I am very pleased with my online purchase of an HP lsptop. So I am sharing my experience here. Believe it or not, I did not, unfortunately, receive anything for this endorsement! I simply am thrilled with the product. I heartily recommend this laptop to others if it is similarly configured.
Requirements are never made in the abstract, but represent a combination of what is possible and what others offer.
- 13″ diagonal screen
- “fast,” whatever that means
- future-proof, if at all possible
- distinctive (you’ll see what that means in a second)
- no touch-screen!! (hate them)
- Windows 11 Home Edition
- under $1200
- 1 TB of storage space
- HP brand
What I got
I used to be a fan of Dell until I got one a few years back in which the left half of the keyboard went dead. It seems that problem was not so uncommon when you would do a search. Also my company seems to much more on the HP bandwagon than the Dell one, and they generally know what they are doing.
I remember buying an HP Pavilion laptop in November 2017. It was an advertised model which had the features I sought at the time, including Windows 7, 512 GB SSD disk. Surely, with the inexorable improvements in everything, wouldn’t you have thought that in the intervening five years, 1 TB would be commonplace, even on relatively low-end laptop models? For whatever reason, that upgrade didn’t happen and even five years later, 1 TB is all but unheard of on sub $1000 laptops. I guess everyone trusts the cloud for their storage. I work with cloud computing every day. But I want the assurance of having my photos on my drive, and not exclusively owned by some corporation. And we have lots of photos. So our Google Drive is about 400 GB. So with regards to storage, future-proof for me means room to grow for years, hence, 1 TB.
My company uses HP Elitebooks. They have touchscreens which I never use and are more geared towards business uses. Not only do I dislike touchscreens (you’re often touching them unintentionally), but they add weight and draw power. So not having one – that’s a win-win.
So since so few cheap laptops offer 1 TB standard, I imagined, correctly, that HP would have a configurator. The model which supports this is the HP Aero. I configured a few key upgrades, all of which are worthwhile.
I configued a model which has:
- 13.3″ screen
- 1 TB SSD disk
- OLED WQXGA screen (2600 x 1600 pixels)
- Windows 11 Home Edition
- AMD Ryzen 7 5825U (up to 4.5 GHz, 16 MB L3 cache, 8 cores, 16 threads) + AMD Radeon Graphics + 8 GB onboard
- pale rose gold trim
The screen size and the fact of running Windows 11 are not upgrades, everything else on the above list is. Some, like the cpu, a bit pricey. But my five-year-old laptop, which runs fine, by the way, is EOL because Microsoft refuses to support its cpu for Windows 11 upgrade. I’m hoping when I write my five year lookback in 2028 the same does not happen to this laptop!
I especially like the pale rose gold trim. Why? When you go to a public place such as an airport, your laptop does not look like everyone else’s.
We also want to carry this laptop around. So another benefit is that it’s one of the lightest laptops around, for its size. Again, a touchscreen would have been heavier.
Of course the Aero contains microphone, built-in speakers, but no ethernet port (I’m a little leery about that). Only two USB ports, plus a USB-C port and full-sized hdmi port.
One usage beef I have is that it supposedly has a back-lit keyboard, but I’ve never seen it turn on.
My company has a coupon code for a roughly four percent discount – not huge, but every bit helps. Shipping is free. But to get the discount I had to talk to a human being to place the order, which is a good idea anyway for a purchase of this magnitude. She carefully reviewed the order with me multiple times. She commended me on my choice to upgrade to the OLED display, which gave me a good feeling.
I wasn’t really looking for it, but there it is, a fingerprint scanner(!) in order to do a Windows Hello verification. I did not set it up. I guess it could also do a facial recognition as well (that’s what I use at work for Windows Hello for Business), but I also didn’t try that.
I think there’s a mini stereo output but maybe no microphone input? Of course get a USB microphone and you’re all good…
Price as configured above and with my company coupon code applied was $1080. I think that’s much better than a similarly equipped Surface tablet though I honestly didn’t do any real comparisons since I wanted to go HP from the get-go.
I bought a new HP Pavilion Aero laptop. It’s only been a month but I am very pleased with it so far. I configured it the with upgrades important to me since no off-the-shelf model has adequate storage capacity at the sub $1000 price point where I am.
I recommend this configuration for others. I think it’s really a winning combo. I have – I know this is hard to believe – not been compensated in any way for this glowing review! See my site – no ads? That shows you this is a different kind of web site, the kind that reflects the ideals of the Internet when it was conceived decades ago as an altruistic exchange of ideas, not an overly commercialized hellscape.
Since I saw this laptop was a winner I decided to give it away to a loved one, and now I’m back on that five-year-old HP Pavilion laptop!