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HP 15-bw075ax (A12-9720P, Radeon R7) Laptop Review

Choppy waters. The HP 15-bw07ax brings AMD's newest high-end APU, the A12-9720P, to the market. However, the APU may be a bit too new - the system is remarkably unstable.

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We recently reviewed the HP 15-bw077ax, a budget-level notebook powered by AMD's latest Bristol Ridge line of APUs. The 15-bw077ax has a slow dual-core A9-9420 which resulted in sluggish and frustrating performance. Today, we will look at the the HP 15-bw075ax, a more powerful variant in the updated HP 15 line . The bigger brother sports the latest high-tier APU from AMD, the A12-9720P. Following AMD's nomenclature, the APU packs in 12 compute cores: four on the CPU and eight GPU cores on the embedded Radeon R7 GPU. So what advantages will the quad-core CPU and improved graphics chipset bring compared to the lower cost 15-bw077ax? Let's dive in and see.

The HP 15-bw075ax, which we will refer to as the HP 15 (A12) henceforth, is beginning to roll onto the store shelves for multiple big box retailers. Pricing data is difficult to find for our specific model as stores seem to price the device independently of each other. We could not find a reliable source for the MSRP but have seen the device priced anywhere from $399 to about $530, depending on the retailer. Our specific configuration has, in addition to the A12 APU, 4 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1 TB 5400 RPM HDD. Most retail models bump the RAM up to 8 GB.

Other than the change in APU and a different finish on the plastic case, the HP 15 (A12) is essentially the same device as the HP 15 (A9). As such, we will focus on the changes in performance and will not discuss the input devices, maintenance, or exterior chassis. For information on these aspects of the notebook, please check our review of the HP 15 (A9)

HP 15-bw075ax (15 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), AMD 16.50.2801.1005-170319a-312549C-HP
Memory
4096 MB 
, PC4-19200 / DDR4-2400
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366 x 768 pixel 100 PPI, no, BOE06A4, TN LED, glossy: yes
Mainboard
AMD CZ FCH
Storage
WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1, 1000 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 5400 RPM HDD, 918 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC235 @ AMD K15.6 - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Combo audio in/out (headset), Card Reader: 4-in-1 SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 20 x 380 x 254 ( = 0.79 x 14.96 x 10 in)
Battery
31 Wh Lithium-Ion, removeable, 3-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 2W, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no
Weight
1.86 kg ( = 65.61 oz / 4.1 pounds), Power Supply: 201 g ( = 7.09 oz / 0.44 pounds)
Price
530 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The only difference in the chassis is the black color and textured finish. Compared to the HP 15 (A9), which had a smooth silver plastic shell, the case of the HP 15 (A12) feels cheap and looks cheaper. The cross-hatch pattern on the chassis is not pleasing, and the device feels chintzy overall. The case is still rigid, much like its little brother, but this is not a handsome device. 

SD Card Reader

The performance of the SD card reader is very similar to the HP 15 (A9), which is disappointing. Using our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference card, we measure transfer speeds around 30 MB/s, which is very slow, even for a budget device. 

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
 
64.1 MB/s ∼100% +123%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
 
57.3 MB/s ∼89% +99%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
 
45.4 MB/s ∼71% +58%
HP 15-bw075ax
 
28.76 MB/s ∼45%
HP 15-bw077ax
 
27.75 MB/s ∼43% -4%
Asus X555DA-BB11
 
24.9 MB/s ∼39% -13%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
 
87.3 MB/s ∼100% +170%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
 
86.7 MB/s ∼99% +168%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
 
85.3 MB/s ∼98% +164%
HP 15-bw077ax
 
34.42 MB/s ∼39% +6%
HP 15-bw075ax
 
32.37 MB/s ∼37%
Asus X555DA-BB11
 
26.8 MB/s ∼31% -17%

Communication

Wireless speeds, on the other hand, are a noticeable improvement over the lower-tiered HP 15. Transmit and receive speeds sit around 447 MBit/s and 482 MBit/s, respectively. Connections are just as rock solid as with the A9 variant; during our testing period, we have yet to experience a dropped connection.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP 15-bw075ax
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
482 MBit/s ∼100%
HP 15-bw077ax
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
442 MBit/s ∼92% -8%
Asus X555DA-BB11
Realtek 8821AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
341 MBit/s ∼71% -29%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
188 MBit/s ∼39% -61%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP 15-bw075ax
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
447 MBit/s ∼100%
HP 15-bw077ax
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
349 MBit/s ∼78% -22%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
332 MBit/s ∼74% -26%
Asus X555DA-BB11
Realtek 8821AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
197 MBit/s ∼44% -56%

