The HP 15z (3JE20AV_1, 2018) is a cheap 15.6-inch notebook model starting at around $300. It’s a plastic-cladded 4.6-pound laptop with a 0.9″ thick profile, optional touchscreen, a chiclet style keyboard with numeric pad, and a trackpad with mechanical click buttons. The machine is available in six different colors: black, white, silver, gold, dark gray, and blue.
The 1366×768-pixel HD display resolution is an unwritten standard on budget notebooks. The HP 15z 3JE20AV_1 is no exception. Yes, you can configure the laptop with an optional Full HD 1920×1080 screen, but in both cases IPS technology for wide viewing angles is missing. Optional touch input support on this model is a nice perk, considering it is a budget-class laptop.
As opposed to the Intel-based HP 15t, the HP 15z 3JE20AV_1 is powered by AMD’s processors. The basic configuration comes with the AMD A9-9425 dual-core processor with the Radeon R5 integrated graphics. The AMD Ryzen 3 2200U quad-core with Radeon Vega 3 graphics is a step up, whereas the Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core with Vega 8 offers the best performance among them. All the offered chips are good for the daily web, Office document editing, and multimedia playback chores of the average user. The Ryzen-branded chips provide a smoother experience than the A9 when dealing with Windows 10 OS and programs and are much better at demanding tasks like video editing. In laptop processor tests, Ryzens rank similar to the more popular Intel’s mid-range 8th Gen Core i3 and i5 U-series CPUs.
The notebook’s RAM size of 8 – 16 GB means enough capacity for multitasking in common computing scenarios, so users won’t encounter problems while running multiple programs at the same time.
For storage, HP has provided mechanical hard drive and much faster solid state drive choices. You can have a 1-Terabyte or a 2-Terabyte hard drive for a plenty of cheap storage space, or a 128 or 256 GB solid state drive for snappier performance. Or, you can combine the 1TB HDD with 128GB or 256GB SSD for the best of both worlds. The notebook does not have a built-in DVD writer drive.
The included battery has a capacity of 41 WHr. The manufacturer claims the battery life can last “up to 9 hours” on models with HD display option. On Full HD variant, the battery life is shorter.
Overall, this notebook provides a good value for the price, considering its well-rounded feature set with all important perks included. Also, it can be appealing to those who like clean no-frills laptop designs. But if you are looking for premium features like IPS displays, keyboard backlight, and metal casing, or a 2-in-1 PC design, you should take a look at pricier models like the HP Pavilion, Envy, or Spectre series.
Usual starting price: around 300 USD* as of December 1, 2018.