working WP, Excel, etc it ran for over four hours. If you are watching movies, you get less than two on a full change.

For the money, and what it does, it's definitely a great little unit. It's the perfect cross between a huge iPad and a small laptop.
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on December 21, 2012
I bought this laptop for my Wife as it was the time to retire the 5-yr old Think pad. I hope to come back and update the review as we use this laptop. Although I am a very frequent buyer, I bought this laptop for a great price of $350 (with $50 MIR) from Staples. Since I almost always take advantage of user reviews for my purchases irrespective of where I buy, I decided to contribute here.
Update: Day 1 (12/21) - Laptop arrived in great condition. The finish looks great. It was quick and easy to get started, although I took sometime to understand Windows 8 Metro interface. Wireless connected smoothly and I like the "tablet-like" experience. Installing Apps from Microsoft store is cool (almost like my iTunes experience, though it can be improved).
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on August 8, 2015
Avoid at all cost. Within 3 months after buying this brand new, the charger port is loose, so you have to have it just right for it to charge. 2 years later, now it wont charge at all. Bought a new charger and battery and it still won't charge. Just going to call it a $400 lost...... Will never buy another hp again. My 5 year toshiba laptop is still going strong.
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