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Display

The display is very similar to the HP 15 (A9). It experiences the same problems with color accuracy, color reproduction, and PWM frequency. On the plus side, the panel has a relatively good contrast ratio of 752:1, which is significantly better than other budget options. The screen also has decent response times that are, again, very similar to the display on the HP 15 (A9). These similarities are not a surprise, as both models use the same 15.6-inch BOE06A4 TN LED panel with a resolution of 1366x768.

The dim screen does not get very bright, making it very difficult to use in well-lit areas and impossible to see outdoors. The glossy finish on the display adds to this problem, making reflections highly visible even at maximum brightness. PWM frequencies are also very low at 198.4 and are noticeable at all brightness levels up to 99%, so PWM-sensitive users will want to avoid this notebook.

Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Even backlight
Even backlight
223.3
cd/m²
217.2
cd/m²
212.7
cd/m²
212.1
cd/m²
212.9
cd/m²
203.5
cd/m²
194.6
cd/m²
199.4
cd/m²
180.9
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 223.3 cd/m² Average: 206.3 cd/m² Minimum: 10.17 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 212.9 cd/m²
Contrast: 760:1 (Black: 0.28 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.1 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 12 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
58% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.16
HP 15-bw075ax
BOE06A4, TN LED, 15.6, 1366x768
HP 15-bw077ax
BOE BOE06A4, TN LED, 15.6, 1366x768
Asus X555DA-BB11
TN LED, 15.6, 1920x1080
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
Chi Mei N156BGE-EA2, TN LED, 15.6, 1366x768
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AU Optronics B140XTN02.E, TN LED, 14, 1366x768
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Chi Mei, TN LED, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
6%
9%
20%
-37%
9%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
42 (20.8, 21.2)
42.4 (22, 20.4)
-1%
42 (23.6, 18.4)
-0%
28 (13, 15)
33%
70 (32, 38)
-67%
41 (19, 22)
2%
Response Time Black / White *
27.2 (22, 5.2)
22.4 (17.2, 5.2)
18%
22.4 (14.4, 8)
18%
20 (10, 10)
26%
29 (23, 6)
-7%
23 (10, 13)
15%
PWM Frequency
198.4 (99)
198.4 (99)
0%
200 (90)
1%
Screen
-3%
3%
2%
-19%
-6%
Brightness middle
212.9
194.1
-9%
242.7
14%
245
15%
242
14%
240
13%
Brightness
206
192
-7%
232
13%
230
12%
224
9%
228
11%
Brightness Distribution
81
73
-10%
88
9%
84
4%
88
9%
89
10%
Black Level *
0.28
0.27
4%
0.52
-86%
0.46
-64%
0.62
-121%
0.49
-75%
Contrast
760
719
-5%
467
-39%
533
-30%
390
-49%
490
-36%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
10.1
9.9
2%
4.9
51%
8.34
17%
13.03
-29%
10.96
-9%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
22.3
23.4
-5%
20.3
9%
12.31
45%
18.79
16%
18.36
18%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
12
11.6
3%
2.7
77%
9.48
21%
14.6
-22%
11.34
5%
Gamma
2.16 102%
2.16 102%
2.34 94%
2.38 92%
2.22 99%
2.27 97%
CCT
12551 52%
11981 54%
6876 95%
10624 61%
18869 34%
12292 53%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37
37
0%
33.5
-9%
38
3%
33
-11%
39
5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58
58
0%
52.5
-9%
57
-2%
52
-10%
60
3%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
2% / -1%
6% / 4%
11% / 6%
-28% / -22%
2% / -3%

* ... smaller is better

Color reproduction has not improved over the HP 15 (A9). The DeltaEs for color and greyscale averages at 10.1 and 12, respectively, which are a far cry from what is generally considered acceptable for professional color work (DeltaE at or under 3). The color space is almost exactly the same as the HP 15 (A9). The panel on the HP 15 (A12) covers the same 37% of the AdobeRGB and 58% of the sRGB color spaces. Overall, the display brings the same disappointments as our previous review unit.

