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on October 18, 2012
I purchased this HP Laptop to replace one that I'd had for five years, that really couldn't keep up with my growing business and personal demands on it, and it had been a top-of-the-line HP as well! I wanted something that had at least 8GB of RAM, check. It had to be able to expand its memory, yes - I'm going to be purchasing two 8GB memory cards in a couple of weeks. It had to be 3rd generation (i7) check. Well, that was pretty much everything on my checklist - well, it pretty much had to be an HP - I looked around our local stores, and found a couple of non-HP contenders, but they weren't really everything that I felt comfortable about, then I saw this one and bam! it was love at first site - I love the almost noiseless keys, which is great for conference calls, because I can type and talk at the same time, or listen and type without having to stick the mute on; I love the fingerprint/biometric logon reader - with it, I can store all my passwords as my fingerprint, really safe! It never, ever, gets hot - so I could rest it on my bare thighs and it would not burn - try that with other laptops! The wi-fi on-off key is no longer at the front, where it can be turned off accidentally, but on the top row of the keyboard, much better. The headphone/microphone jacks, again, no longer at the front which is a pain, but at the side. The 3XUSB 3.0 and 1XUSB 2.0 ports is excellent! It also has this neat little flip-down cover over the LAN port at the side too, again really functional. Overall, it's really, really fast - and I haven't even upgraded the RAM yet, it's reliable, (well, it's an HP) and it's long-lasting - oh, did I forget to mention that it lasts 8 hours unplugged?
66 comments83 of 87 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 13, 2013
Overall, this is a solid machine, with some very strange quirks.

My main gripe with this laptop is the REALLY weird offset touch pad.
Instead of being centered on the spacebar, it's moved to the right about an inch, which puts it under the right palm when you're typing using your home keys. That means when you type, your mouse magically moves all over and places your cursor in random locations unless you turn off the touchpad. This is a REALLY bad design. Basically, you have to have an external mouse and disable the touchpad since touch typing, using the home keys, means your palm is wresting on the touchpad. Luckily HP included a hot zone on the touchpad that allows you to turn it off with a double tap. Let me repeat; you absolutely MUST have an external mouse to type on this computer.

The keyboard itself has been mapped such that the <F> keys are HPs own idea of use. <F2> means screen brightness down, NOT rename. You must use "Function" key combo's to access the original meanings of the <F> keys. I am a computing professional, so for me, this is a hassle. Thankfully, <F5> still means refresh. If you don't use or know the meanings of the <F> keys, this will not matter to you and is probably a good thing since brightness and volume are immediately accessible. I will likely go download some software to remap the <F> keys back to what they should be.

The arrow keys are non-standard and you have to look every time to get your fingers located correctly.

The keys are flat, which supplies less feedback than I'm use to, but it's more like the mac flat, so if you like cool, then that's great, but this is not something you'd want to type on all day. There is just less keyboard feel than I like. My typing speed and accuracy are dramatically reduced on this keyboard.

HP is known for loading bloat-ware and this machine is no different. I spent the first 3 days of ownership removing all the bloated garbage software they had preinstalled. Once I'd cleaned house I have no complaints with performance. It's a good machine.

That sounds like a list of complaints, and it is, but I can't load up on kuddo's for Windows when I'm reviewing an HP computer. Once you know the hassles, it's just a computer and seems pretty decent. I've had it for several months and am pleased with its performance and response. My gripes are about simple "feel" type things. We'll just have to wait and see how well it ages in a year.
33 comments46 of 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 12, 2013
Trying to stick within a budget, and after much research, I think this computer gave me the most bang for my buck. I chose to stick with Windows 7 after reading the reviews on the bugs in Windows 8, which is fine with me and will serve my purposes. It's a solid unit, nice large screen, and the keyboard touch is excellent. This is an upgrade from my desktop model, which I needed to provide mobility for work. Creating videos is a breeze which is more of a hobby, so all-in-all, I got exactly what I wanted . I was a little nervous purchasing something online I couldn't touch, but the reviews won me over. I was quite pleased to see this computer was everything as advertised and more. I've had it for a week and no complaints.
Updated after owning this computer for a couple of months:
I've been using some software similar to AutoCAD, but not nearly as extensive. The graphics are high-end and while rendering them to video, the computer shuts down and the message I receive is something along the lines of "my graphics card has recovered from a serious problem." For now I'm not able to render videos. I do render high-end still pictures of my the projects which works fine, however, the computer runs pretty hot during this process. I prop it up to allow cool air to circulate. This is the only time it runs that hot.
One other issue I'm having is that when I attach my HP Printer (which is only a few months old as well), the system crashes on me again, does a memory save & dump and then restarts. I've reinstalled the drivers and it works for a time but after awhile the same thing happens. My display & printer drivers are up-to-date so this is a mystery to me... especially since these are both HP products.
Other than that, I'm still happy with it. I believe I got what I paid for. This post is for anyone who happens to be buying it for projects such as I've mentioned. It might be worthwhile to upgrade to something a little more upscale.
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on March 2, 2013
I got this in January 2013 to replace a dying HP CQ120. I am an MBA student and I originally wanted to get a cheap laptop to use for school - just for doing research but the specs of this laptop kinda convinced me so I bought it. Let me review it by providing star rating to the important features:

1. Cool Sense: 5 Stars - It's really really cool! I use it all day and sometimes until midnight and the laptop just stays cool. My old HP
CQ120 gets really hot and I clearly feel the difference. Love it!

2. Placement of the Power Supply: 2 Stars - I really do not know what made them design it this way but it gets in the way of the mouse
They could have placed it in another location or they could have used a power supply plug that is bent 90
degrees so the power supply cord goes towards the back and does not block the mouse. Bad Design!

