Monthly Archives: November 2014

HP Deskjet 2541 All-in-one printer

HP Deskjet 2541 All-in-one printer is an inexpensive printer that supports wireless printing.  It can do printing, copying and scanning jobs but faxing is not possible with this machine.  Nowadays, people don’t want to buy printer without wireless option. It has become a necessity with increase in use of Smart Phones and tablet.  HP understands this requirement and has designed Deskjet 2541 printer that comes with wireless printing option and is also great for those who are on low budget.  The Printer supports HP wireless direct print which allows users to print from their IPhone, Ipad and other Smart phone or tablet. Besides wireless connectivity, it comes with USB connectivity as well.  As this a budget printer, you may find certain features missing in the configuration.  The manufacturer has removed features like Auto Duplex Printing and Auto Document Feeding from this machine. It comes with simple design and is suitable for home users and students.  Currently (Blackfriday sales) Walmart is offering it at a price of $35 but the regular price of this printer is higher. HP Deskjet 2541 Wireless All-in-One printer is the newer version of HP Deskjet 2540.

Design and features of HP 2541 Deskjet All-in-One Print, Scan & Copy Inkjet Printer

HP 2541 Deskjet Printer is a simple yet attractive printer. The control panel has power, cancel, wireless, Wireless Direct, copy black and copy color buttons. There is one error indicator (!) also which indicates if there is any issue, like paper jam, with the printer. Cartridge button indicates present ink level.  A small display panel indicates number of copies, media error and wireless status.

The dimension of the printer is 6.22 x 16.7 x 12 inches or 157X 425X 306mm (approx.). Weighing around 11.49 lbs (5.21kg), it is little bulkier in its category.  Ethernet and Bluetooth connectivity is missing in this printer. HP Deskjet 2541 All in one printer doesn’t have media card reader slot and USB port doesn’t support printing directly from any kind of USB flash drives.

Paper handling

Like HP Deskjet 2540, you need to open up the top flap to feed papers to input tray. The input tray holds up to 50 sheets of plain paper (64 to 90 g/m²), 5 sheets of envelope, 20 sheets of photo paper and Index card. It supports almost all paper sizes and formats which include letter, Legal, cabinet, A4, A5, B5, DL, 4 x 6 in, 5 x 7 in, 8 x 10 in, No. 10 envelopes, C5, C6 and card envelop etc.

The output tray holds up to 30 sheets of paper, 5 envelopes, 10 index cards and 10 photo papers. The capacity of input and output tray is at par with any budget printer.

Printing performance of HP 2542 Deskjet

HP 2542 Deskjet printer can print from 600x600dpi to maximum enhanced resolution of 4,800 x 1,200dpi, for color printing.

As per ISO standard, HP Deskjet 2542 printer can print up to 7 pages per minute, when it comes to printing black and white documents, and 4.5 pages per minute when it comes to color printing.  However, according to the manufacturer, this printer can print up to 16 ppm when it comes to color printing and 20 ppm when it comes to B/W printing. Duty cycle of the printer is 1000 pages per month.

HP Deskjet 2541 printer supports 600 X 300 dpi resolutions while copying both black and white and color dcuments. Copying speed is 4.5 copy per min for B/W and 3 copy per min for color.

The scanner supports scanning up to 1200 X 1200 dpi in optical mode.

System requirement

HP Deskjet 2541 Wireless All in one printer is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows vista, Windows XP service pack 3. When it comes to MAC support, the printer is compatible with Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X v10.7 Lion, OS X v10.8 Mountain Lion

Printing cost

Printing cost for black and white printing would be around 6 – 8 cents (approx.) per page, depending upon type of cartridges used.  For color printing, the cost would be around 9-11 cents (approx.) again depending upon type of cartridges used. The cartridges it supports are HP 61 Black and HP 61 Tri Color.

