HP 15.6" AMD A8 Quad-Core Touch Laptops

I recently purchased one of these HP laptops from Woot because I was in need of a replacement quickly and these have reasonable specs at a reasonable price. I activated the original Windows that came with it and did the upgrade to Windows 10 without a problem. Here are my personal observations:

Pros:

  • Good specs for a good price. The A8-7410 processor is comparable to a mid-range Intel Core i5, and it comes with R5 graphics.
  • This laptop came in like-new condition with absolutely no signs of wear or usage, everything was 100% functional, and zero dead pixels.
  • Reasonably expandable. The HDD is accessible so it can be upgraded, and my laptop came with a single stick of 8gb RAM with one open slot for more. I stuck in a spare 8gb (12800) from my former Toshiba notebook and it works very well.
  • Overall speed is acceptable in spite of the mechanical HDD (see below for another comment on that).

Cons:

  • Even though I could easily install a new SSD, I couldn’t get the computer to boot from the CD drive in order to run my cloning software - regardless of how I set the boot order in the BIOS. The BIOS update was no help either. Until I figure something else out, I’m stuck with the original HDD for now.
  • When I tried to do a clean install of Win 10 on the new SSD instead of cloning, I lost the driver for the touchscreen. Downloading the most recent drivers from the HP website did not work in restoring touch functionality so again I’m stuck back with the original HDD.
  • The screen is “Meh” at best. It has a washed-out look of almost all the low-end 1366x768 notebook screens and a very narrow field of view (which may not be so bad because it reduces options for prying eyes).

Neutral:
= It has a lot of the typical features that are common in the recent generation of laptops, including USB 3.0 and a touchscreen.
= The speakers are reasonable and are located under the front edge for good sound direction towards the user.
= The main board and all the internal components are mounted up under the keyboard. There are no individual access panels for the HDD and the RAM so you have to remove the entire back to get to it. This entails removing a lot of screws - including two hidden under the large rubber feet along the back edge. The body separates along the top edge and is removed as a single piece with no wires or cables to get in the way. NOTE - there is a single screw that must be removed before the DVD can be slid out. Make sure to do this before you open up the case.
= Don’t expect this to be something it’s not. It’s not for the hard-core gamers, video moguls or large crunchers of data. It is a good everyday machine of moderate means at a reasonable price.