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HP Pavilion 15z Sleekbook

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What's Hot: Slim and light for a 15" laptop (especially at this low price), very good Altec Lansing speakers.

What's Not: Shiny plastic loves fingerprints, weak battery life, mushy keyboard.


Reviewed May 16, 2013 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

We often cover high end laptops and chic Ultrabooks, but today we take a look at a very budget friendly notebook in a mainstream 15.6" size: the HP Pavilion 15 Sleekbook. Specifically, this is the 15z Sleekbook with an AMD APU and an affordable price tag that starts at $479. Our test model sells for $550 and it has a 1.6GHz AMD A8-4555M with Turbo to 2.4GHz, a 1366 x 768 display, 4 gigs of RAM and a 500 gig, 5400 RPM hard drive. Since it's a Sleekbook, it's relatively slim and light at 0.83" and 4.6 pounds. The machine is available in black with a subtle visual sparkly effect, and red and blue are optional for a $25 upcharge.

HP 15z Sleekbook

The display is a decent TN panel for the price, but it's not a touch screen, which makes using the pre-loaded Windows 8 64 bit a little tedious. HP does sell a touchscreen counterpart, the Pavilion TouchSmart 15z Skeekbook (is that enough names for you?) for a bit more money. The HP has wired 10/100 Ethernet, single band WiFi 802.11n and optional Bluetooth. It has two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port, but all are black colored, so you have to look at the symbol next to the port to tell the 3.0 from the 2.0 port. The Pavilion 15z Sleekbook has a full size HDMI port, a combo audio jack and an SD card reader. The laptop does not have an optical drive, but you can purchase an USB DVD drive separately.

HP 15z Sleekbook


This is a budget machine and you get a budget TN panel with the usual narrow viewing angles. The glossy panel was surprisingly short on contrast, which makes photos and videos look a bit washed out and text less sharp. Color saturation is average for the price class, and you’ll get 62% color gamut. The 1366 x 768 resolution is typical of 13” to 15” laptops in terms of resolution. Though resolution isn’t high, as a consolation text and icons are plenty large enough to easily see when in the desktop UI.

HP 15z Sleekbook


The 1.6GHz AMD A8 in our machine is a quad core, but it's an ultra low voltage CPU that's meant for lower end laptops and netbooks, so it's no performance demon. AMD combines their Radeon 7500G graphics in the APU (AMD's term for a combined CPU and GPU package, and it handles HD video playback very well and casual games, but it's not meant to be a gaming machine by a long shot. You can order the Pavilion 15z Sleekbook with 4, 6 or 8 gigs of DDR3 RAM and there are higher capacity hard drives available but no SSD option since this is a budget machine.

15" notebooks, unless they're super-sleek Ultrabooks, are generally upgradable. Not in this case: it takes quite a bit of disassembly including removing the main board to access internals. Order or buy the Pavilion 15z Sleekbook with the amount of RAM and hard drive space you think you’ll need, because you likely won't upgrade it yourself.

HP 15z Sleekbook


Deals and Shopping:


HP 15z SleekBook Video Review


PCMark 7: 1125

3DMark 11: P627

Windows Experience Index:
Processor: 6.2
RAM: 5.9
Graphics (for desktop): 4.4
Gaming Graphics: 6.2
HDD: 5.9

PCMark 7 Benchmark Comparison Table

HP Pavilion 15z Sleekbook 1125
Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch 2786
Samsung Series 7 Ultra 4469
Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A Touch (Core i5) 4670
Dell XPS 12 (Core i5) 4678
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 (Core i5) 4427
Microsoft Surface Pro 4657


Battery Life

Despite the ULV CPU with low end graphics, the machine only lasted us 3.5 hours on a charge, largely due to the relatively small 2550 mAh, 4 cell battery (which is removable). That's significantly below average for a 15" mainstream laptop. We can only assume that buyers in the market for a thin and light laptop intend to actually take it places, and if that's the case, you won't want to stay far from venues with power outlets.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The Sleekbook is a relatively thin machine and it has the expected short key travel. We can live with that, but the keyboard is a bit mushy and it bounces quite a bit toward the center. On a more positive note, there's a number pad on the right, which we don't always see on a 15.6" laptop. The key masking is easy to see in any light and the key surface is grippy but it won't slow you down.

The trackpad has a stippled surface that's fairly slick and plasticky. It registered single finger actions fine but multi-finger gestures were hit and miss. Since there's no touch screen on this Windows 8 notebook, a decent trackpad important, and the 15z's is just passable.

Sound and Multimedia

Audio is better than average for a machine in this price range, and the Altec Lansing speakers put out load, clear audio. The Sleekbook uses Dolby audio software rather than Beats, but we still heard sufficient bass. The 15z's audio was perfect for bringing movie soundtracks to life without resorting to external speakers.


HP set out with a challenge: make a budget notebook that's both thin and light. And that's exactly what the HP Pavilion 15z Sleekbook is: it starts at less than $500, weighs less than 5 pounds and it's relatively slim at 0.83". It's sufficient for web, email, social networking and video playback, but it lacks the horsepower to play anything beyond casual games, it's not a fast number cruncher and I wouldn't suggest it for HD video editing. If you needs are light in terms of computing power and portability, it's worth a look.



Price: Starting at $479


HP 15z Sleekbook


HP 15z Sleekbook


HP 15z Sleekbook


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Display: 15", 1366 x 768 LED backlit TN display.AMD 7500G integrated graphics. HDMI port.

Battery: 4 cell, 2550 mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is removable. 65W charger included.

Performance: AMD quad core A8-4555M 1.6GHz CPU with turbo up to 2.4GHz. 4MB L2 cache. Also available with AMD A6-4455M dual core CPU. Available with 4,6 or 8 gigs of DDR3 RAM. 500, 750 and 1,000 gig HDD options (5400 RPM is standard, 7200 RPM is available).

Size: 15.9 x 10.2 x 0.83 inches. Weight: 4.6 pounds.

Camera: HP TrueVision webcam, 720p.

Audio: Built-in Altec Lansing stereo speakers with Dolby audio, builti-in mic and 3.5mm standard stereo combo mic-headphone jack.

Networking: 10/100 Ethernet. Single band WiFi 802.11b/g/n. Bluetooth is optional.

Software: Windows 8 64 bit (Windows 8 64 bit Pro is available).

Expansion and Ports: Two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, 3.5mm combo headphone-mic jack, RJ45 Ethernet and HDMI. 1 SD/MMC card slot.



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