CNET First Look
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15zThe AMD-powered HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15z is a slim, midsize laptop at a very reasonable price, and includes a touch screen.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15z. You can juggle all those different terms around anyway you want it-- basically it tells you that this is a member of HP's Pavilion line which is their kinda mainstream 2 budget line. It's also a sleekbook which means it's a thin-- kinda like what you hear about they've been called an ultrabook except for this is an AMD system, non-Intel one and of course, Intel owns that ultrabook name. So when you have something that's kind of like an ultrabook, people come up with their own term for it and in this case it's sleekbook which is a little bit awkward. Also called a touchsmart because it has a touch screen and the 15z because it's a 15-inch laptop and "z" because it has a thin Z access I supposed. You put that all together and you actually get something that is more impressive than the selling of its many names, you get a fairly thin, fairly usable touch screen 15-inch laptop that starts at $650. Now, we've seen some inexpensive touch screen Windows 8 laptops already for about that price. They tend to be a little thicker, a little chunkier-- this guy is actually enviably thin. I like that a lot. And unlike a lot of those other systems that use Intel CPUs. It have Intel's built-in HD4000 graphics. AMD combines a CPU and a basic, slightly better than discreet GPU to form kind of one whole, so you get slightly better graphics for playing games than you would from a comparable Intel-powered budget system. How much better? I ran one game test on here on an HD4000 system. It got about 10 frames per second which is not great. And here I got 15 frames per second. This is all the native resolution of 1366x768 which is again not great but it's of 50 percent better. So, if you tone down, you know, the settings and you play some all your games and you can actually do a little bit of gaming on this guy which is not something you can usually do on a $600 laptop. Now, of course, you have to keep in mind that price does have some consequences. This is made of plastic and kind of glossy plastic of that so it's nothing fancy-looking laptops out there. Budget laptops always have kinda some flex in the middle of the keyboard which I'm not a big fan of and a touchpad which is not a sensitive as it should be. Probably the biggest drawback here is the battery only lasted about 3.5 hours which is certainly less than you would expect from a thin and highly portable ultrabook style 15-inch 'cause you really wanna take this with you all day long. But if you keep in mind that it is $650 for a touch screen Windows 8 laptop that is gonna pretty much do anything you wanna do in terms of web surfing and social media and e-mail. In the tether package that's pretty much anybody else has at this price, then it is definitely worth a look. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the HP Pavilion TouchSmart Sleekbook 15z-- I think, that's all.