HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm Review – A 2021 Deep Dive

Hewlett Packard has been developing some of the highest-quality laptop computers on the market for 36 years. With more than 96 of its 119 ratings on Amazon being positive, the HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm is no different.

Laptops are the most commonly used type of computer. Between students who need their computers to be mobile, people who telecommute or travel for work, and those who merely enjoy the flexibility of moving about with their computers—it seems people strongly prefer laptops over desktop computers these days.

This laptop packs in tons of features for an affordable price. If you’re looking for an economical laptop that’s brand new, others in its class don’t hold a megabyte to the HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm. To learn about how this laptop is in a league of its own, let’s cyber surf into the review.

What’s It Good For? 

The HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm is a perfect laptop for general educational and business purposes; it’s also suitable for web browsing and basic home computer use. The specs exceed today’s minimum technical standards. The 17 ar050wm has enough processing power and memory to meet any average computer users’ needs.

HP achieves high-quality specs at an affordable price by using an AMD processor and graphics card instead of using Intel and NVIDIA chips, respectively—which are much, much more expensive, spec-for-spec. 

The ideal customer for this laptop is: 

  • A student who uses a laptop for taking notes in class, doing research and homework, writing papers, and watching lectures online.
  • A businessperson who primarily needs a laptop for work: email, word processing, spreadsheets, slideshows, research, business software, etc.
  • Someone who needs a reliable laptop for general home computer use: web surfing, watching YouTube videos, online shopping, paying bills, social media, etc.

This laptop isn’t a great choice for: 

  • Gamers who need a computer capable of smoothly running memory-zapping PC video games.
  • Techies—like programmers, web designers, graphic designers, network administrators, or anyone who is generally technically adept, and will be using their computer for more than general home use.

To put it plainly, this is the perfect computer for your everyday user. For the average user, the HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm is a unique buy, and as previously mentioned, in a league of its own.

However, for the atypical user, such as gamers and techies with more demanding needs, this laptop is not likely to cut the mustard.

Overview of Features 

The HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm laptop has a whole catalog of features and specifications unique to this specific model, placing it in a league of its own. Let’s dig into the facts and features that make this laptop so special.

Specs

This laptop’s specs outperform others in its price range. The parts HP selected to build it are unique to this laptop model, and you’d be hard-pressed to find another computer like it to compare apples-to-apples.

AMD A10 Quad-Core Processor 

The AMD A10-9620P’s Intel competitor is the Intel i5-7200U. The A10 is a quad-core processor, allowing it to manage many concurrent activities. The i5 does not feature four cores, and the A10 outperforms it on several benchmarks.

During testing, the A10 outperformed the i5 by 50% on the number of threads it could process. The A10 was also won by a landslide in the competition for on-chip L2 + L3 cache. The processors are tied for operating frequency and thermal design power.

Pros of the AMD Quad-Core Processor: 

  • Four cores allow for the processing of many threads simultaneously
  • It operates at a higher frequency than its Intel competitor

Cons of the AMD Quad-Core Processor:

  • It has less memory bandwidth than the Intel i5-7200U

1 TB Hard Drive

One terabyte is equal to 1,000,000 megabytes.

According to Dropbox.com, 1 TB can hold 250,000 digital pictures, 500 hours of high definition digital video, 250 movies, or 6.5 million document pages, such as Word documents, PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, etc.

It’s safe to say you won’t be running out of hard drive space anytime soon with the HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm. 

8 GB DDR4 SDRAM

8 GB of RAM is an acceptable amount of memory for general computing purposes. More is only necessary for high-volume computing, such as gaming, programming, etc. 

DDR4 SDRAM means Double Data Rate Fourth Generation Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory. 

DDR4 SDRAM Features:

  • Overall faster than older generations and types of RAM
  • Does its job more quickly while consuming less power
  • Increases bandwidth and performance by 50% while decreasing voltage by 40% compared to its predecessor, DDR3

AMD Radeon R5 Integrated Graphics Card

An integrated graphics card is sufficient for general computer usage, great for students, and people using their laptops for work. 

Specs:

Memory Type: System Shared

Memory Size: System Shared

Memory Clock: System Shared

GPU Clock: 800 MHz

ROPs: 4

Shading Units: 128

Float Performance: 204.8 GFLOPS

Pros of the AMD Radeon R5 Integrated Graphics Card:

  • The GPU Clock spec is only slightly below the comparative AMD Radeon R5 dedicated graphics card. 

Cons of the AMD Radeon R5 Integrated Graphics Card: 

  • This graphics card only performs at half the comparative AMD Radeon R5 dedicated graphics card’s capability in the following specs: ROPs, Shading Units, and Float Performance.
  • All of the memory is a system shared, so performance is extremely limited.

Additional Features

Packed with unique features, this laptop is a treat for those who are accustomed to standard, modern laptops that do not have many of the features the HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm has. 

17.3” Monitor

The HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm features a backlit, WLED, full HD 17.3-inch, anti-glare monitor. 17.3 inches is pretty big for a laptop screen, so it’s easy to view everything on this high-quality display. 

Two Speakers with Bang Olufsen PLAY

Bang Olufsen technology selects sensitive audio signals inside the laptop and isolates them from other motherboard signals. This action creates a crisp, clear sound quality in the ar050wm. 

HP adopted Bang Olufsen technology to compete with Beats technology embedded into other laptop brands. However, they aren’t competing – they’re exceeding. Bang Olufsen is arguably the highest quality audio system brand available on the market today.

Simply Google Bang Olufsen you will find that the consensus is that they’re the gold standard, edging out Beats, Bose, and other big-box audio brands.

You will also find that Bang Olufsen products are expensive because they use high-quality materials, and because the cost of labor in Denmark is very high. So obtaining Bang Olufsen technology in the ar050wm at such a reasonable price is a steal.

Battery Life

The ar050wm has a 7-hour battery life when performing mixed activities on the laptop. When watching a video, battery life is 5 ½  hours. This long battery life leaves you with plenty of time not to have to chain yourself to an electrical outlet.

Webcam

The laptop features an HP TrueVision HD front-facing webcam with a built-in microphone, so you can make videos, video chat with friends and family, or participate in video meetings on platforms like Zoom, Webex, or GoToMeeting. 

Optical Drive

A rare feature on computers these days, the HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm has an optical drive that is a DVD-Writer. Many people still own DVDs, and you can watch them on this laptop; you can even burn them if you so desire. 

What We Like About the HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm

There’s a lot of laptops on the market, but for a cost-effective laptop for students, business use, and general home computing, the HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm tops our list. If you just need to study, work and basically get stuff done, this is the perfect laptop for conventional productivity.

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Considerations for Regular Use 

We know that the average computer user is not a gamer or a techie, and doesn’t need to buy an expensive laptop with top-of-the-line specs they’ll never use. The ar050wm is a perfect sweet spot between a laptop that is too cheap and not sufficient for anybody’s basic needs, and a top-tier, expensive laptop that over-exceeds most people’s general needs.

When considering this laptop for educational and business use, we appreciated: 

  • The virtually unlimited amount of hard drive space to store documents, such as Word docs, PDFs, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and other general documents you might encounter in school and business settings.
  • The long battery life allows students to take their laptops to class and professionals to bring their laptops to meetings without needing to plug in and power up.
  • The quad-core processor allows the user to have several programs running without CPU speed lagging out.

When considering this laptop for general home computer use, we appreciated: 

  • A large amount of hard drive space to save personal media files, such as photos and videos.
  • Enough longevity in the battery life to get through an entire movie without having to plug in and power up.
  • Enough processing speed and RAM to perform basic functions, like surfing social media sites and watching YouTube videos.
  • All of the same productivity features students and professionals enjoy, but for the home setting—think paying bills, online banking, preparing taxes, etc.

To get the most out of this laptop for general use, we recommend that you install antivirus software and keep up with regular computer maintenance. Depending on the antivirus software you select, it may remind you to keep up with regular maintenance and even do it for you! 

Regular maintenance is mainly Storage Sense and Defragment and Optimize Drives. These are two processes that free up space and memory on your computer and keep it running smoothly over time. Doing this maintenance regularly can extend the life of your computer. 

Storage Sense is a maintenance utility that finds unnecessary files on your computer and deletes them to create more free hard drive space on your computer. The types of files Storage Sense targets to delete include: 

  • Cached web pages
  • Compressed old files
  • Downloaded program files
  • Recycle Bin
  • Setup log files
  • Temporary internet files
  • Temporary Windows files
  • Downloads folder

The recommendation of how frequently to run this utility depends on your computer usage. If you use your computer heavily daily, you may want to run this utility weekly. If you use your laptop less, perhaps bi-weekly or even monthly. 

Defragment and Optimize Drives is a utility that rearranges files stored on your local disks to share adjacent or contiguous disk locations; this process is defragmenting. Running this utility increases your CPU’s data access speed, allowing your computer to run more quickly and smoothly. 

A good general rule is to run the Defragment and Optimize Drives utility once per month. It will check your drives and tell you whether or not you need to defragment at that time. If not, don’t worry about it and check back in a month.

If your antivirus software does not keep up with regular computer maintenance for you, consider setting reminders on your phone or making recurring appointments in your calendar to help you remember to do it. 

Port Options 

Let’s talk about standard ports. We like most of the port options on this laptop. It has a good variety of ports (though perhaps not enough USB 3.1 ports).

The laptop comes equipped with the following ports:

  • A media reader (for memory cards)
  • Two USB 3.1 ports
  • An RJ-45 port (for ethernet)
  • An HDMI port
  • A USB Type-C port
  • A line in/line out combination 3.5mm headphone/headset jack

A Very Sleek Design

Another thing that you shouldn’t overlook is how sleek and modern this laptop is. It’s a slim, lightweight design and comes in the color mineral silver. The color and design make it look very contemporary, almost futuristic, as most laptops are black or gray and do not feature such a sleek design.

Related Topic: Dell vs HP

What We Don’t Like About the HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm

While there’s plenty to like about this laptop, nothing is perfect, and there’s always something you would change if you could.

More Memory

The first thing we would change is to add more RAM. 8 GB is certainly sufficient. However, if you have too many programs or browser tabs open, you could experience lags with only 8 GB of RAM. 16 GB of RAM would alleviate some of those lagging problems. 

Swap for a Dedicated Graphics Card

The next thing we would change is swapping out the integrated graphics card for a dedicated graphics card. Integrated graphics cards share memory and other important specs with the system, which reduces graphics quality.

More USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports

Finally, we would give up one of the other ports, probably the USB Type-C port for one more USB 3.1 port. Two is simply not enough. 

PROS

  • The quad-core processor allows for quick processing of simultaneous tasks.
  • A CD/DVD drive is not something you see on laptops very often anymore, so that’s a plus.
  • A massive hard drive means you’ll have to put in the effort to run out of C drive space.
  • The screen is nice and big; there’s nothing worse than having to squint at a tiny laptop monitor.
  • The battery life is excellent, even when streaming video. You can make it through a whole movie on a full charge.

CONS

  • While 8 GB of RAM will work, 16 GB is optimal.
  • The ar050wm doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card. Integrated will do, but dedicated is always better.
  • The laptop only has two regular USB ports and one USB Type-C port.

Final Thoughts

Hewlett Packard did a great job designing this laptop, keeping the average user in mind with specs, features, and price points. Using a superior AMD processor and graphics card over Intel and NVIDIA chips to improve performance and lower costs was a genius move. 

All specs and features considered, this is an outstanding laptop choice for students, professionals, and the general home computer user. It’s packed with quality components and some cool features for a very reasonable price, making it accessible to students and the average working-class general user.

We hope that this HP Pavilion 17 ar050wm review has been thorough and informative. After reading this review, you should have a better understanding of this computer’s specs and features and be better equipped to decide whether this laptop is the right choice for you.

FAQ: 

What is the model number? 

The laptop’s full HP model name is 17-ar050wm, and the specific universal model number of the computer is 1KU52UA.

Does the laptop come with a charger and battery?

Yes, the ar050wm comes with a Lithium Polymer battery and a charger.

Is the keyboard backlit?

No, the keyboard is not backlit.

Where is the laptop made? 

HP manufactures laptop parts in China, Malasia, and the Philipines. Completed laptop components get sent to China or the United States for assembly. 

Is this a touchscreen laptop? 

No, this is not a touchscreen laptop. 

Does Windows 10 come with the laptop?

Yes. The laptop comes standard with Windows 10 Home edition.

Does this laptop play Blu-Ray discs?

No, the optical drive only plays CDs and DVDs.

Does this laptop have Bluetooth? 

Yes, this laptop has Bluetooth connectivity.

About the Author Marcus

Marcus has a graduate degree in computer engineering and has many years of experience in cutting-edge technology research and development in both startups and Fortune 500 corporations. In his free time, he enjoys RTS gaming.