 Pros of HP Deskjet 2541 

Inexpensive wireless AIO printer

Cons of HP Deskjet 2541 

No media card slot

No Pictbridge option available

HP Deskjet 2544 All-in-one printer

If you are looking for an inexpensive printer that supports wireless printing, HP Deskjet 2544 All-in-one printer could be a decent choice.  You can print, copy and scan documents with this printer but it doesn’t support fax. This printer is not intended for office use though.  A wireless printer becomes handy if you need to print form your Smart Phone, IPhone, Tablets and IPads. It is really a treat to get a wireless all in one printer at a low price and HP DJ 2544 AIO falls in this category. The Printer supports HP wireless direct print. However, when it comes to wired connectivity, USB is only option. HP Deskjet 2544 is a budget printer so you can’t get all features which you expect from an expensive printer. It lacks Auto Duplex Printing and Auto Document Feeding . It comes with simple design and is suitable for home users and students.  Currently, it is being offered at a price of $40 (during Blackfriday) by various online stores. The regular price of this printer is $80 approx. HP 2544 Wireless All-in-One printer is the newer version of HP Deskjet 2540 and has same features.

HP DJ 2544 doesn’t come with flashy exterior though.  It has basic design but it is attractive. The control panel consists of power, cancel, wireless, Wireless Direct, copy black and copy color buttons. It also has one error indicator (!) which specifies if there is any issue, like paper jam, with the printer. Cartridge button shows the ink level.  A small display panel is there which indicates number of copies, media error and wireless status.

HP Deskjet 2544  measures  6.22 x 16.7 x 12 inches or 157X 425X 306mm ( approx.). Weighing around 11.49 lbs (5.21kg), it is little heavy.  You will not get  Bluetooth connectivity in this printer . It is a basic printer and  lacks media card reader slot. The USB port doesn’t support printing directly from any kind of USB flash drives.

Paper handling

Paper feeding process is similar to HP Deskjet 2540, you need to flip up the top flap to feed paper. You can keep up to 50 sheets of plain paper (64 to 90 g/m²), 5 sheets of envelope, 20 sheets of photo paper and 20 Index card in the input tray. It supports almost all paper sizes and formats which include letter, Legal, cabinet, A4, A5, B5, DL, 4 x 6 in, 5 x 7 in, 8 x 10 in, No. 10 envelopes, C5, C6 and card envelop etc.

The output tray holds up to 30 sheets of paper, 5 envelopes, 10 index cards and 10 photo papers. The capacity of input and output tray is at par with any budget printer.

Printing performance of HP 2544 Deskjet

HP 2544 Deskjet printer can print from 600x600dpi to maximum enhanced resolution of 4,800 x 1,200dpi, for color printing.

According to ISO standard, HP Deskjet 2544 printer can print up to 7 pages per minute when it comes to printing black and white documents, and 4.5 pages per minute when it comes to color printing. As per HP’s specification, this printer can print up to 16 ppm when it comes to color printing and 20 ppm when it comes to B/W printing. Duty cycle of the printer is 1000 pages per month.

HP Deskjet 2544 printer supports 600 X 300 dpi resolutions while copying both black and white and color  dcuments. Copying speed is 4.5 copy per min for B/W and 3 copy per min for color.

The scanner supports scanning up to 1200 X 1200 dpi in optical mode.

System requirement

HP Deskjet 2544 Wireless All in one printer is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows vista, Windows XP service pack 3. When it comes to MAC support, the printer is compatible with Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X v10.7 Lion, OS X v10.8 Mountain Lion

Printing cost

Printing cost for black and white printing would be around 6 – 8 cents (approx.) per page depending upon type of cartridges used.  For color printing, the cost would be around 9-11 cents (approx.) again depending upon type of cartridges used.   Supported cartridges are HP 61 Black and HP 61 Tri Color.

