HP Pavilion 15-bc202na - A decent laptop choice?

chris10123

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Jun 18, 2013
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I posted this in the 'components' forum section before, but I figured this might be a better place for it.

I'm in the market for a powerful laptop that doesn't break the bank. I study in a different country to where I live, and I tend to go home for multiple weeks at a time during the holidays. I have a desktop at uni that I use for pretty much everything during term-time, which includes gaming, game development (Unity etc), general programming and casual video editing.

I currently have a MacBook Air (early 2014), and while I certainly appreciate the build quality and portability, I find that it definitely struggles with anything other than light programming and office productivity, which means I have to put my hobbies on hold every time I come home which I want to avoid.

I also frequently participate in hackathons and game jams, so I'd like a laptop that can hold its own when it comes to game development software.

Onto the laptop mentioned in the title... It comes with the following specs:
- i7-7700HQ
- 16GB RAM
- 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD
- GTX 1050 (2GB)
- 15.6" 1080p screen

The main reason I like the look of this laptop as opposed to most other sub-£1000 laptops is that it has a dedicated GPU. Entry level, yes, but dedicated nonetheless and seemingly capable of running the types of games I want to continue playing when I'm on holiday (MMOs, RTSs). I don't mind waiting until I get home to play my more resource-intensive games, so ultimate gaming specs aren't required. I also get a £100 student discount, so I would only pay £899.

Sounds like a brilliant deal on paper, but I'm also aware that it's a full-plastic build (they had to cut costs somewhere) and HP doesn't seem to have the best reputation in the laptop market (aside from their flagships).

Has anyone had experience with this laptop range, or even better does anyone have any other laptop recommendations for this price range (£800-£1000) that provides the same or better specs?

Spec variations that I would be happy to consider:
- i5 (as long as it's 7th gen and quad core)
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB SSD instead of dual storage
- I'm a bit iffy about any nVidia graphics card sub-1000 series, but as long as it's dedicated I don't mind too much.

Some answers to potential questions:
- Why not more than £1000? I don't use my laptop enough to warrant a huge investment, and I'd rather spend the extra money on keeping my desktop up-to-date.
- Why 15.6inch? 13 inch is a bit limiting for ui-heavy applications, and 17-inch is not portable enough.
- Touchscreen etc? While I like the thought of sketching notes and stuff, I've found that touchscreen either pushes the price up significantly or trades off a lot of hardware quality to keep the price low. Paper notes it is...

Sorry for the wall of text, just trying to provide as much info as possible! Also, I hope this doesn't come across as me being too lazy to shop around, I have looked for months but haven't found anything this good at a similar price and I just want to avoid buyer's regret if possible. Thanks in advance for the help! :)
 

dark_lord69

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Jun 6, 2006
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"Touchscreen etc? While I like the thought of sketching notes and stuff, I've found that touchscreen either pushes the price up significantly or trades off a lot of hardware quality to keep the price low. Paper notes it is..."
You're not wrong.

"Why 15.6inch? 13 inch is a bit limiting for ui-heavy applications, and 17-inch is not portable enough."
15.6" is the most common laptop screen size. Laptop screens are mass produced at this size and often allow for the lowest prices.

Those laptops specs are pretty decent. Sounds like a good choice.

This one has a better GPU and SSD:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154623
 
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