CalMAN Colorchecker
CalMAN Colorchecker
CalMAN Colorchecker (calibrated)
CalMAN Colorchecker (calibrated)
Grayscale
Grayscale
Grayscale (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
vs sRGB: 58%
vs sRGB: 58%
vs AdobeRGB: 37%
vs AdobeRGB: 37%

Viewing angles are also shallow due to the TN panel. Contrast fades as viewing angles increase, and colors invert at angles greater than 45º on the vertical plane. The overall viewing experience is much the same as the HP 15-bw077ax, which is unfortunate. 

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
27.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 5.2 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 56 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
42 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.8 ms rise
↘ 21.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 53 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 198.4 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 198.4 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 198.4 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9064 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

Our review unit features the latest APU from AMD, the A12-9720P. Like other APUs from AMD, the A12 features a CPU and Radeon GPU on the same die. Here, the quad-core A12 is paired with Radeon R7 graphics based on AMD's Bristol Ridge architecture. The inclusion of this Radeon GPU should give the A12 a noticeable advantage over the integrated HD Graphics GPUs from Intel. In theory, this should be the most powerful APU currently available from AMD; in practice, however, this is not the case. Let's take a look.

CPU-Z: CPU
CPU-Z: CPU
CPU-Z: Caches
CPU-Z: Caches
CPU-Z: Mainboard
CPU-Z: Mainboard
CPU-Z: Memory
CPU-Z: Memory
CPU-Z: SPD
CPU-Z: SPD
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO64
HWiNFO64
 

Processor

The AMD A12-9720P is the latest and greatest quad-core CPU built on AMD's Bristol Ridge platform. With a base clock speed of 2.7 GHz GHz and a boost clock up to 3.8 GHz, the A12-9720P promises improved performance over the older Stoney Ridge APUs and slower dual-core A9-9420 featured in our review unit's little brother. This is indeed the case; in Cinebench R15, the HP 15 (A12) sits atop other AMD-powered machines, especially in multi-threaded workloads.

Keep in mind that while the A12 puts up quite a show compared to other budget devices, it is still sits below Intel's Core i3 and Core i5 processors. These would be much better options for users that need a boost in CPU performance. 

Using our Cinebench R15 loop to test the stability of the processor, we see that the A12 is fairly consistent. Interestingly, the scores we measure over the long term are about 8% lower than a single run.

Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5580
Intel Core i5-7300U
142 Points ∼65% +87%
Lenovo ThinkPad L570 20J80020PB
Intel Core i5-7200U
130 Points ∼60% +71%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
117 Points ∼54% +54%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
Intel Core i3-6100U
96 Points ∼44% +26%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
86 Points ∼39% +13%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD A12-9720P
76 Points ∼35%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
AMD A10-9600P
75 Points ∼34% -1%
HP 15-bw077ax
AMD A9-9420
75 Points ∼34% -1%
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD A10-8700P
64 Points ∼29% -16%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD A9-9410
63 Points ∼29% -17%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
Intel Pentium N3540
40 Points ∼18% -47%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5580
Intel Core i5-7300U
328 Points ∼7% +37%
Lenovo ThinkPad L570 20J80020PB
Intel Core i5-7200U
323 Points ∼7% +35%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
294 Points ∼7% +23%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
256 Points ∼6% +7%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
Intel Core i3-6100U
240 Points ∼5% 0%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD A12-9720P
240 Points ∼5%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
AMD A10-9600P
215 Points ∼5% -10%
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD A10-8700P
180 Points ∼4% -25%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
Intel Pentium N3540
151 Points ∼3% -37%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD A9-9410
130 Points ∼3% -46%
HP 15-bw077ax
AMD A9-9420
124 Points ∼3% -48%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
1.33 Points ∼55% +43%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
1.03 Points ∼42% +11%
HP 15-bw077ax
AMD A9-9420
0.96 Points ∼39% +3%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD A12-9720P
0.93 Points ∼38%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
AMD A10-9600P
0.87 Points ∼36% -6%
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD A10-8700P
0.83 Points ∼34% -11%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD A9-9410
0.82 Points ∼34% -12%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
3.24 Points ∼12% +25%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
2.85 Points ∼11% +10%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD A12-9720P
2.6 Points ∼10%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
AMD A10-9600P
2.59 Points ∼10% 0%
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD A10-8700P
2.3 Points ∼8% -12%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD A9-9410
1.59 Points ∼6% -39%
HP 15-bw077ax
AMD A9-9420
1.56 Points ∼6% -40%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
4396 Points ∼41% +54%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
3871 Points ∼36% +36%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD A12-9720P
2846 Points ∼26%
HP 15-bw077ax
AMD A9-9420
2761 Points ∼25% -3%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD A9-9410
2694 Points ∼25% -5%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
AMD A10-9600P
2520 Points ∼23% -11%
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD A10-8700P
2192 Points ∼20% -23%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
Intel Pentium N3540
1340 Points ∼12% -53%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
10003 Points ∼20% +33%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
8718 Points ∼18% +16%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD A12-9720P
7522 Points ∼15%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
AMD A10-9600P
6077 Points ∼12% -19%
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD A10-8700P
4808 Points ∼10% -36%
HP 15-bw077ax
AMD A9-9420
4627 Points ∼9% -38%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD A9-9410
4619 Points ∼9% -39%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
Intel Pentium N3540
4454 Points ∼9% -41%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD A9-9410
751.019 s * ∼9%
HP 15-bw077ax
AMD A9-9420
747 s * ∼9%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
644.6 s * ∼8%
Lenovo ThinkPad L570 20J80020PB
Intel Core i5-7200U
515.753 s * ∼6%
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD A10-8700P
507.427 s * ∼6%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD A10-8700P
977.893 Seconds * ∼4% -4%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD A12-9720P
939.2 Seconds * ∼4%
HP 15-bw077ax
AMD A9-9420
908.1 Seconds * ∼4% +3%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD A9-9410
877.63 Seconds * ∼4% +7%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
817.6 Seconds * ∼4% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad L570 20J80020PB
Intel Core i5-7200U
631.737 Seconds * ∼3% +33%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
4939
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
7522
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
2846
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
18.44 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.6 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.93 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
22.92 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
240 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
76 Points
Help

System Performance

Interestingly, while CPU performance is top-tier in its family, overall system performance is rather disappointing. This is likely due to the limited amount of RAM and sluggish HDD. The HP Pavilion 15, which is equipped with a SATA SSD, sits in first place here. Due to the 5400 RPM drive in our test unit, apps take time to load and users will need to exercise patience during their workflow, no matter how light. Once things get going, however, the device is responsive and very usable.

However, it must be said that we experienced a significant number of crashes during our testing period during both benchmarking and regular use. When we say significant, we are not over exaggerating; the system freezes and reboots in about 30% of tasks we start. Some apps (like The Witcher 3) flat out refuse to run without crashing, while others will force a reboot within minutes of running. Still others require a stroke of luck to complete, such as the PCMark 8 benchmark suite. There may be an issue with driver support, but whatever the problem, it completely breaks the experience. There were several times when we lost significant amounts of work due to an unexpected system crash. We hope these issues will be ironed out with a future update.

PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
3883 Points ∼60% +34%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
3728 Points ∼57% +29%
Asus X555DA-BB11
Radeon R6 (Carrizo), A10-8700P, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3246 Points ∼50% +12%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
2961 Points ∼45% +2%
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
2891 Points ∼44%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3540, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1426 Points ∼22% -51%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
3569 Points ∼37% +15%
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
3111 Points ∼33%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
2898 Points ∼30% -7%
Asus X555DA-BB11
Radeon R6 (Carrizo), A10-8700P, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2856 Points ∼30% -8%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
2350 Points ∼25% -24%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3540, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1265 Points ∼13% -59%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
2904 Points ∼48% +7%
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
2722 Points ∼45%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
2670 Points ∼44% -2%
Asus X555DA-BB11
Radeon R6 (Carrizo), A10-8700P, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2335 Points ∼38% -14%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
2005 Points ∼33% -26%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3540, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1413 Points ∼23% -48%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2722 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3111 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
2891 points
Help

Storage Devices

Drive speeds are slow, even for a 5400 RPM mechanical hard drive. Read and write speeds sit around 63 MB/s in CrystalDiskMark 3. This is the case even after multiple runs, which is very disappointing. Other budget options have slow drives as well, but those are still about 50-70% faster than the HDD in our review device. 