Pros of HP Deskjet 2544 

Inexpensive wireless AIO printer

Cons of HP Deskjet 2544 

No media card slot

Toshiba Satellite C55-B5356

Encased in plastic covering, Toshiba Satellite C55-B5356 is not a laptop you would like to show off to your friends. But for a price of $400, it can deliver performance for more than basic computing and offers good hardware configuration. It comes with Intel core i5 processor, 8GB memory and 1TB hard drive. Toshiba C55-B5356 can be used for casual gaming, installing ITunes and entry level photo and video editing, alongside day to day computing. If you want a laptop that supports latest games like Call of duty advanced warfare then you need something better.  By spending another $200 or so, you can get Acer Aspire V3-572G-587W laptop which comes with i5-4210u processor, NVIDIA Geforce 840M graphics with 2GB dedicates video memory and 8GB RAM. It would make a better long-term investment. Toshiba Satellite C55-B5356 comes with inbuilt DVD drive but it doesn’t support Blu-Ray formats. Satellite C55-B5356 is not a touchscreen laptop. If you are looking for a cheap but good laptop with similar configuration, you can take a look at Dell Inspiron i3542-8333BK 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop.  Here is a brief review about specifications and performance of Toshiba Satellite C55-B5356

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Toshiba Satellite C55-B5356 specification and performance

Toshiba C55-B5356 comes with Intel core i5-4210u processor which operates with 1.7GHz and, due to Turboboost technology, the frequency can rise up to 2.7GHz. It comes with 3MB of cache. The graphics processing is taken care of by Intel HD 4400 graphics which is integrated graphics. But it supports casual gaming. For instance, you can play Minecraft, Sims 4, Guild wars 2 and Tomb Raider etc. on this machine.  The laptop can stream internet videos fluently.  Its specification also supports light photo and video editing. However, for large HD photo and video editing, you will need a machine with higher configuration. Toshiba C55-B5356 comes with ULV processor which not a main stream processor like Intel core i5-4200M which can operate at much higher frequency. For example, you can take a look at Lenovo Y50 15.6-Inch (59428533) which comes with Intel core 2.8 GHz, i5-4200H processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M with dedicated 2GB video memory, 8GB RAM and  1TB hard drive. Though it costs you more, yet it is worth every penny you spend on it. You would be able to play all latest games, edit HD photo and video,  do 2D designing , some 3D modelling and Rendering as well which you can hardly think of doing in Toshiba C55-B5356.

Toshiba C55-B5356 doesn’t come with full HD display. The15.6” display of the laptop comes with 1366 X 768 pixels which supports up to 720p but not 1080p. However, with the help of HDMI you can watch full HD content on compatible external display.

As told earlier, Toshiba C55-B5356 is shipped with 8GB DDR3L RAM. The speed of the memory is 1600MHz and the memory is not user upgradable. 1TB hard drive operates with 5400rpm and comes preloaded with  Windows 8.1 system.  Microsoft office full version is not available with this laptop.

Besides DVD burner, it comes with 2USB 2.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA port, Ethernet, audio port and SD card reader. The network connectivity is supported by 802.11 b/g/n and fast Ethernet. Bluetooth connectivity is not available with the machine.

The 4 cell 45 whr battery offers up to 6 hours of battery backup.

Toshiba C55-B5356 pros

Inexpensive

8GB RAM

1 TB hard drive

Toshiba C55-B5356 cons

Not touchscreen

HP Pavilion 15-p157cl

HP Pavilion 15-p157cl 15.6” laptop offers enough performance for day to day computing activities. With Intel core i5-4210u and 6GB RAM, you can efficiently perform day to day activities like running Microsoft Office, Web browsing with multiple tabs, emailing/skype, watching videos and installing itunes. Casual gamer will be happy with this laptop but this machine will not run high end games smoothly.  For instance, Far Cry 4 can’t be played smoothly on this machine. However, games like Sims 4, Team fortress 2 and  Minecraft can be played easily on this machine. HP 15-p157cl will also support casual photo and video editing. However, if you are looking for HD video editing, a faster processor with good amount of memory is recommended. User should keep in mind that Intel core i5-4210u is an ULV processor and operates at much slower speed compared to Intel core i5-4200M. The machine doesn’t offer features like backlit keyboard, wireless ac or USB Charging port. HP Pavilion 15-p157cl comes with 750GB hard drive but doesn’t have SSD. The price of the laptop is $500 (Black Friday price). At the same price, you can also get Dell Inspiron i3542-8333BK 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop ($550-$600) and it comes with 8GB memory and one 1TB hard drive. Here is a brief review about specifications and performance of HP Pavilion 15-p157cl-

