Sunday, 12 July 2020

HP 450 G7 Review

Recently I upgraded from a Lenovo T560 to the HP 450 G7. While the T560 was a terrific machine, it lacked USB-C so I couldn’t integrate it to my USB-C Dock, it was a big heavy laptop and had an i5 processor. It was time for an upgrade, so I got onto this HP 450 G7. Here’s the link to one very similar on the HP website:

There are a bunch of quite technical reviews on this laptop and I’ll leave that to the experts to discuss – my focus is on the usability of this device in a business environment, and how I’ve felt it’s performed. Now, I’ve had this device for about 2 months and during that period I’ve been intensively involved in working to ISO27001 Information Management Systems accreditation. It’s quite a complex standard and capturing the aspects of our business where we meet the standard, and write up the plans and procedures to meet other parts of the standard has been quite intense. I’ve probably written around 25,000 words and fully half of them on the HP. So, let’s get into the use of this thing and what I’ve found so far.

The price on the HP website is pretty much what I spent on mine, so for $1950 I had some pretty high expectations. They have been met. It’s fast, it’s light (for a 15.6” laptop) and I really like both the screen and keyboard. I’ve really been spoilt on keyboard side of things having access to Lenovo keyboards and my preferred keyboard the Microsoft Sculpt natural keyboard. I’ve also gone from a Lenovo X1 to a MacBook Pro (which I hate the keyboard on), side by side with the T560 and now onto the HP 450. It’s great – nicely tactile, good feedback and easy on the fingers. It’s a pretty standard layout and the keys are nicely spaced. I’ve probably made more use of the numeric keypad than ever before too and it’s been great. Sticking with the physical aspects of the laptop let’s talk mouse and screen.

On the T560 I like the little Lenovo mouse thing built into the keyboard and the HP doesn’t have that. I do find though that the larger mouse pad on the HP has a nice feel to it and a nice touch using multiple fingers (not that I do this often). It’s precise and the feedback from it is good. On to the monitor and I didn’t realise I purchased the touch screen model. I’ve had touchscreens before and never really used it – generally I’ve found them a bit gimmicky, however with the HP I’ve used it quite a lot – particularly scrolling on the screen while I jump around on the ISO 27001 documents and the standard itself. I actually really love this screen – I’m not sure if it’s the anti-glare or the type of LED, but I find it easy on the eyes, particularly after a 10 hour day, it’s nice and clear and quite big – 15.6” which is perfect. The laptop only weighs a bit over 2KG so it’s not like the big screen makes the thing unwieldy or unpleasant to use. In fact, I think the screen is one of my favourite things about this laptop.

From a performance perspective this laptop packs an i7, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The battery lasted about 6 hours with a heap of web browser windows open and me jumping around all over the place. I use Power BI for some business functions and analyse some quite large datasets. The HP has been excellent for this – although that was my expectation of a 10th Generation i7 processor. Nonetheless it’s been very good for these larger datasets and that’s pretty much all I’ve used it for from a heavy processing perspective. While the HP 450 has a discrete graphics card in this configuration, I haven’t really used it for much gaming or 3D work, so I can’t really comment on it. It’s an NVIDIA GeForce MX130 for those of you interested. It’s been great for watching HD videos.

Final thoughts – this was quite an expensive laptop for me to purchase and my expectations were quite high based on the specifications of the device. I am pleased to report that this laptop has lived up to those expectations. From an ergonomic perspective I really enjoy using it, from a performance viewpoint all my requirements have definitely been met. It’s reasonably portable for a 15.6” laptop and it’s been a valuable addition to the office for the work I’ve been doing. I’ll seriously look at rolling these out for staff requiring a more powerful laptop over the standard Lenovo L15 we’re now deploying.