HP (17-BY1053DX) 17.3 Laptop Review
The HP 17-BY1053DX is another addition to HP’s stream of consumer-facing budget home and office laptops. No-frills would probably be the one word we’ll use if asked to define it since this laptop is built for reliability rather than flash.
For a price that fits firmly within the budget category, you’ll get a laptop capable of dispatching most regular tasks with confident ease, including some light gaming when workdays drag a little. It won’t break or set any speed or performance records, and the battery performance is on the average side. But all that is pretty much par for the course for a laptop in this category, in our estimation.
You’ll also get a large 17-inch screen that does the business pretty well, a decent port selection, and a numpad to keep the number crunchers happy. And, despite being made of plastic, it offers a solid build.
Design and Appearance
HP has a long-held reputation for not allowing the cheaper price tags of their budget laptops to detract from their appearance and that motif extends to this one. The HP 17-BY1053DX laptop sports a matte black aesthetic that’s pleasing to the eye, both on the outside and under the lid. The laptop’s plastic finish gives the first indication of its budget status, yet, even though it acts as a magnet to fingerprints, the laptop feels sturdy enough.
The hinges are solid, although the screen flexes a little when you flip the laptop open (with both hands, of course). The bezels are not unnoticeable, but they’re not unattractively large as well. The HP 17-By1053DX tips the scale at a little over 5 pounds. That can be a handful, but we were expecting a 17-inch laptop to be exactly that, and the increased real estate all over the deck seems like a fair trade.
Ports and Connectivity
Legacy users will undoubtedly appreciate the quality and quantity of this laptop’s port offerings. The inclusion of a DVD-RW Optical Drive is a particular highlight, given the fact that most laptops seem to find an excuse to ditch it these days.
In addition, there are two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB 2.0 Type-A port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a microSD card slot, and a headphone/microphone combo jack distributed along its flanks. The absence of a USB Type-C port is a bit of a downer though.
Wireless connectivity is handled by 801.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Budget laptops need to keep costs low somehow, and the quality of their keyboards invariably takes a hit. Surprisingly, this laptop’s keyboard gave no indication of its budget status. In terms of layout and operation, there’s not much to criticize about this laptop’s keyboard. On full-sized and well-spaced keys, there’s enough travel to go along with the decent feedback that comes with a click.
Typing up Word documents on this keyboard is a pretty enjoyable experience, while the inclusion of a numpad makes spreadsheet tasks that much easier. The keyboard’s jet black finish, coupled with the absence of backlights means that getting any work done after lights out is close to impossible, but that’s by no means a stick to beat the keyboard with.
The touchpad is decent as well. It responds smoothly to touch (including Windows gestures commands), while the click buttons are accurate and provide decent tactile feedback.
In the audio department, the HP 17-BY1053DX laptop is decent if a little unspectacular. Its stereo speakers are powerful enough to fill a room with sound, making them adequate for conference calling and video streaming.
The highs are clear enough, and there is decent reproduction of the mid sounds. Bass is a little harder to distinguish, and we recommend the use of headphones for better enjoyment of music, videos, and games.
The HP 17-BY1053DX’s BrightView panel boasts a 1600×900 pixel resolution, good enough for multimedia and word processing tasks. Although the screen offers decent image quality, it’s not enough for photo or video editing, since colors appear a bit dull and washed out sometimes. However, it also offers good detail, and text appears clear from whatever angle you view the screen.
While there are a few reservations about this laptop’s screen, size is not one of them. A 17.3-inch screen inspires a smoother experience while typing or reading word documents or scrolling down long web pages. Streaming Netflix movies is another high point.
The screen is surrounded by not too large bezels, with a webcam embedded in the top bezel. Unfortunately, the webcam does not support Windows Hello facial recognition sign-in.
Graphics and Gaming
Equipped with an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 card, the HP 17-BY1053DX is a moderately powerful laptop. It will execute most home and office tasks, including the occasional light photo editing tasks without breaking stride. You may even be able to get it to play a few light games to pass the time. On the flip side, this laptop will protest loudly and drag its feet with graphics-intensive tasks such as advanced graphics design or video editing.
This laptop is not sold as a gaming laptop for obvious reasons. After investing a few minutes into creatively tweaking your settings, you may be able to get moderate titles such as Rocket League to run at decent frame rates. Anything beyond that and all bets are off.
The ideal work laptop offers enough juice to get through the full workday on a single charge and on that perimeter, the HP 17-BY1053DX is far from ideal. It lasts a little over 5 hours, meaning that you won’t have the option of leaving your charger at home if you want to go out with this laptop.
You may be able to squeeze out a few extra minutes by reducing settings here and there, but that will not do much to improve the bottom line.
Cooling and Noise Emission
To its credit, this laptop manages to not get too warm during operation. While it does lose its cool on occasion, especially when it has to contend with tasks that put a strain on its GPU and CPU, it doesn’t exceed the 95 degrees Fahrenheit mark, which is our comfort threshold.
Less creditably, the fans can drive you to distraction with their constant whining. They start up immediately when you power the system on and constantly backdrop your operations, going into overdrive when the laptop needs to execute tasking programs.
The HP 17-BY1053DX packs an Intel i5-8265U processor, 8GB DDR4 SDRAM, and 256GB SSD, making it a moderately-powered laptop. Its processor offers run speeds between 1.6GHz and 3.9GHz, along with a turbo boost function that makes this laptop eminently capable of breezing through most day-to-day work and entertainment tasks such as word processing and hi-res video streaming with a minimum of fuss. It will approach more difficult tasks like video editing and gaming with significantly reduced zest, but that’s also partly down to the inadequacies of its integrated graphics card.
It takes this laptop mere seconds to boot up and load web pages. It’s also a pro at multitasking, deftly flying through multiple open Google Chrome tabs with videos streaming on some of them, lengthy pages of word documents and spreadsheets, and several other programs running in the background without pausing to catch its breath. Basically, this laptop offers enough torque to get through most workday tasks without being powerful enough to be regarded as a workstation.
Designed for office and home use, the HP 17-BY1053DX laptop looks svelte enough to adorn both spaces and is sturdy enough to make the trip to both locations on a daily basis without coming off the worse for wear. Inside, it packs moderately powerful hardware that give it enough pep to steamroller through regular computing and entertainment tasks.
It is a budget laptop, and no doubt, this will become apparent after you give it more than a cursory glance. Its battery performance could be better, and we could do without a flexing screen and keyboard. Yet, pound for pound, this laptop offers great bang for your buck, considering its price tag.
If you’re on the hunt for a laptop capable of executing regular computing tasks, with a little lightweight gaming thrown in for good measure, and you’re on a strict budget, you could do a lot worse than this one.