HP Pavilion 15-P157cl specification and performance 

HP Pavilion 15-p157cl is powered by Intel core i5-4210u processor which is a dual core processor and each core operates with 1.7GHz to 2.7GHz frequency. It comes with 3MB of cache. It doesn’t have discrete graphics and integrated Intel HD 4400 is the only graphics option with this machine. As told earlier, this unit is suitable for casual gaming and regular computing. Office users can also consider this machine as it supports office applications, making presentation, creating pdf and video conferencing. However, if you are looking for a professional grade laptop to run applications like AutoCAD, Revit and Solidworks, better go for mainstream processor with enough memory.  You can consider Lenovo Y50 15.6-Inch(59418222) which comes with Intel core i5-4200H processor (2.8GHz- 3.4GHz), 8GB memory and 1TB hard drive with 8GB cache. It comes with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M graphics with 2GB video memory. The screen of this Lenovo laptop also supports fullHD video playback while the same is not possible with HP Pavilion 15-p157cl.

HP Pavilion 15-p157cl is shipped with 6GB memory and the memory can be upgraded up to 8GB. The 750GB 5400 rpm hard drive is preloaded with Windows 8.1 operating system. It doesn’t come with Microsoft office full version though.

The 15.6” LED backlit display of HP Pavilion 15-p157cl offers 1366 X 768 pixels resolution, which supports up to 720p playback. With the help of HDMI you can watch FHD (1080p) laptop content on compatible TV or monitor.

Ports and connectivity features of the laptop  include 1 headphone/ microphone combo, 2 USB 3.0, 1 SD card reader, 1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, 1 RJ-45 and DVD burner.  Wireless network connectivity is supported by 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth. Wired connectivity is supported by Gigabit Ethernet.

The 4-cell, 41WHr 2.8ah lithium-ion battery up backup up to 6 hours

Pros of HP Pavilion 15-p157cl

Touch screen laptop

6GB memory

Cons of HP Pavilion 15-p157cl

No backlit keyboard.

Final thoughts

If you are looking for a laptop for home or office, HP Pavilion 15-p157cl could be a good choice.  However, if you need a  machine for extreme gaming, Photoshop creative suite and  CAD,  Lenovo Y50 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop (59418222) could be a more suitable option.

 

LG BP145 Blu-ray Disc Player

LG BP145 Blu-ray Disc Player is basic media player from LG. The player is currently available on sale at a price of $35 ( approx.), even though original price of the player is much  higher.  Visually, it is on par with any current budget Blu-ray player – slim, black, and rectangular. It is not crowded with ports and connectivity options. No Analog A/V inputs (composite), no Wi-Fi, No Ethernet and No apps – it is just a simple Blu-ray player. One HDMI out and one USB port is available in this player. Pure black color gives it an elegant and attractive look. This media player is easy to use as well. The front panel consists of power, Eject buttons and a USB port.  The USB port supports playing audio, photo and video files of almost all common formats. However you can also consider Panasonic DMP-BDT225 Smart Wi-Fi 3D Blu-Ray Player, if you are looking for Smart features and it comes with  3D capability. It is inexpensive as well.

LG BP145 supports full HD playback capability thus you can watch 1080p resolution movies and enjoy movie viewing to the fullest. Unlike other Blu-ray players, there is backward compatibility with this player. Thus, you can still use older DVDs that you have with this player. LG BP135 supports entire range of  file formats that you can think off, for example BD-ROM/BD-R/BD-RE, DVD-ROM/DVD+/-R/DVD+/-RW, CD/CD-R/CD-RW and USB as well. BD profile supported by this player is 1.1, though there are many players with support latest BD formats. The HD Video codec it supports MPEG-1; MPEG2 PS/TS; MPEG4 AVC; SMPTE VC1; MKV; AVC Rec; AVC HD; M4V; 3GP; MP4; MOV; FLV; VOB

The USB port also allows the user to play movies from the USB mass storage device, which include external hard drive as well and it is a handy option. If you get a good HD television with screen size larger than 40 inches and an audio decoder capable of decoding Dolby Digital plus, you can convert your living room into a theater with this player along with the decoder and TV.

