VIDEO: HP Sleekbook 15z Review

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The HP Sleekbook 15z is a 15.6-inch, budget-class, Windows 8 notebook. As with any other budget device, HP had to scale back certain elements to make the Sleekbook 15z affordable. What did HP end up sacrificing? Find out in this video review, and read the full Sleekbook 15z review on TechnologyGuide.


Hello, I\’m Michael Wall from NotebookReview, and this is a quick look of the HP Sleekbook 15Z.

As you can probably tell just by looking at this machine right here, it is a budget device. I think the glossy, plastic cover gives that away. It\’s shiny, actually it doesn\’t look too bad when you take the machine out of the box. As with most budget devices and most glossy plastic covers, it is not resistant to fingerprints, it will get dirty. It picks up pretty much everything fairly quickly but, that is kind of what you get when it comes to budget device. When I think about budget notebooks, typically I think it\’s all about conceptions. You will get it at an affordable at price, but there is always something you have to give away. The important thing is what you really lose, with the HP 15z Sleekbook.

I will say even though the build quality, the material might not be ideal, it holds up very nicely. It actually feels really solid, it\’s not that heavy either, it\’s under five pounds, it\’s around four and a half pounds depending on your build, because this is a configured to order notebook. This means that you are going to choose the components you put in it. It really does come at a nice price, it\’s actually at its base, core components it will come in under $500.

That is extremely affordable for someone that\’s looking for an entry-level notebook. As I said the build quality is superb actually for what it\’s made out of. The base you can see holds up really well to pressure, it doesn\’t move at all. The display fares pretty well additionally. If there is heavy pressure, some rippling will start to occur on the screen, but this is a budget notebook and is what you kind of expect. It can definitely take traveling but, don\’t expect it to hold up too much.

What are you giving up with this notebook? What are the things you really know that you\’re going to have to give away? I think comfort with this machine is an issue, when you want to talk about full Chiclet-style keyboard right here, it just doesn\’t feel comfortable. The keys are slightly raised, which gives some texture, but your fingers still manage to easily slip across them. The big issue is the feedback, it\’s kind of inconsistent.

Right here around the S key, it feels very lax as almost there is no push-back at all. It almost feels as though there is a broken spring, underneath the keyboard. Towards the middle of the keyboard around the G and the H keys, there is a little bit more of a push-back. It\’s kind of strange with an inconsistent feel, because you feel you\’re striking some keys and then in other instances you feel like you didn\’t even press the key at all. I will say even though it feels uncomfortable it is serviceable, it will work. I didn\’t have any problems with it not reading keys when I was typing, it read everything perfectly fine, it\’s just a little jarring to use. You feel like you\’re almost missing keys when you are actually not.

The bigger issue actually for the device is the touchpad right here. This uses Synaptics drivers, I actually kind of like the layout a little bit. It\’s a fairly generous size touchpad here, with right/left mouse, but it\’s below it and there\’s actually a textured feel to the touchpad itself. There\’s like a grid style pattern here, they actually give some texture and you can really feel your finger moving across.

The issue for this device, is just how it reads extremely delayed, especially when you\’re doing multi finger gestures. Trying to enlarge things. I\’m trying to change the size right here, and there\’s nothing happening on the screen. It misreads all the time, and that is a pretty big issue for the device. If you are really looking for productivity with this, you\’re going to want to attach an addition USB mouse, because it\’s just too inaccurate. For simple moving around, and clicking on things it will work, but even certain tasks like trying to highlight text or something like that it\’s going to misread.

Luckily, to kind of make up for the issues here, which is actually pretty interesting for a budget laptop it has a touch screen. The touch screen actually works extremely well, you can see here I\’ll slide across, I\’ll minimize, now I\’ll bring it back, it reads really well, there is no lag, it\’s very quick and easy to use. It\’s a nice addition to the device, but I\’m not sure if it\’s really a substitute though for not having a touchpad that works.

The overall display, it\’s a 15.6 inch display, with Bright View. As you can see, it\’s extremely colorful, everything looks vibrant, there\’s great color contrast. It\’s still hit a highpoint for the machine, I would not expect to look this good on a budget machine. I will say though, there is one issue with the display, it reflects extremely easily due to the glossy finish that you see on the display. If you are in an extremely well-lit area, you will get reflections on the screen. I\’m not sure if you can see this right now on the camera, but from my angle right here I can completely see my hand on the screen. That could be a little bit of a distraction, especially when you try to focus on something like text. It\’s an unfortunate downside for this machine, but when like I said, when it comes to budget machines, you\’re always making concessions, unfortunately that\’s one of them.

When it comes to power, this machine is capable of doing the basics, but I really wouldn\’t expect much more than that. Our version is equipped an AMD Quad 4 processor and screen radiant 760g graphics. Even those are discrete graphics, I will say it\’s no different than the integrated graphics you get from Intel, that\’s hardly an increase and you wouldn\’t see any notes or difference in the performance. In terms of performance, it will run the basic functions such as web browsing or basic word functions.

This is the kind of notebook that you want heading into college, you\’re doing some low-level activities, because anything more than that is going to start to push it. Even while I was just testing the device, running multiple web browsers, or video streams, there are a couple of times that it had severe performance drop, and there is even one time the computer crashed. Pushing it too much beyond those capabilities is going to be an issue, but at the entry level price of below $500, that\’s what you\’re going to expect.

So there you have it for under $500, you can get your hands on a HP Sleekbook15z. Just so you guys know, that the version that we did have here was a bit more expensive it ran around $650.00 when we configured it and it\’s still an affordable price. You\’re going to have a tough time finding many notebooks below that price point. If you want something with an adequate screen, that can serve the basics and you don\’t mind giving up a little on comfort the 15z might be the choice for you.

Videographer: Ed Green



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