Using older-generation platform and hardware that just about meets the minimum system requirements is a common means adopted by most laptop manufacturers to churn out wallet-friendly offerings, and this is inevitable to stay in competition. It would have been nice if latest-generation models were available in the same price bracket, but nevertheless, the second-generation Intel platform has the muscle to handle Windows 8 and basic everyday tasks.
The HP 2000-2202TU uses a slightly dated configuration, but offers good bang for the buck, not to mention it comes with Windows 8 and a bonus feature that we’ll talk about later in the review. Here’s what it has to offer.
An affordable Windows 8 laptop with a 15.6-inch display
Design and features
You can tell by the design that the HP 2000 is an entry-level notebook—it’s very simple, yet elegant thanks to the generous use of gloss. The shiny lid sports a large HP logo imprinted at the bottom corner, close to the hinge. It looks classy so long as it’s devoid of fingerprints, dust particles and scratches, which it attracts too easily. The same goes with the palm rest on either side of the touchpad. Rest your palm on the touchpad for a second and you’ll be able to see the impression clearly. If you’re obsessive about keeping things clean and shiny, you’ll want to clean the glossy surfaces every now and then. Mind you, don’t use a piece of denim, tissue or rough fabric to clean, or else you’ll end up with faint scratches that will remain forever—a microfibre cloth would be most ideal and should have been bundled in the package. The laptop comes across as black at the first glance, but if you notice carefully, the glossy surface area is black licorice in colour and has a very slight hint of brown. The rest of the body work, including the frame, keyboard area and base of the chassis is matte black.
Looks classy so long as you keep it shiny and sparkling
Open the lid and you’ll be greeted by a slick 15.6-inch display that has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The keyboard is island-type and slightly sunk into the chassis. Since the laptop is on the larger side due to the 15.6-inch display, we expected the keyboard to have a numeric pad, which is missing. It seems HP has chosen to go with a more ergonomic keyboard with larger and well-spaced keys. The touchpad is regular with left and right click buttons at its base. It has a fine dimpled texture, which prevents resistance caused by the fingertip sticking to the surface, especially when your hands are sweaty. If you take a close look at the touchpad, you’ll find a tiny depression at the top right corner. Double-tapping on it disables the touchpad, which is indicated by a tiny LED just next to it. It’s a handy feature should you want to prevent unnecessary mouse movements and accidental clicks while typing.
Two USB 3.0 ports and HDMI output
Being an older platform, you get only USB 2.0 ports. Two of them are placed on the right side in line with the tray-loading DVD writer and one is placed on the left side amidst a D-sub port, Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI port, 3.5 mm jacks for headphone and mic, and card reader. The features mentioned until this point of the review are common for all models in the HP 2000 series. It’s the core that differs between models. The HP 2000-2202TU that was sent to us for review by HP runs the second-generation Intel Core i3-2328M processor (dual-core and clocked at 2.2GHz). Now, this is a bit disappointing; the laptop comes with only 2GB RAM and 500GB hard drive that has a spindle speed of 5400 rpm. At least 4GB RAM and a 7200 rpm hard drive would have made a remarkable difference in performance, but that would have pushed the cost much further than the Rs 30,000 mark, and that is inclusive of the Windows 8 64-bit operating system. As for the bonus bit that we mentioned in the beginning, select HP laptops (2000 series included) that ship with Windows 8 include a year’s subscription to HP Connected Music. It’s a service that lets you listen to streamed music and also download tracks free of charge, for which HP has tied up with Hungama.com and Universal Music. HP claims the large catalogue of music includes over one million songs by more than 20,000 artistes spanning multiple genres including Bollywood, Devotional, Rock, Jazz, Hip Hop and Country among others. Users can renew the subscription after a year, the cost of which HP is currently working on.
Most of the IO are placed on the left side
A shortcut is present on the desktop that signs you into the service after you activate the subscription. You’re taken to the HP Connected Music webpage in the default web browser from where you can browse categories and playlists, listen to tracks and even download them. But there’s a catch; streamed playback doesn’t play entire tracks—it’s meant to give you a 30 second preview should you want to get a taste before downloading the full tracks.
Updated 22 May, 2013, 7:43 pm IST
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