LG BP145 has up-scaling features by which the DVD videos can be internally converted to play 1080p contents. Though it will not be same as watching a Blu-ray movie, yet it comes closer to that experience. LG is also one of the best consumer electronics manufacturers that thus this player is even more reliable. The performance of the player is yet to be known. This will fit into your TV table without taking much of the space as it is sleek and slim. The only disadvantage is that there are limited numbers of connectivity features. Basically it successor of LG BP135 Blu-ray Disc Player

HP 15-F014WM Black 15.6″ Laptop PC

HP Black 15.6″ 15-F014WM is an AMD A8-6410 APU based laptop which offers performance for day to day tasks as well as casual gaming. It also offers performance for entry level photo and video editing. However, if you are going to perform some CPU or GPU intensive tasks like 3D Modelling and Rendering, Animation, professional grade video editing, music creation or web designing this laptop is not preferable. HP 15-F014WM comes with 4GB memory which is standard for budget laptops. It offers 750GB hard drive but the hard drive doesn’t have SSD cache. Most attractive part of this laptop is that it is a touchscreen laptop and comes at an attractive price of $450 ( at Walmart). However, you may get it at a reduced price of $350-$400, during 2014 black Friday sale.  If you are looking for more powerful touchscreen i5 based laptop, with 8GB memory and 1TB hard drive, you can take a look at Dell Inspiron i3542-8333BK 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop which is currently available at around $530. Both the laptops come with inbuilt DVD drive. Here is a brief review about specification and performance of  HP  15-F014WM

Specification and Performance of HP  15-F014WM

HP Black 15.6″ 15-F014WM comes with AMD A8-6410 accelerated processor which is a quad core processor and operates with base frequency of 2.0GHz. On system demand, the frequency of processor can rise up to 2.4GHz. Compare to 1.7GHz Intel core i5-4210u processor, AMD A8-6410 processor is an underperformer, due to architectural reasons. HP 15-F014WM comes with AMD Radeon HD R5 graphics which is implanted in the APU itself. The graphics uses system memory. You can play sims 4, Tomb Raider, World of Warcraft, Minecraft etc in low to medium resolution and settings. Alternatively, You can choose Acer Aspire E5-571-588M 15.6″ Notebook Computer which is powered by Intel Core i5-210U 1.7GHz -2.7GHz, has 4GB RAM and 500GB HDD. It comes with Windows 8.1 operating system and is currently offered at a price of $400 approx. However, this is not a touchscreen laptop.

Model 15-F014WM is installed with 4GB memory but the memory is not user upgradable/expandable. 750GB hard drive operates with 5400rpm speed and has Windows 8.1 operating system preloaded on to it. Though the laptop comes with free Wireless mouse, laptop case and Antivirus,  it doesn’t offer Microsoft Office full version.

The 15.6” touchscreen LED backlit display offers native resolution of 1366 X 768 which means it supports 720p but not 1080p. However, you can watch full HD content on compatible external display via HDMI. This is not a 2-in-1 laptop. However, if you are looking for 15.6” 2-in-1 laptop you can take a look at Lenovo Flex 2 15D 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop (59418242) which comes with same processor but is installed with 8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive.

Ports and connectivity features include Secure Digital card reader, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, 1 RJ-45 port and 1 Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack. It comes with CD/DVD burner as well but the optical drive doesn’t support Blu-Ray format.

The 3 cell battery offers up to 5 hours of battery backup, depending upon usage.