3. Metal Finish: 5 Stars - It looks and feels elegant. Nice!

4. Chicklet Keys - 3 Stars. I don't really like them. They feel and sound annoying! The shaky keys sound like rattlers when you type
fast. The layout of the keys is somewhat different from the layout of my previous HP laptop so with this laptop
I get a lot of typos. Lots of work!

5. Intel i7-3610QM - 5 Stars. I am not a gamer so I can't really test the speed. CNET recommended getting only Intel i5 for
students who will not play games but will only do school work and online research but I wanted the i7 so I got it.
It's really of no use me at the moment.

6. Beats Sound - 5 Stars. I love the sound of this laptop. Compared to my previous laptops (HP, ASUS, Acer, & Toshiba - yes I
have been a laptop user since birth. I have never experienced using a desktop), this is the one that has the best sound.

7. Simple Pass - 4 Stars. It is convenient because I don't have to type in my password all the time. However, this feature has
failed several times already.

8. Touch Pad - 4 Stars . It is not as simple to use as my previous laptops.

9. Blue Ray Player & Super Multi DVD Burner - 5 Stars. Very fast, efficient and flexible.

10. Windows 7 - 5 Stars for now. I try windows 8 later when I get the time then I will compare. When I got this I really did a lot
research on the 2 but I got discouraged by the reviews on Windows 8. I know I can crack it but I am so busy that
I decided not to spend time on that, but I will soon.

Overall, I love this laptop. It's very functional, very fast and really serves me right. For students, listen to what CNET recommends. You don't really need a very strong processor. An Intel i5 would be just fine for you. You need not spend more than $700 on a laptop just for doing school work. I'd say go for the $450 - $650 range. The ones sold at Costco are just fine. Now between Windows 7 and Windows 8? Hmmmm. . . . .if you have a lot of time to spend learning windows 8 then go for it.
11 comment33 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 26, 2012
When I first got this laptop is was light, I thought oh it must be cheap. I started using it and it was terrific. Even though
it was made out of some plastic material, they probably made it lightweight, and unless your going to join the military it is
a great laptop. Light and useful, just got it for a few days and I can tell this is a great product. Keep up the good work HP!
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on May 18, 2013
I bought this laptop as a replacement for my Dell which as slow and old (celeron processor). I didn't want a windows 8 too complicated and don't have time to learn all the new commands. Most new dependable (name brand) laptops use windows 8 and suggest changing over to windows 7. Didn't like that suggestion, wanted a laptop already with windows 7 included(money saving) and up to date processor 3rd gen. Lots of memory, more the two USB ports. I don't travel alot so I like the DVD drive which makes it heavier than I thought. Also the 17" display makes it bigger than all my other laptops (had a 14" HP before this but my wife wanted it for work, thats why I boought HP again) but I like it because I use it mostly at home. Its better than a desktop because its portable. The only reason I didn't give another star because battery life is 4 hours but it is removable so you can change to a bigger battery or a lithium battery which runs longer if there is one. Do your research, it has all the bells and whistles which is great.
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on September 8, 2013
careful with the product details below it says NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 630M Graphics with 1GB GDDR3 memory [HDMI, VGA] but the laptop comes with intel hd 4000 chip. and also it does not have a backlit keyboard
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on March 6, 2013
This laptop is packed with lots of great features -- a big screen, lots of USB ports, HDMI, VGA, good sound, very fast processing.
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on January 11, 2013
Computer for the most part is quite acceptable. I was hoping that the battery life would be somewhat better than that I have received. Seems to last not much more than 2.5 hours at most..
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on May 13, 2013
Fine hardware on this machine, but the included HP software (Mediasmart, HP support agent) are quite poor. For an alleged "entertainment" PC, I think that a functional BluRay disc player application is, well, sort of a key item. Good luck getting Mediasmart to do that reliably. I have had nothing but trouble with that application, and in many cases it will not play a BD at all. Quite aggravating, but not nearly as aggravating as HPs support group - absolutely as useless as the Mediasmart application. Very poor performance from the company, a silicon valley founder, now a customer service flounder.

What is the solution? Spend another $100 on Cyber DVD 13 (the same company that writes the underlying driver for the HP Medaismart). Why is it that the HP software will not play the BD, but the Cyber DVD works every time? Who knows, but I do know that the problems lies with the HP application. HP does not really appear to care about this, therefore this will be the very last HP machine that I will buy. Shame on HP for not giving this beautiful hardware the support that it needs and for ignoring the people that buy their product and pay their salaries!

Update, May 2013 - HP support contacted me shortly after I posted this negative review. My case was given to a case manager, and I was contacted again. The case manager was very nice and certainly tried to reslove my issues. However, when the software (Media Smart and HP support agent) are as poor as they are, support was not able to reslove the problem. In fact, the solution for one problem (HP Support Agent) solved things for a short time. When the support agent downloaded the update for HP support agent, the software failed to run after the second time it was launched. As for the Media Smart (The only Blu-Ray decoder / player included on this "entertainment" PC), I was directed to go to the HP website and download the latest version. That version was older than the version on my laptop, which was updated about one year ago! So, my opinion of HP support is better, but my opnion of the companies ability to provide a quality product is not. A common definition of quality is that a product "meets the customer's needs." This "entertainment" PC that does not play Blu-Ray discs (as described in the Medis Smart product description) without buying additional software does not meet my needs. In fact, I think it is very poor to advertise that Blu-Ray software is included when it cannot support newer Blu-Ray discs. Last HP machine I will ever buy - of any kind. Sad goodbye to HP from a long time customer.
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