HP Laptop 17 (2022) in review | Wbactive

Whether it’s high-end workstations or budget laptops for everyday use, HP has its mitts on both ends of the laptop spectrum. The HP Laptop 17 (starting at $499.99; $649.99 as tested) is a budget system with (in our review unit) an AMD Ryzen 5 5625U CPU, a processor capable of handling everyday school or home office tasks that the average user may have had to complete. The 17-inch screen is a decent movie player; It won’t replace an HDTV any time soon, but it’s a nice change that you can actually carry around (and this model is lighter than most 17-inch laptops in this price range). That weight advantage and mix of parts inside help it snag an Editors’ Choice award for budget laptops over last year’s Asus VivoBook 17.


A design that keeps it simple

At first glance, the HP Laptop 17 has a nice, clean design, with the only flair being the glossy HP logo on the lid. The HP logo breaks up an uneven crosshatch pattern that covers the top and bottom of the 0.81 x 15.78 x 10.15 inch frame. When the lid is closed, the laptop’s outer edge presents a smooth surface with a protruding lip that helps you lift the screen.

(Image credit: Kyle Cobian)

Weighing in at 4.58 pounds, the laptop is hefty, but that’s actually lighter than our other two most-recommended budget 17-inch systems. Once it’s fully open, you’re greeted by the large 17-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixel display. The range of 17-inch laptops on the market is small compared to other screen sizes, especially at this price point. While some users find a problem with such a large laptop, others will appreciate the benefits of having a large screen to throw in their bag and would be willing to bear the extra weight.

HP Laptop 17 (front view)

(Image credit: Kyle Cobian)

The keyboard of the laptop is a pleasant surprise. The keys offer satisfactory feedback to let you know they’ve been pressed, and although some keys (the function keys and the up and down arrows) are half the size, the keyboard feels comfortable to type on. There’s enough room for your palms under the keyboard, although that means the touchpad feels smaller than normal. That’s relative for a 17-incher.

HP Laptop 17 (Keyboard)

(Image credit: Kyle Cobian)

The keyboard’s base plate is made from a plastic material that gives a bit, but I didn’t feel like it would crack or break with normal use. We were sent the Jet Black colored frame, which is just one of HP’s color variants: Natural Silver, Snow Flake White, Pale Gold, and Pale Rose Gold are also available. Small white spots are scattered throughout the plastic molding and no amount of brushing can remove the dust/flakes you might mistake it for; it’s part of the design. The other variants use a different colored baseplate if that cosmetic choice isn’t your thing.

HP Laptop 17 (ports on the left)

(Image credit: Kyle Cobian)

The left side of the laptop features a USB 3.0 Type-A port, a full-size HDMI port for an external display, a USB 3.0 Type-C port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. On the right side you will see another USB 3.0 Type-A port and a barrel connector for the included 45-watt battery charger.

HP Laptop 17 (Right Ports)

(Image credit: Kyle Cobian)


A home theater experience to go

OLED displays may reign supreme in laptop display technology, but watching the season’s latest and greatest releases on a big screen is still a nice treat, even better when you can have that screen anywhere. At its brightest setting, the HP Laptop 17 makes for an impressive display for a laptop in its price range. Coupled with a set of upward-firing speakers that crank out to a fairly high volume, you could easily use this laptop as a budget media station.

HP Laptop 17 (angle view)

(Image credit: Kyle Cobian)

Just make sure you have an external hard drive ready for your video files, or stick with streaming. The 256GB NVMe solid-state drive might load your movies quickly, but it will fill up even after saving only a dozen or so. You can opt for a configuration with more storage if internal storage is an issue.


HP Laptop 17 review: Ready for work and play

At $649.99, our HP Laptop 17 review unit is slightly better equipped than HP’s starting configuration for this line. The $499.99 base model (which has been reduced to $299.99 as of this writing just ahead of Black Friday 2022) has an AMD Athlon Gold 3150U CPU, 4MB RAM and a 128GB SSD behind a 1600×900 pixel non-touch display. (Note: HP offers options for touchscreens across the HP Laptop 17 line, as well as Intel CPUs.) Our test model sports a cranked 1080p panel (still non-touch) and the aforementioned Ryzen 5 processor and 256- GB SSD.