HD Tune paints a better picture and pegs average drive speeds at 83 MB/s. While a better result than CrystalDiskMark, it is nonetheless sluggish. 

CrystalDiskMark 3.0
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
CrystalDiskMark 5.2
CrystalDiskMark 5.2
HD Tune
HD Tune
HP 15-bw075ax
WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
HP 15-bw077ax
WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
Asus X555DA-BB11
Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
 
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
 
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
27%
22%
24%
8205%
6190%
Write 4k QD32
0.78
0.96
23%
0.682
-13%
0.648
-17%
163.3
20836%
131.4
16746%
Read 4k QD32
0.68
0.83
22%
0.694
2%
0.818
20%
176.3
25826%
125
18282%
Write 4k
0.79
0.94
19%
0.636
-19%
0.649
-18%
56.75
7084%
46.55
5792%
Read 4k
0.29
0.34
17%
0.373
29%
0.374
29%
26.71
9110%
17.04
5776%
Write 512
32.08
39.51
23%
35.39
10%
38.77
21%
195.6
510%
281.2
777%
Read 512
22.96
29.02
26%
32.28
41%
33.74
47%
356.3
1452%
261.9
1041%
Write Seq
62.24
90.19
45%
97.48
57%
91.07
46%
207.7
234%
316.6
409%
Read Seq
63.32
91.26
44%
106.9
69%
103.5
63%
434.6
586%
502.8
694%
WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
Transfer Rate Minimum: 18.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 116.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 82.8 MB/s
Access Time: 17.1 ms
Burst Rate: 187.9 MB/s
CPU Usage: 3.5 %

GPU Performance

GPU performance is inconsistent. Although the Radeon R7 integrated GPU is a more powerful than the lower-tiered R5 and R6 graphics cores on paper, our benchmarking shows otherwise. 3DMark's Fire Strike pegs the R7 well behind the dedicated Radeon R8 GPU found in the HP Pavilion 15, which is to be expected. Surprisingly, the R7 falls behind even the Stoney Ridge R5 in the Lenovo Yoga 510. This may have something to do with the instability issues we discussed previously, or poor software optimization for the relatively new hardware in our device.

Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
AMD Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
2209 Points ∼5% +195%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
772 Points ∼2% +3%
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo), A10-8700P
764 Points ∼2% +2%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P
750 Points ∼2%
HP 15-bw077ax
AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420
642 Points ∼2% -14%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
AMD Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
12483 Points ∼7% +259%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
4755 Points ∼3% +37%
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo), A10-8700P
4033 Points ∼2% +16%
HP 15-bw077ax
AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420
3661 Points ∼2% +5%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P
3477 Points ∼2%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3540
1290 Points ∼1% -63%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
AMD Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
47091 Points ∼6%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
33943 Points ∼5%
Asus X555DA-BB11
AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo), A10-8700P
26331 Points ∼4%
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
3162 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
667 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Gaming performance is reasonably good. Older titles are playable at low to medium details and and a 1366x768 resolution. More demanding title, such as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, are rendered unplayable with frame rates dipping into the single digits. Even Metro: Last Light, a somewhat graphically intensive game from 2013, posts unfavorable results. Lighter and older titles run well, provided settings are turned down.

Compared to Intel's own integrated graphics solutions, the R7 sits about on level with a slight edge over the HD Graphics 520 and 620. Integrated graphics have made great strides over the past few years but are still not suitable for gaming.

