The HP 14-b109wm (Sparkling Black) 14″ touchscreen laptop from the thin-and-light Pavilion TouchSmart Sleekbook series will be on Black Friday sale this year at Walmart and will have a $278 price tag, down from $398. Despite having a touch display and sleek profile, the 14-b109wm is still just a budget-class notebook with entry-level performance, mediocre 1366×768 screen resolution, and no other advanced features like keyboard backlight.
The product specifications claim there’s an Intel Celeron B877 processor inside, but because a CPU with that model name doesn’t officially exists in Intel’s lineup we assume its actually the 1.4GHz dual-core Celeron 877. This chip is among the slowest Celerons (PassMark benchmark score of 1,330 points), but it’s a class ahead the AMD E-300 (630 points) found in the non-touch $178 HP Black Friday laptop. For comparison, the commonly used Intel Core i3-3217U in lower-end thin-and light laptops has a score of 2,269 points, while the latest mid-range i5-4200U notches 3,364. In the real world, this means the Celeron 877 can juggle only the basic web and office operations, but as soon as you start tackling complex tasks (i.e. video editing) or run multiple programs at the same time you’ll notice its decidedly weak nature.
The CPU is accompanied by 4GB of RAM memory and a 500GB hard drive, and with these values the HP 14-b109wm doesn’t stand out from the entry laptop crowd. HP has eschewed the optical drive in order to gain thinness and light weight.
The notebook has an ultrabook-like slimness of just 0.83″ and the weight of 4.4 pounds is a tad below the weight of the average 14-inch laptop with DVD (~4.8lbs).
The “sparkling” black glossy plastic chassis of the 14-b109wm is roomy enough to accommodate a full-size keyboard with chiclet keys stereo speakers and a 4-Cell 37WHr (we have no info on battery life), as well as three USB ports, HDMI output, headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack, and a media card reader along the sides. The built-in web camera is capable of capturing video at up to 720p resolution and the laptop goes online via 802.11b/g/n wireless or Ethernet LAN.
The HP Sparkling Black 14″ Pavilion TouchSmart 14-b109wm will be definitely one of the cheapest ways to experience touch input on Windows 8 interface. So far the most serious touch-enabled Black Friday competitor in the sub $300 price range is the 11.6-inch Asus X200CA-HCL1104G ultraportable for $250. There’s also a similar 15.6″ Pavilion TouchSmart 15-b129wm but it’s Black Friday price is much higher: $388.
The Black Friday sale event at Walmart involving the HP laptop actually starts on Thanksgiving evening, at 6PM and ends an hour later.
Here’s the product page at Walmart.
HP 14-b109wm Specifications
- 14″ multi-touch display with 1366 x 768 resolution, glossy
- Intel Celeron 877 1.4GHz dual-core, 2MB cache, Intel HD graphics
- 4GB DDR3 memory, 2 user accessible slots, 1 occupied
- 500GB 5,400rpm hard disk, no optical drive
- HP TrueVision HD (720p) webcam
- Altec Lansing stereo speakers, Dolby Advanced Audio
- Network: 802.11b/g/n Wireless-N, Ethernet LAN
- Input: chiclet-style keyboard with no number pad, multitouch trackpad
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports; 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x multiformat media card reader
- Battery: 4-cell 37WHr lithium-ion
- Dimensions: 0.81″-0.83″ x 13.7″ x 9.4″
- Weight: 4.4 pounds
- OS: Windows 8
- Warranty: 1-year