HP 15t Touch Notebook Review

The HP 15t Touch is a notebook built to catch your eye, both with its colorful design as well as its inviting price tag. This entry-level laptop sports a 15.6-inch HD touch screen, a super-snappy keyboard and enough battery life to get you through your afternoon classes. However, less-than-stellar Core i3 performance and annoying bloatware hold this notebook to be front in the line.

Image Source: Laptop Mag

Image Source: Laptop Mag

Design

The HP 15t Touch certainly knows how to grab your attention, but it loses some of its allure when you get up close. A cool blue coat of paint (which will cost you $10 more than the black model) covers the notebook’s lid and keyboard deck, the latter of which features a subtle hash pattern and a touch-pad unlike any other we’ve seen.

Image Source: Laptop Mag

Image Source: Laptop Mag

The exterior of the notebook is nicely textured, however, you can surely find it a bit cheap. The 15t Touch’s blue aesthetic is offset by some attractively rounded black edges, which host the machine’s Ethernet port, HDMI port and USB inputs on the left, as well as an SD card, an optical drive and an additional USB port on the right.

Image Source: Laptop Mag

Image Source: Laptop Mag

The 15t weighs 4.8 pounds, but we found it easier to carry than the 5.11-pound Dell Inspiron 15 5000 and 5.29-pound Toshiba Satellite C55Dt. The edges of 15t are 0.97 inches thin, which is just barely thicker than the Inspiron 15 (0.94 inches) and the Satellite (0.96 inches).

Keyboard and Touch-pad

The keyboard of 15t features black island keys which are wonderfully snappy, and include a full number pad as well as handy function buttons for volume and brightness control. The keyboard is excellent that gives you a comfortable platform to type on with precisely accurate results.

Image Source: Laptop Mag

Image Source: Laptop Mag

The notebook’s touch-pad is border-less, with nothing but a small indent and its two click buttons to separate it from the rest of the plastic deck. The touch-pad is in a slight depression and has the same glossy makeup as the rest of the keyboard deck, both of which made it difficult to navigate precisely.

Display

The HP 15t features a 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 display isn’t the brightest or sharpest in its price range, but it gets the job done for everyday entertainment. It is good for playing regular games and watching or streaming movies.

Image Source: Laptop Mag

Image Source: Laptop Mag

The 15t is not the brightest entry-level notebook out there, though, it registered 162 nits on brightness test, which is just behind the Inspiron 15 (167 nits) and notably dimmer than the Toshiba Satellite (195 nits) as well as our 192-nit average for sub-$400 notebooks. HP’s laptop produced 61.5 of the sRGB color gamut, which is a bit our 64.2 budget average.

You might not need a touch screen on a nonconvertible laptop, but the 15t’s touch screen works well. Pinching to zoom in and out of websites was a breeze, as was performing Windows touch functions such as swiping in apps from the left side of the screen. The screen did come in handy for playing touch-friendly games.

Audio and Web-Cam

The HP 15t’s web-cam probably won’t top your smartphone selfies, but the it can surely take perfectly serviceable photos. The snapshots we took were a little blurry and had a bit of an orange glow to them.

While not quite thunderous, the 15t’s stereo speakers produced enough oomph to fill a small room with music.

Performance

The HP 15t is powered by a 1.7-GHz Intel Core i3-4005U which comes with 4 GB RAM, the 15t offers decent performance — as long as you don’t put too heavy a load on it. There were no issues while surfing a few Web pages or working on a Google Doc, but after loading up a dozen Chrome tabs while simultaneously streaming video from Twitch and YouTube, the laptop lagged occasionally.

The notebook took 39 seconds to open a 69 MB Word document while a 1080p video played in the background. That’s faster than the Inspiron 15 5000 (41 seconds), the Satellite (48.1 seconds) and our 52-second budget average.

The system performed admirably on our spreadsheet test, which tasks a PC with matching 20,000 names to their addresses in OpenOffice. The 15t got the job done in 7 minutes and 59 seconds, beating out the Satellite (15:04) and our 9-minute average while falling a bit behind the Inspiron 15 (7:06).

The laptop also stayed cool enough for comfort. As per the heat test performed by Laptop Mag, after 15 minutes of streaming HD video, the laptop’s underside, touch-pad and keyboard registered 85, 86 and 88 degrees, respectively, all of which are below the 95-degree comfort threshold.

Battery Life

The HP 15t might not have an all-day battery, but notebook gives you a respectable amount of juice for the price. The 15t endured 5 hours and 24 minutes on Laptop Mag‘s battery test (Web surfing over Wi-Fi), outlasting the Inspiron (4:46), the Satellite (4:47) and our 5:10 average. However, the Asus X555LA lasted an even longer with 5:55.

Verdict

The price of HP 15t starts from $410 which is approx Rs 28,000.

The HP 15t Touch offers an excellent keyboard, a responsive HD touch screen and dependable battery life for a budget price, but some flaws weigh it down. Its slippery touch-pad may make you reach for a mouse. Dell’s Inspiron 15 5000 ($449) offers a sturdier design, better performance and more colorful display, albeit with less battery life. However, if you prefer a touch screen, the 15t Touch is a pretty good option.

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