BioShock Infinite
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
26 fps ∼7%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
22 fps ∼6% -15%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3540, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
5.6 fps ∼1% -78%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
26.9 fps ∼7% +3%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
42.9 fps ∼11% +65%
Lenovo ThinkPad L570 20J80020PB
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
31.6 fps ∼8% +22%
Dell Latitude 5580
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
23.6 fps ∼6% -9%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
HD Graphics 620, 7100U
22 fps ∼6% -15%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
HD Graphics 520, 6100U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
24.3 fps ∼6% -7%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
26.8 fps ∼7% +3%
1280x720 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
43 fps ∼10%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
38 fps ∼9% -12%
Asus X555DA-BB11
Radeon R6 (Carrizo), A10-8700P, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
36.3 fps ∼8% -16%
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3540, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
12.2 fps ∼3% -72%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
43.5 fps ∼10% +1%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
72.7 fps ∼17% +69%
Lenovo ThinkPad L570 20J80020PB
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB m.2 NVMe
59.8 fps ∼14% +39%
Dell Latitude 5580
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
39.7 fps ∼9% -8%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
HD Graphics 620, 7100U
35 fps ∼8% -19%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
HD Graphics 520, 6100U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
42.77 fps ∼10% -1%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
50.9 fps ∼12% +18%
Alien: Isolation
1366x768 Medium, On (AA & SSAO Off), Shadow Map 1024 AF:4x (sort by value)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
20 fps ∼6%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
17 fps ∼5% -15%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
42.7 fps ∼14% +114%
1024x768 (Very) Low, Off, Shadow Map 512 AF:1x (sort by value)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
32 fps ∼10%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
27 fps ∼8% -16%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
51.6 fps ∼16% +61%
Metro: Last Light
1366x768 Medium (DX10) AF:4x (sort by value)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
12 fps ∼6%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
10 fps ∼5% -17%
1024x768 Low (DX10) AF:4x (sort by value)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
16 fps ∼8%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
13 fps ∼7% -19%
Deus Ex Mankind Divided
1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x (sort by value)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
7 fps ∼5%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
10.9 fps ∼7% +56%
1280x720 Low Preset AF:1x (sort by value)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
10 fps ∼6%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
15.1 fps ∼9% +51%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x (sort by value)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
11 fps ∼5%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
8 fps ∼4% -27%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
10.4 fps ∼5% -5%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
13.9 fps ∼6% +26%
1024x768 Lowest Preset (sort by value)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
18 fps ∼6%
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
14 fps ∼5% -22%
Asus X555DA-BB11
Radeon R6 (Carrizo), A10-8700P, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
17 fps ∼6% -6%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
16.1 fps ∼5% -11%
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
24.4 fps ∼8% +36%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
HD Graphics 520, 6100U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
16.8 fps ∼6% -7%
low med. high ultra
Batman: Arkham City (2011) 362915fps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 281913fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 4326fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 1612fps
Company of Heroes 2 (2013) 11116fps
Batman: Arkham Origins (2013) 482915fps
Thief (2014) 13108fps
Alien: Isolation (2014) 3220fps
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014) 16fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 93fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 1811fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 8fps
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (2016) 107fps

Stress Test

Our stress testing places the notebook under extreme computational and graphical loads that test how the device operates under the worst conditions. Straining the CPU with Prime95, we see that the A12-9720P is able to intermittently boost up to 3.7 GHz. However, overall CPU performance is lackluster and the processor throttles down to an average of 2.4 GHz, slightly below its base clock of 2.7 GHz. Temperatures are excellent, but restrained; the CPU never eclipses 65º C and averages about 56º C.

FurMark completely cripples the device. The GPU hits a clock speed of 750 MHz before settling in slightly lower at 637 MHz. However, the CPU is completely crushed, quickly retreating to a mere 800 MHz. Temperatures are even more conservative here; both the CPU and GPU cores average about 55º C, which leaves a lot of untapped headroom. Running FurMark and Prime95 tells much the same story.

The system refuses to run The Witcher 3 for more than about 5 minutes and typically crashes upon reaching the title menu. As such, we are unable to perform our Witcher 3 real world stress testing at this time. Again, system instability is a major problem with this notebook.

Prime95
Prime95
FurMark
FurMark
Prime95 + FurMark
Prime95 + FurMark
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.4 - 56.4 -
FurMark Stress 0.8 637 55.5 55.2
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 0.8 650 55.3 55

Emissions

System Noise

Fan noise profile
Fan noise profile

On the positive side, the fan is very quiet. System noise tops out at 36 dB(A), which is very quiet. On top of that, the fan emits a low pitched whir when active; as such, the fan blends into background noise quickly and likely won't be noticed by users. What will be noticed is the hard drive. In a silent room, the hard drive constantly makes small high-pitched noises, which can grow annoying. Under normal sound conditions, however, the HDD cannot be heard.