Pros of HP Black 15.6″ 15-F014WM

Under $400, it will be good deal

Optical drive

Touchscreen

Cons of HP Black 15.6″ 15-F014WM

Only 4GB memory

No Bluetooth

Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7350

Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7350 is a cheap 17.3” non-touch laptop and could be a decent choice if you are looking for a laptop that can replace your old desktop. The laptop is integrated with AMD A4-6210 quad core processor, 4GB RAM and 750GB hard drive. Toshiba C75D-B7350 supports all  day to day computing such as working with Microsoft office, surfing the web, watching videos, listening to music, social networking and entry level photo editing etc. It also supports light gaming. However, if you are thinking far beyond that, you will be disappointed with this laptop. Although AMD A4-6210 is a quad core processor, it is not a high end processor and the laptop does not offer dedicated graphics and video memory.  Satellite C75D-B7350 comes with Inbuilt DVD drive and offers USB 3.0. The laptop runs on Windows 8.1 operating system. This doesn’t come with gorgeous exterior. Current price of the laptop is $450, but during Black Friday Sale you will get it at much cheaper price. However, you can consider similar priced HP Pavilion 17-e118dx as well, if you are looking for more performance. It supports many PC games like Sims 4, Tomb Raider and Gird autosport. Some latest high end games are also playable in low resolution and settings. It comes with A8-4500M quad core processor. Here is a brief review about specifications and performance of Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7350.

Specification and Performance of Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7350

Toshiba C75D-B7350 is powered by AMD A4-6410 processor which has four cores and each core operates with 1.8GHz. It comes with 2MB of L2 cache. It offers AMD Radeon R3 graphics which is embedded in the processor chip. The graphics uses system memory. The unit is comparable with Intel core i3-4030U processor plus Intel HD 4400 graphics. Toshiba C75D-B7350 supports low end and some older PC games. You can play Sims 4, Tomb Raider, Dishonored and older games like World of Warcraft in low resolution and settings. The machine is not suitable for high end games like Watch Dogs and duty advanced warfare. If you are looking for more powerful laptop that can do little bit of everything, you can check Acer Aspire E5-571-588M which is installed with Intel core i5-4210u processor, 4GB memory and 500GB hard drive. The price of the laptop is $400. However this laptop has 15.6” display.

Toshiba C75D-B7350 comes with 4GB RAM but memory is not user expandable. The hard drive capacity of laptop is 750GB and it operates with 5400rpm speed. It comes with Windows 8.1 operating system preloaded.

The LED backlit display of Toshiba C75D-B7350 offers max resolution of 1600 X 900 which means it can support 720p but not 1080p content display. You can watch full HD content on HDTV via HDMI.

When it comes to ports and connectivity features, you get 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 port, HDMI, VGA, headset port and SD card reader.  There is an ethernet port as well to support 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connectivity. Wireless connectivity is supported by 802.11 b/g/n

The lithium ion battery pack offers up to 4 hours of battery backup, once charged fully.

Pros of Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7350

Inexpensive laptop for home use

Cons of Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7350

Not a touch screen laptop

HP Pavilion 17-f113dx

Powered by Intel core i5-4210U ULV processor, HP Pavilion 17-f113dx laptop is a decent laptop for those who are looking for big laptop that delivers performance for everyday computing, casual gaming and other CPU intensive work like installing iTunes, video encoding/decoding and entry level photo and video editing. HP 17-f113dx comes with 4GB memory and 750GB hard drive and it will cost you only $400 (on Black Friday sale 2014 at BestBuy). It’s definitely inexpensive but many sacrifices have been made in its configuration to reach this budget price. It is not a touchscreen laptop and offers only 4GB memory. The laptop runs on Windows 8.1 operating system and it works best with Touchscreen interface. However, if you are looking for more RAM and touchscreen interface you can take a look at Dell Inspiron i3542-8333BK which comes with same i5 processor, 8GB memory and 1TB hard drive. It has 15.6” screen and is available at a price of $540 (on sale with free shipping). Both laptops come with inbuilt DVD/CD drive. Here is a brief review about specifications and performance of HP Pavilion 17-f113dx.

HP Pavilion 17-f113dx specification and Performance

HP Pavilion 17-f113dx has Intel core i5-4210u processor which operates with base frequency of 1.7GHz and, due to Turboboost Technology, the frequency can rise up to 2.7GHz. The processor is ULV processor and is energy efficient. However, it is not as fast as main stream i5-4200M or i5-4210M. These two processors operate with much higher frequency and come with better integrated graphics. The performance of core i5-4120u processor is comparable with 2.4GHz Intel core i3-4000M processor. So if your computing requirements include resource demanding applications ( Adobe Photoshop Creative suite, Sony Vegas pro, AutoCAD) a i5-4200M (2.5GHz-3.5GHz) equipped laptop with sufficient memory ( min 8GB) and faster hard drive or SSD would be more preferable.

