With Lockdowns possible over, it might be the time to take a look at improving your computer experience.
While I get to review all sorts of PC’s from entry level to very high end my own PC’s tend to cost somewhat less and after a while they become museum pieces like my Windows 7 offering which when Microsoft ended support was working but soon after that the power supply went ‘phutt’. So I struggled on but when Windows 11 arrived my Windows 10 PC was deemed ‘not worthy’ of it. So with not a lot of spare cash available I then started looking for a replacement.
This i5 offering with 8GB of memory fitted the bill and providing you have a flat panel that supports Display Port as I did, it fitted the bill. Free next day delivery was another plus so before another bill dropped into my inbox I ordered it. At 11AM next day DPD delivered it. This is just the unit and a kettle style power lead but it does come with 12 month warranty. So locate a keyboard and mouse and I was in business. This PC is a Desktop unit that was manufactured by HP/Compaq.
Available in two colours, when I delved into what colour I was sent I find it was listed as Pink but to me it’s more like a light violet. This is a rather nice and quiet powerful Laptop from a company known for producing top quality items.
It is 21.5x31.5x1.5cm the last figure is at the back, at the front it is only 1cm. The screen display is full HD 1920x1080 and the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement is 14 inches, it weighs 1428 grams. The connections on the left side are 3.5mm socket for headphones and a USB port. The front is clear.
It’s taken a while, 18 months in fact from change of agency to the first arrival of an HP notebook. Its thin its light and it has connectivity so what is not to like about this 13inch offering called very appropriately by the name of ENVY.
The HP Envy 13-ad015 laptop measures 30.5x21x1.5cm and weighs 1359 grams. It is matt silver grey in colour with four silver lines of two lengths that form a very clever HP logo. The left side has a USB port, 3.5mm headphone socket, USB ‘C’ port and micro SD card port. The front is clear the right side has USB ‘C’ port, USB port and charging port. Open the lid and the screen can go back to 135 degrees.
With this next product I had to combine the roles of a reviewer and a brother.
It began, as can sometimes happen, with a telephone call. This was not the usual type of phone call with a PR agency asking if I would be interested in reviewing a product from one of their clients. Instead this was a call from one of my sisters to inform me that her desktop computer was playing up in various ways and she was ringing to ask for my help.
Having recently told you about an A3 printer that was little bigger than an A4 unit here this is not only larger and faster it has two built in paper trays and can easily serve a whole office via Wi-Fi and Ethernet and even print remotely.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 is an All In One that means not only, Print, Scan, Copy but also for those who need it Fax. It is 58x48x38cm and if you use the flatbed a little more space is needed on top of the last figure but unless you use it under the eaves this will not be a problem as few shelves will be able to cope with its 19.5 kilo weight. It has four inks the three colours are as supplied stated to last 640 pages and the black to last 1000 pages.
The word convertible brings my mind to cars where the roof opens out and in a way turning a Notebook into a Tablet is much the same transformation. This Pavilion unit from HP can be a standard Notebook however push the screen back through 180 degrees and you have a Tablet.
The HP Pavilion X360 Convertible laptop/tablet computer measures 32x22x2cm and weighs 1660 grams, the viewable screen is 29.5x16.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 13 inches the native screen resolution is 1920x1080.
If you want a PC to browse the Internet and to send a receive Emails there is an option that can avoid Windows. It is a Chromebook. This rather nice offering is from HP and unlike the very early Chromebooks you can still work offline.
The HP Chromebook 14 G3 measures 34x23.5x2cm and weighs 1605grams. The viewable screen is 31x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 14inches. The screen resolution is 1920x1080. It took me a while to get used to the turquoise blue colour of the screen and keyboard surrounds but this does not show fingermarks. The case back is white as is the keyboard. Chrome keyboards have always shown characters in lower case not a problem just different.
An All In One unit which means it prints, scans and copies. The HP Envy 4520 can do the last two actions without the PC needing to be turned on. In fact with printing being possible from phones and other non PC devices you might even buy one without owning a PC.
The printer measures 43x35x12cm when closed. You will need more space above the 12cm height to place things on the flatbed and more on the 35cm depth to allow for paper to emerge in front of the inbuilt paper tray the flip out support opens automatically when printing starts by 13cm in front to hold onto the output. This is a four ink two cartridge offering which can produce rather nice looking images but do remember the cost of ink as the cartridges are only small.
This item could have an identity crisis. By default it is a Tablet but instead of running Android it runs Windows 10. It can also be used as a Notebook it comes with a Bluetooth keyboard. So here I get to use Windows 10 as it was intended with touch and even a pen stylus.
It is 21.7x12.5x.7cm and weighs 365grams. The supplied keyboard for use in notebook mode is 26x17cm. The viewable screen is 10.7x17.4cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 8inches. The screen display is 1920x1200 and in a 16:10 aspect ratio. One word of caution if you shut down in notebook mode you can have difficulty in getting the onscreen keyboard to show up if you next boot in Tablet mode.
Not the smallest PC I have looked at but probably the one with the most connectivity from such a small box. Things did not start that well but after the initial problems I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed testing this product.