Noise Level

Idle
30.9 / 31.2 / 32 dB(A)
Load
35 / 36.4 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 27.8 dB(A)
HP 15-bw075ax
Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
HP 15-bw077ax
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9420, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
Asus X555DA-BB11
Radeon R6 (Carrizo), A10-8700P, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3540, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), A9-9410
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
Radeon R8 M445DX, A10-9600P
Noise
-2%
-1%
-3%
4%
-9%
off / environment *
27.8
27.8
-0%
28.9
-4%
31.2
-12%
30.4
-9%
31.2
-12%
Idle Minimum *
30.9
31.8
-3%
31.6
-2%
33.5
-8%
30.4
2%
31.7
-3%
Idle Average *
31.2
33.2
-6%
32
-3%
33.5
-7%
30.4
3%
31.9
-2%
Idle Maximum *
32
34
-6%
32.4
-1%
33.5
-5%
30.4
5%
31.9
-0%
Load Average *
35
33.3
5%
33.3
5%
33.5
4%
31.3
11%
41
-17%
Load Maximum *
36.4
36.4
-0%
35.5
2%
33.5
8%
33.3
9%
42.7
-17%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Temperatures are well-managed. There is a hot spot located at the single exhaust vent on the left-hand side, but this spot only reaches about 45º C. The wrist rest and keyboard deck stays very cool and remains comfortable to use, even under load.

Heat map, idle (keyboard)
Heat map, idle (keyboard)
Heat map, idle (underside)
Heat map, idle (underside)
Heat map, load (keyboard)
Heat map, load (keyboard)
Heat map, load (underside)
Heat map, load (underside)
Max. Load
 40.8 °C
105 F
32.4 °C
90 F
26.6 °C
80 F
 
 40.2 °C
104 F
34.8 °C
95 F
26.6 °C
80 F
 
 36.8 °C
98 F
34 °C
93 F
30 °C
86 F
 
Maximum: 40.8 °C = 105 F
Average: 33.6 °C = 92 F
24.8 °C
77 F
25.2 °C
77 F
41.2 °C
106 F
25 °C
77 F
27.6 °C
82 F
44.4 °C
112 F
29 °C
84 F
28 °C
82 F
38.8 °C
102 F
Maximum: 44.4 °C = 112 F
Average: 31.6 °C = 89 F
Power Supply (max.)  44.8 °C = 113 F | Room Temperature 23 °C = 73 F | Fluke 62 Mini
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 33.6 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 30.9 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Multimedia.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.8 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 44.4 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.6 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 36.8 °C / 98.2 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (-7.7 °C / -13.8 F).

Speakers

Speaker profile
Speaker profile

Like the lower-tiered HP 15 (A9), the speakers on the HP 15 (A12) are excellent given the price point. Bass is present, and the overall sound stage is well-balanced. Highs are clear and mids have a full body. The chassis also doesn't rattle when the speakers are at full volume, which is another plus. 

