Looks like an amazing deal for £600 with it's Coffee Lake i7 but I feel like the lack of SSD will slow things down painfully. Doesn't look like it has an SSD slot free and no information about whether you can remove the HDD.
Anyone have any experience with this laptop or opinions?
I agree that the absence of an SSD seems a bit low-grade these days, and if you're used to SSDs it's going to be very painful indeed. But it's a question of simple economics: HP have to cut corners somewhere in order to offer an 8th gen i7 for as little as £600. The panel seems to be a 2K TN screen, which isn't the end of the world, but for everyday use an IPS panel would be preferable.
I can confirm that there's no mention of any kind of upgradability (RAM or storage), but the 2TB HDD uses a SATA interface which would allow you to replace it with an SSD later on. However, it is entirely possible that you can't open the bottom cover at all without voiding the warranty. This is becoming increasingly widespread among new ultrabooks and notebooks and is also a reflection of simple economics.
RAM is listed at 8GBs, and this could very well be the limit imposed by HP. But for everyday use, 8GBs will be more than enough.
Battery life is listed at 11+ hours and weight is 2.1kg - so you're looking at a very capable productivity machine featuring the newest Intel CPU generation. Perhaps not 'amazing' but certainly a very good deal.
I bought this yesterday for £599 - I was expecting worse performance, but it's an OK laptop. The build is pretty average (mostly plastic) and the trackpad position is not ideal.
It's not coming too bloated, but first things I did software wise were:
- upgrade to Windows 10 Pro (I had a spare license) + plus additional system updates (takes a few hours)
- remove MCafee antivirus (30 days trial)
- remove Dropbox
- it comes with an MSOffice trial (upgraded that to full, I had a license)
The HP software that comes pre-installed is quite useful, I suggest keeping it on as it organizes the system information (and system updates options) much better than Control Panel.
Now the good news, I opened it and there are some interesting facts:
- PC4 - 2400 DDR4 is from Samsung (8GB) both slots full, but can easily be changed (not soldered on)
- it has a Seagate Mobile HDD 2TB inside which can be easily removed (1 screw and it's out)
- it has a free M2X3 port where you can plug in a mSATA SSD (these are a little bit more expensive than the usual SSDs) or you can use an adapter (mSATA to SATA) to accommodate your secondary SSD - there is room inside to put another drive but you will have to glue it in place. This is untested, so I have no idea if it will work, but the free M2X3 slot is there for grabs.
What I think I'll do is buy a 64GB mSATA drive from Amazon for £45 and boot from that, while everything else will stay the same. The BIOS on this machine is pretty lame, but at least you can set up the boot order If it doesn't work, I'll return the drive, all good.
The HP assistant is allowing you to create a 1 off rescue (system restore) drive on an USB stick, no need to spend £40 to buy a rescue drive yet to restore the OS on the new SSD.
Now, if you want to get 16GB of RAM and a 500GB SSD, this will add at least £350 to this laptop, making it a £950 laptop, I don't think it's worth the investment at the moment, as there are better options at that price. But this machine can be turned into a beast, too bad that the build quality is average. I think it's an OK machine for what it is inside it right now and can be upgradable easily in the future when the prices on RAM and SSD are a bit lower. If you have spare parts around, then you are a lucky chap - you got yourself a beast.
PS: I am a Half Life 2 nostalgic and it plays OK on this laptop Next I will try Diablo 3.