HP 15-ef1021nr Review
The HP 15-ef1021nr is a fine, nifty, little budget-friendly laptops with a sleek design that gets small jobs done nicely and is very comfortable to carry around
- Quite affordable
- Chic, sturdy design
- Excellent keyboard
- Good day-to-day performance
- Dull, low-res display
Sometimes less is more, and the HP 15-ef1021nr encompasses that statement nicely. From its clean design, Full HD display, quality audio and reasonable price tag, you’re getting a quality laptop without breaking a bank. That’s always a win in the budget mainstream laptop category. For less than half a grand, you get an AMD Ryzen 3 CPU, 8GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD storage.
The HP 15 isn’t a performance dynamo created for video editing or design power-intensive graphics – which is everything we often desire in a laptop. Instead, it is designed to handle daily tasks smoothly, including web surfing, emails, watching videos, and some more. It’s a great choice for anyone shopping for an everyday laptop.
The silver chassis is lightweight for a budget laptop, with a premium feel and a thin profile that easily slips into a bag or a backpack. It weighs 4.8 pounds but it feels lighter and, although it has a 15-inch display, the 15-ef1021nr feels quite compact.
The chassis is set on a natural silver finish that feels soft to the touch. On the base of the laptop is a sturdy construction with minimal flex, and the screen portion of the screen isn’t susceptible to flex too. It uses a micro-edge screen design, meaning you have tiny bezels surrounding the screen, giving you a bigger viewing area.
Port selection is excellent for a laptop that costs this much, including: a single USB 3.1 Type-C port, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a single HDMI port and a single headphone/microphone combo. Yes, it doesn’t include a Thunderbolt port, but at this price point, the USB Type-C is more than sufficient for most digital peripherals.
With a 1366 x 768 resolution micro-edge display, it looks sharp, but not as bright as a 1920 x 1080 display. For such a brilliant machine, we at least expected a 1080p resolution, but these would be one of the compromises HP had to undertake to deliver a great machine at this price point. as sharp and vivid as we’d expect of a full-HD screen.
The screen is slightly dimmer that we’d like, measuring about 220 nits, below our comfortable indoor average of 250 nits. Then again, we’ve reviewed dimmer displays on laptops in this price range, but you’ll be able to view the HP 15’s display comfortably indoors. Outdoors viewing might experience some difficulties viewing the screen.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The full-size keyboard is pretty comfortable for the work-from-home user or student who needs to churn hundreds of term papers. Its square, flat keys feel solid rather than the wacky, with good key travel and satisfying mid-stroke bump. If you occasionally find yourself typing a lot, the keyboard here is among the best you can get, especially at this price point.
On the other hand, the trackpad is a bit on the wide side, which means your palms will frequently drag over it as you type. That wouldn’t be a concern if the trackpad were better at rejecting accidental swipes; alas, the 15-ef1021nr’s cursor occasionally jitters across the screen as your palm brushes the trackpad, especially on the right side.
It doesn’t include a fingerprint reader, like the one you have on the more expensive HP Pavilion x360, but it works as it should, and that’s what matters when buying on budget.
HP 15-ef1021nr Performance
The HP 15-ef1021nr as configured, is on the beefy side for a sub-$500 notebook. The AMD Ryzen 3 3250U is a new mobile chip that offers strong performance matched with efficiency, and the 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage gives it a serious boost over similar machines with traditional rotating hard drives.
For graphics, you have AMD Radeon Graphics card that is quite usable for basic tasks that utilize an integrated card, though itself is definitely not enough to power AAA gaming.
On day-to-day use, the HP 15 will easily keep up with your demands. Two cores of computing power is plenty for most tasks, and with headroom to boots clock speeds to 3.5GHz, it can burst as needed. This keeps the laptop feeling snappy, with the SSD launching programs quickly, and some simple tasks, like basic photo editing, working fast.
For its strong performance, the HP 15-ef1021nr also manages to offer better efficiency with a long-lasting battery. It features a three-cell, 41Wh battery and supports fast charging, you can go from drained to 50% charge in 45 minutes.
On typical use, that involves surfing the web, streaming videos at 50% brightness, it lasts 7 hours 23 minutes but if you bump up the brightness everything drops to just over five hours. That’s enough time for some short intercontinental flights, and it could go even longer with brightness lowered.
I am actually a little confused as to why I like this HP 15 so much. It’s not good for editing video, or photos, or any of the things that I usually do on my laptop. Still, I find the HP 15-ef1021nr really likeable. It’s sleek, nicely designed, gets a lot of day-to-day things done, and is super affordable. You also. Have many upgrade options like the HP Pavilion 15-cs3019nr if you’re not on a tight budget.
If you’re looking for a laptop with better performance and longer battery life, you’ll want to check out the HP Pavilion 15-eg0021nr. But if you’re looking for a stylish system for low-to-midtier tasks, the HP 15-ef1021nr is a fine choice. It does what it’s supposed to, has a wonderful form factor to carry around, and it’s an affordable date. It deserves a top spot in your short shopping list.