HP Pavilion 17-f113dx comes with integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics which supports casual gaming. You can play Minecraft, Sims 4, World of Warcraft etc on this machine smoothly. But it will hardly run games like Risen 3 Titan lords, Watch Dogs, Hitman absolution etc.,  even in low resolution and settings. Graphics is not replaceable. As an alternative, you can consider Acer Aspire E5-771G-51T2 which is a budget 17.3” gaming laptop and comes with NVIDIA Geforce 840M graphics with dedicated 2GB video memory, 8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive. The screen also supports full HD playback (1080p) while HP 17-f113dx supports only up to 720p playback.

Model 17-f113dx comes with 4GB memory which is not user expandable; however, 4GB memory is enough for basic multitasking and regular computing. The laptop comes with 750GB 5400rpm hard drive which is preloaded with Windows 8.1 operating system.  The laptop doesn’t come with MS office 365 full Version.

The 17.3” LED backlit TN display offers max resolution up to 1600 X 900 which is pretty much common for a 17” laptop. However, if you are looking for full HD resolution, you can take a look at E5-771G-51T2. You can stream full HD content to compatible TV and monitor via HDMI.

When it comes to ports and connectivity, it offers reader for Secure Digital cards, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, Ethernet port and 1 Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack. It also comes with a HD webcam. Network connectivity is supported by Fast Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n (Wireless connectivity). It comes in an attractive silver exterior which,  though made up of plastic, doesn’t look cheap.

Pavilion 17-f113dx comes with 4cell lithium ion battery which offers up to 5 hours of battery backup, however, it depends upon usage.

Pros of HP Pavilion 17-f113dx

Inexpensive laptop

Decent performance for home computing as well as light entertainment

750GB hard drive

Optical drive

Cons of HP Pavilion 17-f113dx

Only 4GB memory

HP ENVY TouchSmart m6-n015dx laptop

People looking for attractive yet powerful laptop at budget price, during this Black Friday, must take a look at HP ENVY TouchSmart m6-n015dx laptop which offers plenty of performance and features for a price of $500 (Black Friday price, current price is $700). It comes with powerful Core i5-4210M processor and 8GB memory which means you get plenty of performance for CPU intensive tasks as well. Though there are few shortcomings, such as no full HD display and SSD, yet for this price ($500) you will hardly get another machine with its existing features. HP m6-n015dx does not offer inbuilt DVD drive which makes it light in weight.  You can also take a look at Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 Touchscreen convertible Ultrabook which comes with 128GB SSD and will cost you around $560. Even though it comes with 8GB memory, it has less powerful i5-4200u processor. It also supports video encoding and decoding along with casual gaming. HP TouchSmart m6-n015dx is not a convertible or 2-in-1 laptop. It offers plenty of USB ports, wireless-ac and voice recognition software. Here is a brief review about specifications and performance of HP ENVY m6-n015dx.

HP ENVY m6-n015dx specification and performance

HP ENVY TouchSmart m6-n015dx comes with Intel core i5-4210M processor which is a dual core processor and operates with base frequency of 2.6GHz. Due to turbo boost technology, the frequency can hit up to 3.2GHz. It comes with Intel HD 4600 integrated graphics. Together with 8GB memory you can play a lot of games in this machine, although not all games are playable in high resolution and settings. You can play Call of Duty Advance warfare, Civilization: Beyond Earth etc. in low resolutions and settings. But low end games like Sims 4, minecraft, Fifa 15 can be played smoothly on this machine. The graphics is integrated and you can’t replace it. HP m6-n015dx supports photo editing and light HD video editing. However, the display of laptop doesn’t support full HD playback. If you are looking at this laptop for professional computing, you can choose to buy a professional laptop like Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 20C6008QUS which comes with i7-4702MQ processor and 8GB RAM. It comes with faster hard drive and Windows 7 professional operating system. It will cost you around $750 though.

HP ENVY m6-n015dx touchscreen laptop is shipped with 8GB memory, which is not expandable further. It comes with 750GB 5400rpm hard drive preloaded with Windows 8.1 operating system. It doesn’t offer Microsoft Office full version but comes with Dragon Assistant voice recognition software.

