HP 15-ay196nr Review

HP 15-ay196nr Review - Quick Verdict

The HP 15-ay196nr is a mid-range laptop that targets light and mid-range users. The laptop comes with a neat array of specs that can breeze through your everyday routine and even take care of your heavy stuff. The touchscreen is a definite advantage to have. The laptop does media consumption well and light gaming is possible. The stellar battery life is something anyone would want. If you are looking for an affordable, all day, mid-range laptop, then this is probably it.

Author's Rating

Value for Money

When it comes to making everyday use laptops, HP is one of the best manufacturers out there. The HP 15-ay196nr is the recent offering from HP that comes with mid-range specs and a reasonable price tag. The laptop targets light users and mid-range users who don’t need a lot of power to get on with their daily computing stuff.

In this HP 15-ay196nr review, we discuss this laptop and see how it caters to its target users. With the specs inside the laptop, you can guess that this one can handle more than your everyday activities. So how well does this laptop perform under peak load? Does it last a whole day? Let’s find the answers to these questions and more in the full review below.


The HP 15-ay196nr comes with a proven design from the HP Pavilion series. The laptop has a nice gray coat with sturdy plastic construction. Though the material used here is plastic, it is not cheap and looks better than it feels. There are no creaking noises when working with the laptop even when you flex the screen a bit.

In the 15.6″ screen category, the HP 15-ay196nr is one of the lightest laptops out there. With dimensions of 15 x 10 x 0.9 inches, the laptop weighs around 4.7 pounds which is lighter than most laptops. You can easily slide this notebook in your backpack and take off. 

The keyboard we have here is a full one with a dedicated number pad. If you work with numbers a lot, then this might be a handy setup for you. The keys are decent and come with enough key travel. There is no backlighting in the keys which is a bit of a disappointment. The touchpad is decent and comes with good responsiveness. 

Overall, the HP 15-ay196nr comes with a neat design that works well for the everyday user.

HP 15-ay196nr Specs

HP 15-ay196nr laptop

The HP 15-ay196nr has a 15.6″ display that has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. An HD display in the age of QHD and UHD displays might look like a joke, but it isn’t. Yes, the pixel density is not a favorable number but you do get a decent picture on the screen.

The screen is perfect for media consumption so you can enjoy watching movies and tv series. The screen can get really bright which means you can carry on with your entertainment even in a brightly lit place. The viewing angles are not that great, to be honest, and that’s because this panel is not an IPS panel.

In addition to all these, the screen also doubles up as a touchscreen. The touchscreen is responsive and brings another dimension to the user experience. Though you can’t fold this laptop and use it as a tablet, the touchscreen does make things a bit easier.

The audio output of the HP 15-ay196nr laptop is okay at best. If you’re used to good speakers then this laptop will disappoint you in this area. The sound can comfortably fill a small room at best. If you’re okay with decent sound, then there should not be any issues.

Raw Performance

The HP 15-ay196nr is powered by an Intel Core i7 7500U processor. This is a dual-core processor and comes with a cache memory of 4MB which is decent at best. The processor has a base clock speed of 2.70GHz and a max clock speed of 3.5GHz. This i7 processor a low voltage processor and is usually used in machines that don’t require a lot of power. 

The i7 7500U does well when it comes to benchmarks. It gets a single-core score of 1914 and a multi-core score of 5148. From these scores, you can clearly see that this is a mid-range laptop. The laptop handles all your everyday activities without any issues. Whether it is streaming videos online, listening to songs, playing light games, working on your office docs, or downloading something, this one does a good job.

The processor is well supported by the 8 gigs of RAM in the memory department. With this RAM in place, you can run multiple applications side by side without any problem. If you want more memory, you can easily upgrade the RAM to a max of 32 gigs which should be more than enough.

For storage, we have a 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive. While you get a lot of storage space, this mechanical hard drive is very slow. HP could have opted for at least a 7200 rpm hard drive which they didn’t. As a result, you get lazy bootup times. Applications take quite some time to launch which might test your patience. They could have avoided this problem by including an extra SSD.

Gaming, Battery Life and Connectivity

HP 15-ay196nr laptop review

The HP 15-ay196nr is not a gaming laptop. It doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card and comes with an integrated GPU alone. You can play some light games without any issues. If you want to play mid-range or high-end games, then you have to reduce the settings to get a decent frame rate. If you want to so hardcore gaming, then this is not the right laptop for you.

With light usage, you can squeeze out around 9 hours of battery life. This is excellent as it is coming from a mid-range laptop. However, the number takes a dive when you start using the laptop for more intensive stuff. With heavy usage, expect the laptop to last for about 5 to 6 hours which is still not that bad.

There are several ports for connectivity in the HP 15-ay196nr model. You get a USB 3.0 port, a couple of USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, an SD card reader, and also a headphone jack. The laptop comes with support for 802.11b/g/n WiFi which is not as fast as the 802.11ac WiFi. So if you want superfast internet speeds, then Ethernet might be your friend. There is also support for Bluetooth connectivity as well.


The HP 15-ay196nr is an excellent mid-range laptop that comes with an affordable price tag. It has the hardware to support your everyday computing needs and also to tackle some heavy lifting as well. The laptop is perfect for media consumption and also allows light gaming. If you’re on the search for an affordable, mid-range, and everyday use laptop, then this one is a good choice.

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