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2039.742.12540.243.83140.344.84038.241.85034.542.66333.8448033.644.210034.245.212533.946.216030.651.920030.355.725029.861.331529.764.240028.361.850027.461.263027.365.780029.467.2100027.761.5125026.161.3160025.160.3200024.653.4250024.359.3315024.158.5400023.764500023.466.6630023.163.9800022.963.21000022.762.91250022.760.11600022.665.6SPL37.775N3.137.9median 26.1median 61.3Delta2.93.938.939.434.534.831.833.931.63232.632.932.233.233.33431.731.529.830.129.230.828.839.127.748.426.755.3265625.251.124.957.125.761.12652.424.760.624.26623.97023.662.523.361.523.264.423.376.423.374.223.271.923.363.123.460.823.557.936.481.22.743.3median 24.7median 60.61.76.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseHP 15-bw075axAsus X555DA-BB11
HP 15-bw075ax audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (75 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.5% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (11.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 12% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 86% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 6% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 93% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Asus X555DA-BB11 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.36 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (14.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (14.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (26.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 89% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 8% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 79% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 16% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The HP 15 (A12) understandably consumers more power than its less powerful counterpart under load, although idle consumption is surprisingly low. We measure a maximum power draw of 37.6 Watts, well under the 45 Watt rating of the included power supply. Interestingly, our test unit consumes about 11% less power under load than the Asus X555DA, but this could be due to the higher resolution screen in the Asus (among other factors).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.16 / 0.54 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.2 / 6.6 / 10.4 Watt
Load midlight 28.2 / 37.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP 15-bw075ax
A12-9720P, Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1, TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
HP 15-bw077ax
A9-9420, Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1, TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
Asus X555DA-BB11
A10-8700P, Radeon R6 (Carrizo), Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB, TN LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
N3540, HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142, TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
A9-9410, Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), , TN LED, 1366x768, 14
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
A10-9600P, Radeon R8 M445DX, , TN LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
-19%
-36%
17%
15%
-32%
Idle Minimum *
4.2
8
-90%
8.3
-98%
4.8
-14%
3.9
7%
5.5
-31%
Idle Average *
6.6
9.4
-42%
8.6
-30%
7.5
-14%
7.4
-12%
8.2
-24%
Idle Maximum *
10.4
13.9
-34%
13.1
-26%
9.2
12%
9.4
10%
9.5
9%
Load Average *
28.2
18.5
34%
31.2
-11%
16
43%
19.2
32%
44.5
-58%
Load Maximum *
37.6
23
39%
43.9
-17%
15.4
59%
22.5
40%
58
-54%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The small 3-cell 31 Wh battery posts similar runtimes to the HP 15 (A9). With brightness at the lowest setting and all radios turned off, the HP 15 (A12) is able to run for just shy of 8 hours. Under more normal conditions (screen set to 150 nits, loading a new web page every 30-40 seconds, Balanced power profile), the battery lasts about 3 hours 40 minutes before calling it quits. This is to be expected, given the small battery size, but won't get users through a day of work away from the wall.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
7h 47min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
3h 42min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 01min
HP 15-bw075ax
A12-9720P, Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), 31 Wh
HP 15-bw077ax
A9-9420, Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), 31 Wh
Asus X555DA-BB11
A10-8700P, Radeon R6 (Carrizo), 37 Wh
Lenovo B50-10 80QR0013GE
N3540, HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 24 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 510-14AST
A9-9410, Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge), 35 Wh
HP Pavilion 15-aw004ng W8Y60EA
A10-9600P, Radeon R8 M445DX, 41 Wh
Battery Runtime
5%
-3%
-7%
70%
31%
Reader / Idle
467
540
16%
435
-7%
847
81%
560
20%
WiFi v1.3
222
206
-7%
176
-21%
207
-7%
325
46%
260
17%
Load
61
65
7%
72
18%
112
84%
95
56%

Pros

+ excellent speakers
+ good gaming performance for its class
+ great thermal management
+ quiet operation

Cons

- numerous system crashes (during our testing period)
- mediocre CPU performance
- poor screen
- mushy keyboard
- very cheap materials

Verdict

In review: The HP 15-bw075ax (A12). Review unit courtesy of Computer Upgrade King.
In review: The HP 15-bw075ax (A12). Review unit courtesy of Computer Upgrade King.

While the HP 15 (A9) we reviewed recently was an exercise in patience due to its slow components and sluggish operation, the HP 15 (A12) is a trial due to its instability. The processor is much faster than the dual-core A9 in our previous unit, but due to either poor driver support, lackluster software optimization, or some other unseen factor, the system is almost unusable due to the unfathomably high chance of a system crash. As it stands, we cannot recommend the HP 15 (A12) until system stability improves.

That's unfortunate, as the HP 15 (A12) is an improvement over the A9 variant in every performance test. While we still find complaint with the poor screen and mushy keyboard, the internals are much improved (when they can actually work). We do, however, see some intense throttling under stress despite ample headroom for the APU to flex its muscle.

Even without taking system crashes into consideration, the HP 15 (A12) is still a forgettable budget notebook that doesn't bring anything compelling to store shelves. As we mentioned with the HP 15 (A9), there are much better options at this price point.

HP 15-bw075ax - 07/15/2017 v6
Sam Medley

Chassis
63 / 98 → 64%
Keyboard
60%
Pointing Device
64%
Connectivity
43 / 81 → 53%
Weight
65 / 20-67 → 95%
Battery
73%
Display
71%
Games Performance
53 / 85 → 63%
Application Performance
65 / 92 → 70%
Temperature
90%
Noise
91 / 95 → 96%
Audio
70%
Camera
50 / 85 → 59%
Average
66%
71%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP 15-bw075ax (A12-9720P, Radeon R7) Laptop Review
Sam Medley, 2017-07-18 (Update: 2017-07-18)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.