The 15.6” LED backlit touchscreen display of the laptop supports max resolution of 1366 X 768. For some, this may be little disappointing but, if you consider Black Friday Sale price, you would easily understand that it is not a feasible option at this price. However, you can always watch full HD content on compatible HDTV or monitor by connecting it to the laptop via HDMI port.

When it comes to ports and connectivity features, the edges of HP ENVY m6-n015dx are arranged with 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, SD card reader, audio port and Ethernet port. Network connectivity is supported by Gigabit Ethernet LAN and 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity as well

6-cell lithium-ion battery offers 3-6 hours of battery backup, however, it depends upon usage

Pros of HP ENVY TouchSmart m6-n015dx

Great specs for a  price of $500,

Touchscreen

Powerful processor

Wireless –ac

Cons of HP ENVY TouchSmart m6-n015dx

No optical drive, however, it offers enough USB ports.

Dell Inspiron I3542-6003BK

Dell Inspiron I3542-6003BK Touchscreen laptop has a good combination of processor, memory and storage for its current price ($300, Black Friday Deal). In the laptop, you get a core i3-4030u processor, 4GB RAM and 500GB hard drive. The laptop is suitable for home, home office and students. The hardware configuration supports working with Microsoft office, web browsing with multiple tabs, Skype and emailing, listening to music and watching videos. Inspiron I3542-6003BK is capable of running low end PC games as well but is not suitable for running high end games. It also supports entry level photo editing (like color correction) but is not suitable for large photo editing. You can encode or decode media files as well but will not get fast performance. Considering the Black Friday price, it is not too attractive as touch screen laptops like Dell Inspiron i3542-5000BK or Acer Aspire E5-571P-31LT are available now at slightly higher prices, which have similar features. Both are touchscreen laptops. Dell Inspiron I3542-6003BKcomes with inbuilt DVD burner and has all standard ports which we usually look for while buying a laptop. Here is a brief review about specifications and performance of Dell Inspiron I3542-6003BK

Dell I3542-6003BK specification and expected performance

Dell Inspiron I3542-6003BK comes with Intel core i3-4030u processor which operates with fixed frequency of 1.9GHz. It has two cores, is hyperthreading enabled and comes with 3MB of cache. It is integrated with Intel HD 4400 graphics which uses system memory. With 4GB RAM, you will get enough performance for regular computing but, if your computing requirements involve installing iTunes, photo and small video editing and playing games, you should look for i5 based laptop with sufficient memory and dedicated graphics. Nowadays, due to heavy competition, you can easily get such kind of laptops at around $600. For instance, Acer Aspire V3-572G-587W which comes with i5-4210u processor, 8GB memory and dedicated NVIDIA Geforce 840M graphics with 2GB dedicated video memory. Though it will not run all high end games in high details and settings, it is capable of running almost all PC games.

Dell I3542-6003BK comes with 4GB memory and which is expandable up to 8GB. It offers 500GB, 5400rpm hard drive which is preloaded with Windows 8.1 operating system.  The laptop doesn’t come with Microsoft Office full version.

15.6″ LED-backlit high-definition touch-screen display offers native resolution of 1366 X 768 which is common for a 15.6” laptop and supports 720p video playback but not 1080p. with the help of HDMI you can watch 1080p content on external display and monitors.

Dell Inspiron I3542-6003BK comes with 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 port, HDMI, SD card reader, Ethernet port, Combo headset port and DVD burner. Network connectivity is supported by Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth. It has HD webcam as well.

Pros of Dell Inspiron I3542-6003BK

Price feature ratio is decent

Touchscreen

Bluetooth

Cons of Dell Inspiron I3542-6003BK

Only 4GB memory

Final thoughts

If you are looking for a mid-size touchscreen laptop for working with Microsoft office, web browsing with multiple tabs, Skype and emailing, listening music and watching videos, Dell Inspiron I3542-6003BK could be good choice but for running latest games and photo/video editing you should look for a more powerful CPU with higher memory. Performance of  Model I3542-6003BK will be similar to Dell Inspiron i3542-5000BK