HP Pavilions are useful laptops for everyday computing. They don’t cost too much and offer adequate performance for daily activities. They can be particularly cheap if you pick a refurbished item – like HP 15-G057cl. Refurb can give better bang for your buck if you don’t care about some wear and tear. In best case, there’s none. But we can’t say how the unit you receive will be, so let’s concentrate on the performance and features this HP laptop could offer to you.
The HP 15-G057cl’s processor is AMD A6-6310. It has four cores and a 1.8GHz base speed, with turbo feature upping the frequency to 2.4GHz. If you were to compare this to a CPU from Intel side, 2013 Core i3 models would come close in terms of performance. CPU Mark score is ~2400. It’s good as any processor for simple tasks, including browsing and Netflix, and could handle advanced software occasionally as well.
One 4GB DIMM chip is installed on the mainboard’s only memory slot. That’s a good amount for a basic laptop, but I’m pretty sure you could remove the installed memory and put a bigger 8GB chip in.
Half a terabyte storage is offered. For most, it suffices, since not everyone is a professional in video/image processing that would indeed require lots of space. The current 500GB is good for all your vacation photos, some games and movies, too. The speed of 5400RPM can’t be praised, but it works for a budget laptop.
The operating system is the latest Windows 8.1 (64-bit).
Display and graphics
HP 15-G057cl has a non-touch screen of 15.6″ diagonal and 1366×768 resolution. 1920×1080 a.k.a. Full HD resolution is sought after by many, but in that case you’d have to shell out more money. As it is, this display is average and it shouldn’t give you any worries.
The graphics are generated with a Radeon R4 (Beema) chip. It does quite a similar job to the famous Intel HD 4000 engine. Which is not much, to be honest. You should be able to play pre 2013 games (Minecraft, Diablo 3, CS:Go) without problems, but on latest titles like BF4 the frame rate would be ~20 on low settings.
HP 15-G057cl has three USB ports, just like all the other low-end laptops. One of those is USB 3.0 which should be your primary port due to increased speed.
A HDMI out is available on the left hand side, so it is possible to use this notebook with a bigger, external display like an HDTV.
To get to Internet, you can choose between wire and wireless. There’s a 100Mbps RJ-45 port and regular 1×1 WiFi installed. Bluetooth is not, but you can always use a cheap USB gadget for that.
DVD burner and a multi-format media card reader are available. As such, using CDs, DVDs and various memory cards is possible on this laptop.
As usually, this notebook comes with a webcam. It’s a High Definition one so you can enjoy quality video chats.
Other things to keep in mind?
HP 15-G057cl is a rather lightweight laptop, at least for a 15.6 incher. It weighs just 4.83 pounds, while most notebooks of similar size are more than 5 pounds.
There’s a cheap 3-cell battery installed from which I wouldn’t expect miracles. Probably three hours operating time would be your best bet.
A cheap laptop like this HP doesn’t come with a backlit keyboard. There’s still the numeric keypad on right, which sadly “pushes” rest of the keyboard left.
Looking at the specs, I notice this laptop comes with the usual HP bloatware. It can have affect on performance, but you can always uninstall the unwanted software to get rid of the problem.
There’s a small risk involved when buying a refurbished computer. Because why else would it be cheaper than a brand new one? You see, for the money, HP 15-G057cl offers great value. The AMD processor is faster than a true entry-level Celeron, so this HP shouldn’t feel sluggish to use. Basic connectivity is there too, allowing for plugging the typical peripherals in. There’s nothing bad sticking out like a sore thumb, but of course this one is not a real powerhouse. If you don’t mind that, this HP might be an excellent choice. Remember, also these refurbished items can be returned.