My first problem was it did not recognise the keyboard, then I was surprised that it did not have Wi-Fi – or so I thought – so after finding an Ethernet cable I was relieved to find that I could use the WPS button on my router to connect it to my Network. After that being online I could let Windows find a driver for my keyboard and unbeknown to me also one for the Wi-Fi so now I do not need the Ethernet cable. So now it runs as I expected it would/should out of the box.
While the scanning element of a multifunction device works fine for many tasks. Sometimes you need the greater functionality provided by s standalone product.
Generally when flatbed scanners come my way, they form part of a multifunction device operating in partnership with an inkjet or laser printer. But there are still some standalone A4 flatbed scanners for those who prefer separate units. One such product is the HP ScanJet 2500F1 model that is currently taking up space on my work top. Before concentrating on this flatbed scanner I would like to comment on the packaging in which the unit arrived.
Although Windows 10 was available to some to download as early as August last year this is the first unit that I have reviewed that was designed to use Windows 10 and by that I mean it can use all the features that Microsoft had as selling points when they tried to persuade people to upgrade. A natively installed product this is what Windows 10 should be.
The HP EliteBook Folio G1 measures 30.5x20.5x1.5cm the last figure at the back and less than 1cm at the front, it weights 1230grams. The left side has a Kensington Lock Port, HDMI, USB3 and Micro SD ports. The front has nothing not even LEDs. The Right side headphone socket, USB3, SD Card port and finally DC charge socket. The back has nothing as the screen goes down over it to 135 degrees.
This is a multi-function device which means it not only prints, scans and copies but for those who still use or need it the unit also has fax. It is quite small and light and runs with two cartridges, it is black but here thats OK as this is an office product.
The HP OfficeJet 3830 measures 43x48x30cm the figures I have given are with the paper output shelf extended and paper in the rear upright paper tray. At the back left of the unit is where Ethernet or USB leads are inserted and the centre of the back is where the mains lead connects. A sloping front edge has the on/off button on the left and the 5x2.
While ink jet printers are still dominant in the colour market lasers can now offer much more and with less of a premium, printing speeds are better and perhaps most important the quality of the printed output is now excellent.
It is 42x42x32cm, if using the flatbed you will probably need another 12cm to the last figure the height to insert a book or magazine. The mains lead enters back right and Ethernet/Fax or USB back left, once attached there is no reason to leave more than ventilation clearance behind as all the controls are on the front. The on/off button is on the front at the top right, just above this on the top edge is NFC and everything else is either controlled from the PC or from the 6x4.
This is both a notebook and a tablet. It has touch screen ability as well as the latest HP touchpad technology. So is there anything in this unit that is not to like, well it is Windows 8.1 and there are cheaper units out there but nothing really.
The HP Envy Notebook X360 measures 38x25x2.3cm and weights 2.4kg. There is nothing on the back as the screen goes through 180 degrees. The right side has an SD card socket, two USB ports, HDMI port, Ethernet socket, DC input point and a Kensington lock port. The front goes down to only .7cm thick so has nothing, the left side has a +/- rocker for volume, beside this is a 3.5mm headphone socket and another USB port, finally an on/off flush button.
This is actually a multi-function device as not only does it print, scan, copy but it also has fax. HP call it an All In One so that is why I must also. The OfficeJet series are designed for office use but assuming the slate grey colour passes the lounge police
The HP 6830 Officejet Pro All-in-One Printer measures 43x41x21cm these figures are with leads inserted in the rear but you will need a little extra space above if you use the flatbed rather than the sheet feed to scan or copy. While you can purchase this for under £100 it has a big selling point for those who need value it is stated to have running costs of 50% of lasers. It can be connected via Wi-Fi or USB. Any leads you use, power, USB, phone/fax are attached back left.
Epson has thrown down a challenge to other inkjet printer manufacturers with its introduction of bottles instead of cartridges initiative.
It has long been accepted by many that inkjet printer manufacturers have priced their various models at rock-bottom prices in order to attract customers who then need to spend well above the initial purchase price in order to replace cartridges whose ink can be priced higher than champagne. Epson has decided it is time for a different approach as the company introduces its Eco Tank models.
A rather nice business notebook with a range of security features from both Intel and HP. The items not immediately available on this unit are available via a dock, so you not end up taking extra weight out and about with you.
It is 33.5x23x1.4cm and weights 1554grams. This unit has USB3 ports although you would only know it by speed of transfer as they do not have the blue middle bar that normally denotes these ports. The screen is 14inches and has a 720P webcam set at the centre above it. The default display of 1920x1080 is crisp and clear. The left side has a Kensington Lock connection, a USB3 port, micro SD card socket and an SC connector. The front is clear. The right side has a SIM card slot, 3.
Available from Ebuyer.com listed at £169.98 is the Officejet Pro 8620. This product is a HP All-in-One device offering print, scan, copy and fax capabilities along with an ADF (Automatic Document Feed) facility and a Duplex print module powered by a 600MHz processor with 128MB of memory. When linking the Officejet Pro to a computer system, you have a choice of wired, wireless or USB connectivity.
Decked out in a combination of lacquered black and charcoal grey, the Officejet Pro 8620 has a sturdy appearance. With dimensions of 499.3 x 468 x 314mm (including the Duplex module), this device follows the standard layout pattern adopted by such devices. Forming the base of the unit is the paper input/output module which feeds the inkjet printer that makes use of four inkjet cartridges (black, cyan, magenta and yellow).