At the right price, this is a great choice for a desktop replacement laptop. Big 17" screen, full-size keyboard, 4th Generation Intel Core i3 processor and a huge 750 GB hard drive will make every day users who have no real need for mobility, very happy.
I purchased this PC for my Mom for under four hundred. At that price, it's an excellent deal for those who have basic needs: word processing, Skype, emailing, Facebook, minor photo editing, watching the occasional movie via DVD, or via streaming Netflix. It's not ideal for gamers who want faster graphics (this has integrated graphics and video), but you can play online games just fine with a high speed wired or wireless connection. The LED backlit screen is big and bright, and the DTS sound is good, which adds to the enjoyment of the experience. NOTE: It's not touchscreen though, which some will want.
A full-size keyboard with numeric pad isn't backlit, which would be ideal, but at this price it's not expected. A multi-format media reader is built-in, as is a multi-format DVD Burner. Two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0, one VGA and one HDMI, and an ethernet (wired internet) jack, offer the most complete connectivity I've seen on a laptop in a long time! A built-in microphone jack isn't really needed as there's an integrated HD webcam with digital microphone what works well. There's also a headphone jack.
What's it missing? No Bluetooth, but you can easily add it with one of these: ORICO BTA-402 USB Bluetooth 4.0 Micro Adapter Dongle Mini Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter Dongle With CSR8510 Controller and CSR Harmony for Windows XP Vista 2003 2008 7 and 8 32 or 64 Bit
This laptop is upgradeable from 4GB of memory to 8GB, which I wish was more like 16GB, but that's being greedy. Windows 8 needs 4GB for stability, and if you are using multiple programs at one time, 8GB is ideal. I guess it really comes down to your usage (like whether you have lots of open programs going on all at the same time...) as to whether or not you're likely to bog down the system if it has 4GB versus 8GB.
NOTE: Ravi (another Amazon reviewer...) says he upgraded this laptop to 16GB, even though HP states 8GB is the max. If you've got the spare 8GB stick laying around or don't mind purchasing one to try it, go for it. The extra cost probably isn't worth it to most people, and HP indicating it's not supported should be considered.
This laptop has nice speed for general use, looks good (glossy finish picks up fingerprints quite easily though), and performs well. I wish it had a 7200RPM hard drive, but in all honesty, I don't know that this would make an appreciable difference in performance.
There's a webcam, with a webcam 'light' that comes on when it's in use. The webcam can take still photos or stream video. Set-up to work with the included CyberLink YouCam software, it will also work with Skype, Facebook and others.
I'll be adding the Bluetooth dongle for pairing with Bluetooth headphones, and since my Mom will use it at her desk I'll add a Sabrent 7 Port Portable USB 3.0 Hub with 4A Power Adapter for Ultra Book, MacBook Air, Windows 8 Tablet PC - Black (HB-B7U3)
to connect up external drives and peripherals that are not Wifi connected. Adding a 8GB memory dimm will be done in the future too, but for her uses 4GB should be OK - it's more about my desire to max it out.
At 6.39 pounds with about a 3 hour battery life, it's not the lightweight, highly portable laptop that college students will want, however if it's going to be in a home office with no significant travel it's a good choice.
SPECS PER HP SITE:
Product Name 17-e019dx
Product Number E0J97UA
Microprocessor 2.4GHz 4th generation Intel Core i3-4000M Processor
Microprocessor Cache 3MB L3 Cache
Memory 4GB DDR3L SDRAM (1 DIMM) - installed
Memory Max Maximum supported = 8GB
Memory Slots 2 user accessible
Video Graphics Intel HD graphics 4600
Display 17.3-inch diagonal HD+ BrightView LED-backlit display (1600 x 900)
Integrated webcam with light indicating connectivity
Hard Drive 750GB 5400RPM hard drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
Multimedia Drive SuperMulti DVD burner
Network Card 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector)
Wireless Connectivity 1x1 802.11b/g/n WLAN
Sound DTS Sound+
Keyboard Full-size keyboard with numeric keypad
Pointing Device Touchpad supporting multi-touch gestures without on/off button
External Ports Multi-format digital media card reader for Secure Digital cards
2 SuperSpeed USB 3.0
1 Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0
1 VGA (15-pin)
1 RJ-45 (LAN)
1 Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack
Dimensions 1.16 in (min H) / 1.29 in (max H) x 16.5 in (W) x 10.5 in (D)
Weight 6.39 lb
Power 65W AC adapter
6-cell 47WHr 2.2 Ah lithium-ion battery
ID Mech Description Front facing HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated digital microphone
TouchPad gestures can be tricky! Becoming proficient using this feature will increase your enjoyment of this laptop. Refer to the User's Manual (online at HP) for more info on that and the entire system. It's the best way to get acquainted with this laptop.
I also recommend updating to Windows 8.1 (it's free on the Microsoft site) to get the most stable Windows 8 experience and a few new features that make it feel a bit more like Windows 7.
My mother reports that the laptop continues to work well for her purposes. I asked her how she liked the keyboard, as a negative review for the product is focused on that part of the laptop. She says that all laptops feel different to her compared to an external keyboard with her desktop (I'd have to agree...) and that it has taken some getting used to, but it works fine.
I taught my mother how to supplement her free over-the-air TV programming using a Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
with this PC. If you're not sure what over-the-air programming is, or how to get it, check out my book: Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV