The HP 15-BS020WM is your ideal choice for a laptop, if all you need is a system with the right features to get the job done without spending too much. It may not be the most powerful in this category, but it does what it needs to do, and adds a touchscreen.
PROS: Very affordable. Touchscreen capability. Good design.
CONS: Non-backlit keyboard. Rivals offer better performance.
At its starting price of $311.89 at Amazon , the HP 15-BS020WM would be an appealing bargain if you need a basic, daily use laptop. Like its budget competitors, this version of the HP 15 provides little CPU power, not-so-much storage, and average battery life. But the large 15.6-inch touchscreen and a refreshed Intel Celeron processor are more than adequate for everyday computing tasks and casual multimedia consumption. Performance-wise, this HP 15 isn’t the most powerful around, it can get overly slow on some tasks, but getting a touchscreen for the price isn’t easy. Even Chromebooks with touchscreen costs almost double. If you’re on a budget, the 15-BS020WM is a decent laptop, but the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM remains our Top Pick thanks to its superior performance and low price.
If shopping on a budget, chances are a sleek design isn’t one of your worries, but the 15-BS020WM strikes a good balance with its utilitarian aesthetic. The lid and top of the chassis are texted dark-grey plastic, while the keyboard deck ad bottom bezel are brushed black plastic. It measures 0.95 by 15.1 by 10 inches (HWD) and weighs 4.56 pounds, portable enough to slide into an Evecase City 15 laptop briefcase for daily commute.
Its 15.6-inch touchscreen screen boasts a 1,366-by-768 resolution. For 2018, that’s a bit low, but not uncommon in budget systems –it’s the same resolution on the Acer Aspire 3 and Dell Inspiron i3162-0003BLU. This means that if you look closely, you can make out individual pixels, but that doesn’t deter you from watching YouTube videos or reading your mail. Another common issue with low-cost screens is a glossy, reflective coating, which makes working under bright lighting difficult. With the glossy coating, you’ll have to find a good viewing angle, or grapple with lots of glare.
Keyboard and Connectivity
The full-size, chiclet style keyboard is fairly comfortable to type on, the included 10-key number pad makes it even better. The keys’ travel is relatively short for my liking, otherwise they work as they’re supposed to. Both the deck and touchpad are made of black plastic, with two click buttons at the bottom. The speakers are located at the bottom of the chassis, one on each side. They are audible enough, but high volumes produce some pitchy feedback.
Connectivity is pretty standard. Here you have one USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, one HDMI, an SD slot, an optical slot and a Kensington lock slot. The system has 500GB of local storage on a 5400rpm hard drive and a front facing camera on the top bezel. Wireless connectivity comes via 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, in addition to an Ethernet port for wired networks.
The HP 15-BS020WM has a 1.6GHz processor, integrated Intel HD graphics and 4GB of memory. This configuration isn’t what you’d consider very powerful, but it does suffice for daily multimedia consumption, basic office use and other light computing needs. In the same category are better performing systems like the Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM and ASUS F556UA-AB32, both powered by Intel’s Core i3 processor, but the HP 15 adds a touchscreen that’s hard to come by in the budget category. For multimedia tasks, the system may not dazzle, but it also isn’t the worst performer we’ve seen around. While you won’t attempt Photoshop projects, casual entertainment and media editing will be just fine.
The three-cell battery yields 4 hours 39m minutes, on our battery rundown tests – quite decent for a budget 15-inch laptop. In as much as it doesn’t peak the 8-hour threshold for what we consider all-day battery life, it does last long enough to complete a short project before it dims. The Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM lasts 9 hours 45 minutes, just enough to last an entire workday or a Netflix binge-watching session.
Value for Budget Shoppers…
The HP 15-BS020WM is, overall, a fairly capable budget laptop. In this category, there are lots of less expensive options, and there is certainly no lack of more expensive ones. For all those, finding one with a touchscreen is never easy, which is where this system scores well. It delivers good performance and promises to be a decent choice for anyone looking to buy a touchscreen laptop on a tight budget. Although it’s in the same range with the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM $349.99 at Amazon , which is still, our Editors’ Choice for budget laptop due to its higher-quality screen, superior performance and excellent battery life.