The HP 14-fq1025nr is an excellent choice if you want to spend less than $500 on a new Windows notebook. It delivers sufficient power for work and college tasks, albeit with a few common limitations.
- Surprisingly peppy processor
- Good battery life
- 1080p display
- Middling graphics
- Keyboard slightly stiff
The HP 14-fq1025nr is every inch similar to last year’s HP 14-fq1021nr, only that it now comes with Windows 11 Home pre-installed, over its predecessor that comes with Windows 10 Home, but can as well be updated to the latest OS. As such, both models are economy laptops, with AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB solid-state-drive – about the memory and storage we consider today’s standard – making this device a workable introduction to Windows 11 if you don’t want to consider a Chromebook.
Like its predecessor, there’s a lot to like about this HP 14 laptop. From its affordable price, powerful hardware compared to rivals in this category to a clean aesthetic, you’ll certainly find enormous value whether buying for college or work. For all these, it easily makes it to our best laptops for under $500 list, but the fantastic Lenovo Flex 5 Laptop remains our Editors’ Choice for budget midrange laptops.
HP 14-fq1025nr Specs
- Laptop Class: College, Office
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U
- RAM (as Tested): 8GB DD4
- Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested): 256GB SSD
- Screen Size: 14 inches
- Native Display Resolution: 1920 by 1080
- Panel Technology: IPS
- Graphics Processor: AMD Radeon Graphics
- Dimensions: 12.76 x 8.86 x 0.71 inches
- Weight: 3.24 pounds
Design and Features
The HP 14 is a good-looking laptop. Despite the mid-range price, the chassis in frosted silver gives it some elegance. It’s one of those laptops that are polished for office use, without the daunting chunkiness you get on some business laptops, such as (though excellent) Dell Inspiron 3505.
If you’re looking for a machine that will double up for personal and professional use, the HP 14 looks the part.
More crucially: it’s portable. While there are lighter laptops out there within this price range, the HP 14-fq1025nr is very light at 3.24 lbs, against the Acer Aspire 5’s 3.97 lbs. Plus, it’s impressively compact. You can carry it on one hand to class or a conference room for a call. Similarly, you can comfortably balance it on your lap if you’re commuting on a train.
Like most 14-inch laptops, the HP 14 laptop gets a space-efficient keyboard without a numeric pad – but is available on the larger HP Pavilion 15 laptops. That reduces the overall footprint on your desk (or lap), thanks to a slim profile that keeps the laptop to only 0.7 inches when closed.
Port selection is standard but sufficient enough to accommodate most (if not all) of your peripherals. Here you get a USB-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 1.4b, and a headphone/microphone combo as well an SD card reader. Wireless connectivity comes via Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
Display & Speakers
The HP 14-fq1025nr offers a 14-inch IPS anti-glare Full-HD (1920 x 1080) display. It looks plastic, especially with the dull black bezels, but they aren’t chunky. There’s a 720p webcam at the top, with integrated dual array mics.
The screen offers good image quality, and you benefit from the wide viewing angles typical of IPS displays. It has a maximum brightness of 238 nits (though HP claims 250nits on the box). This isn’t bad, per se. Most cheap laptops only go up to 200 nits, as a cost-cutting narrative, and you only end up getting poor image quality.
Still, the HP 14 laptop isn’t dull, but you’ll need more should you want to work outside. If you will be using it inside or working in the evening, you certainly won’t experience any issues. The laptop’s front-facing dual speakers are refreshingly clear and crisp, but they don’t match HP’s laptops equipped with B&O speakers.
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With the HP 15 laptop, the company promises smooth day-to-day performance, making this machine a solid option for professionals working from home or an affordable alternative laptop for hotdesking.
Our review unit, the HP 14-fq1025nr is powered by the aforementioned 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU (6 core, 12 threads), 8GB of memory (on one slot), 256GB SSD, and AMD Radeon graphics. As specced, this is a silent workhorse that won’t overheat, no matter what you throw at it, for as long as you don’t include intensive tasks.
As a work laptop, the HP 14 will suffice for tasks in the realm of word processing, creating spreadsheets, email, and web browsing while listening to Spotify in the background – and it will not have any qualms. You can also do some photo-editing on GIMP, as it allows for some basic modifications like layering images, cropping, and filling backgrounds.
On the flip side, the AMD Radeon graphics card isn’t cut for modern AAA games, but you can still play basic games, but anything that requires a dedicated graphics card will be painfully slow. For around the same price, you can check out the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3 that features a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card for casual gamers.
HP promises up to 9 hours battery life on the 14-fq1025nr, but the much you’re getting in real-world use would be around 7 hours 48 minutes – which includes continuous video playback and web surfing at 150-nits brightness.
Not bad, but we’ve seen budget laptops last longer than that, including the Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R14K that costs hundreds of dollars less, but maxes out at 10 hours on a single charge.
Verdict – A capable Common Denominator
The HP 14-fq1025nr is a budget laptop that does what it sets out to do: deliver sufficient power for online sessions or doing homework in an attractive and portable package. The Ryzen 5 CPU savagely pummels the Celerons and Pentiums that are still lingering in the economy aisle, and it comes with a decent array of ports.
Still, we can’t deny the fact that spending $200 or $250 more will get you a more capable notebook – or if you’re lucky an ultrabook – one that both makes you happier with a nicer screen and keyboard.
However, if you’re shopping on a tight budget, the HP 14-fq1025nr is as good as they get. The HP 14 laptop falls short of Editors’ Choice status, but budget shoppers will be satisfied.
Last update on 2022-05-15 at 22:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API