Good all round cheap laptop,
This review is from: HP Pavilion 15-e000sa 15.6-inch Laptop (AMD Quad-Core A8-5550M 2.1 GHz, 4MB cache, 4GB RAM, 1TB 5400rpm SATA, Windows 8) (Personal Computers)
Just to be clear (and because Amazon lump all these reviews together) I'm reviewing the A8-5550 version of this HP Laptop.
I was quite surprised to see a recent A8 laptop going for under £400 and one that has a fairly high speed thanks to the Richland architecture. The clock speed is between 2.1 to 3.1 GHz depending on the task (the higher speed is turbo boosted, useful for gaming).
Speed wise the CPU is roughly equivalent to an intel i5 3339Y or currnet gen i3, but as this is an APU it also has a built in graphics card in the form of a Radeon HD 8550G. This card uses system memory, though, so only leaves just over 3GB RAM for the laptop to use. There are a lot of naysayers out there who will attempt to rubbish anything that isn't Intel, but I've used plenty of AMD desktops and laptops and these APUs are pretty solid workers.
Luckily, the laptop comes with an extra dedicated card with 1GB RAM that will only turn on during more graphic intensive tasks such as gaming. There have been issues with these cards not being detected and a recent Bios and Graphics Driver update should fix this, though it's disappointing that the laptops are often not working as they should from new. That said, you'll find that most tasks and even a lot of games are perfectly playable in the standard resolution using just the built in APU graphics.
For those looking at this as a cheap portable gaming laptop, it can play most modern game at low to medium (mostly low, though) in native resolution but will struggle at 1080p in more recent games. Adding another 4GB RAM, and ensuring you get matching RAM to the 4GB already installed, will vastly improve the ability to play games. I wouldn't recommend this deliberately for gaming but it can certainly handle most games if you're prepared to play them at lower settings.
The keyboard is wide as it has a keypad, which I find essential for anything involving figures or using Excel. It does make the device as a whole slightly wider, but this is standard for most 15.6" laptops and it easily fits in the laptop case and bag.
Weight-wise the laptop is heavy, but not overly so. The design is fairly pleasing to the eye, a silver shiny finish that doesn't attract fingerprints as much as other laptops, and a plastic body which feels fairly sturdy but not overly so. It's not built for ruggedness but should be fine if looked after.
Overall, I'm extremely happy with the device at this price point as an all-round laptop for every-day tasks and some gaming.