We compared the reviewed HP Laptop 17 to similarly priced systems we’ve reviewed in the past, although not all are 17-inchers. With the The 17-inch Asus VivoBook gets our Editors’ Choice award for its display and design (although the Asus is the most expensive competitor in this range). The Lenovo Ideapad 3 14 also snagged our Editors’ Choice award for its build quality and top-notch features for the price. The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (3511) (starting at $323) and the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (3505) (starting at $293; $369 in the test) round out our range, but scored fewer points.

productivity tests

We use PCMark 10’s productivity benchmarking tool to test each device’s ability to complete everyday tasks. The test simulates tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, video conferencing and surfing the Internet. Geekbench is another productivity benchmarking tool that simulates tasks like PDF rendering and speech recognition, among other performance-intensive tasks. We also run a storage test using PCMark 10 to test the efficiency of the SSD in each device when loading saved files and startup programs.

Besides PCMark, Handbrake is an open source program that we use to convert a 12 minute 4K video file (Blender’s tears of steel short film) in 1080p to test CPU performance. Cinebench is another CPU benchmarking tool that we use to test CPU performance by using the company’s Cinema 4D engine to render a complex scene. Finally, we run a Photoshop benchmark using Puget Systems’ PugetBench benchmarking plugin to test the multimedia and content generation capabilities.

The HP Laptop 17 proves that it can handle day-to-day tasks very well, taking first place in PCMark 10’s productivity and memory tests. The Ryzen 5 5625U is a lower-level CPU that was released earlier this year, but it cuts performs well among this competitive set, ranking second in our multi-core CPU performance tests in Cinebench and Geekbench.

graphics tests

Our first test of a PC’s graphics, 3DMark offers a series of simulations to test DirectX 12 performance. We run both Time Spy and Night Raid on all of our systems, regardless of configuration. While Time Spy refused to run on some of our devices, Night Raid runs better on systems with integrated graphics. We also run two tests with GFXBench to test GPU performance; Note that none of the test systems use a dedicated GPU, so we’re keeping our expectations in check.

The HP Laptop 17 ranks second behind the Acer Aspire 5 in the GFXBench Car Chase test, a test best suited for mobile devices with integrated graphics. In the Aztec Ruins test, the HP laptop takes third place behind the Acer Aspire 5 and the Lenovo Ideapad 3 14. While some of our test systems failed to run the Time Spy benchmark, they did compete in the Night Raid benchmark. In fact, the HP Laptop 17 comes very close to the Acer Aspire 5 for first place and performs well above the third-place Lenovo.

As far as these real-world test scores go, the HP Laptop 17 is well-equipped for productivity work, streaming 1080p videos, and playing casual games with its processor’s onboard graphics.

Battery and display tests

To test battery performance, we run the same 24-hour video loop of a short film after charging the device to 100%. Once the video starts, we unplug the charger and leave the device on overnight for testing until it runs out. We keep the default battery settings on all our devices and use the same brightness and volume settings.

To test displays, we use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and measure color space coverage and brightness levels (in nits) at 50% and 100% settings.

HP’s big budget laptop is the winner (by small margins, mind you) in terms of color coverage across all three color gamuts and mid-table in peak brightness, with the Lenovo Ideapad 3 14 being the clear leader. This is far from the best display we’ve come across, and nowhere near the 400 nit brightness that we prefer. Given the price, however, the HP Laptop 17 proves that its 17-inch display shouldn’t be overlooked, especially when you consider that the screen can stay on for an impressive 11 hours and comes second in battery life behind the smaller Acer Aspire 5 15 inch display.


Verdict: A successful, affordable 17-incher

As entry-level laptops go, the HP Laptop 17 is a solid investment. Sure, it might not be the lightest of our options here, but what you get for the price is a well-rounded machine that fits multiple niches. Whether it’s office tasks that require you to multitask between multiple programs, or study tasks that require you to spend hours surfing online, this laptop will handle it all. Plus, when it’s time to relax, you can watch your favorite shows or movies on a super-wide display. Best of all, you can do all of this for about half a day on a single charge. For these reasons, we recommend the HP Laptop 17 as Editors’ Choice for budget 17-inch laptops, dethroning last year’s Asus VivoBook 17.

Disadvantages

  • No keyboard backlight

  • No slider for webcam privacy

  • No SD card reader

  • 256 GB SSD fills up quickly

  • Still heavy

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The final result

The HP Laptop 17 is an excellent budget laptop for general use with a sharp, colorful screen for multi-window productivity (as well as post-work stress relief).

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