13.3-inch HP ENVY 13-ab016nr for $620 (SSD, Win10)

Unless you need to store a lot of data on the on-board hard drive, or need a high-powered CPU, SSDs are the way to go with laptops these days, and if so, Amazon has a nice sale on the HP ENVY 13-ab016nr for $620 with free shipping. HP needs to work on their product naming schemes. No one is going to be standing on a street corner singing the praises of a “ab016nr” 🙂

It is powered by the i5-7200U dual core, a seventh generation Core model, which currently ranks #602 at cpubenchmark.net, so if you need to have a lot of processing or more cores, this is not it for you. Of course the rankings are relative, and as more new CPUs come out, older ones drop. For example, AMD’s Ryzen line-up pushed almost everyone down seven spots, five of the seven Ryzens are in the Top 100 already. I should also point out, that unlike the Billboard Music Charts, the only way for CPUs to go in this chart is down, since there’s always newer and faster models. No one can climb. The best they can hope for is to stay put 🙂

Anyway, back to this laptop, it has 8GB of RAM (which should be the new minimum for any kind for multitasking), the aforementioned 256GB SSD (PCIe NVMe M.2), and a 13.3-inch full HD WLED-backlit display.

The combination of the U-processor and SSD trade off the horsepower and storage for up to 14 hours of battery life. This is HP’s estimate, read reviews, both customer and professional to get a “real life estimate”.

In terms of creature comforts, it has a backlit keyboard and gesture-capable touchpad and a card reader, but no numeric keypad and no DVD burner. Then again, what was the last time you used a DVD burner on a laptop? You can always attach external DVD burners and hard drives. Not to mention that USB drives these days hold more storage. More so now, with the proliferation of those ultra slim Fit USB Flash Drives from Sandisk, Samsung and Lexar among others. I’ve been using a 128GB USB 3.0 of those for my Mediasonic OTA DVR for about 1.5 years without any issue.

The listing does not mention ports specifically, but when you look at the gallery pictures, there are two full size USB 3.1 ports, a USB-C port, an HDMI (full size), and the aforementioned card reader.

If you are still curious about it, it has over 100 customer reviews with a 4.2 out of 5 average, and over 60 questions have been answered (hopefully correctly) by other internet users.

With Windows 10 Home, especially on a laptop running on battery, it is worth it to go through the menus and turn off any features that sap performance and energy. There are plenty of tutorials in text and in video online. Microsoft has some stupid things that no one is using that are constantly running in the background (weather, maps, news, and other Metro nonsense). Don’t forget to also set your internet connection to Metered, so apps and Windows don’t have a field day downloading things when you are out and about on battery and tethered data or slow Wifi.