Certified items are not brand new, but there are some excellent reasons to get them: the vendor has decreased the price, so the same item that would cost a lot as new might now be very reasonably priced. Such is the case with HP 15-g059wm that was lately made available as a refurb. It offers AMD A8 level performance on a 15.6 inches touchscreen. Whether we recommend that budget laptop to you will be discussed below!
AMD A8-6410 is the name of the processor in HP 15-g059wm. It’s a 2014 quad-core model, with a base speed of 2.0GHz. There’s also turbo available which will increase the frequency to 2.4GHz. The CPU is direct competitor to mobile Intel Core i3s, reaching decent 2500 grade in CPU Passmark tests. It’s an excellent all-around processor, being able to deal with more demanding software occasionally. Gaming is also within its reach if you can play with reduced eye candy.
The laptop features 4GB DDR3L memory by default. Now, I’ve read some reviews saying it’s a disadvantage, but I think four gigabytes is fine if web browsing and emails is all you do. If you like to multitask or operate heavier programs, more RAM wouldn’t be a bad idea. You can indeed upgrade memory, the laptop supports up to 8GB RAM – but only on one chip, so you’d have to remove the installed 4GB module first.
A 750GB 5400RPM hard drive is where you’ll save your files. It can surely take a lot of data: around 150,000 JPEG photos, for example. But some people prefer performance over size, in which case SSD is your choice. The hard drive should be replaceable just like the memory, so swapping the HDD for a solid-state drive isn’t an issue.
Display and gaming
A 15.6 inch display on a budget laptop is never glorious. It’s decent at best, offering good enough quality for home users. The 1366×768 resolution wouldn’t satisfy professionals, but honestly, no budget laptop would. HP 15-g059wm has touch support so those who want to use Windows 8.1 to the fullest will be pleased. However, touch display is not a requirement, because it’s possible to make that operating system to look just like Windows 7.
It’s also the graphics performance that these cheaper notebooks are not known for. The weak Radeon R5 integrated unit is responsible for the graphics, and will run heavier games like Battlefield 4 on barely acceptable 20-25FPS but only on settings and resolution turned low. I say barely acceptable, because for that kind of fast paced titles smoother frame rates would do wonders. The FPS forecast is better for games like Minecraft and League of Legends. Those would run lag-free, at least if you don’t up the details a lot.
HP 15-g059wm comes with three USB ports, exactly like its competitors. One is USB 3.0 which you should favor if transfer speeds are your concern. Attaching a HDTV or another external monitor is possible thanks to HDMI output on the laptop.
There are both RJ-45 and 802.11b/g/n adapters available, so you’re welcome to use wired and WiFi networking. Bluetooth is missing on this model, this can be fixed with an inexpensive adapter.
The right side is occupied by a DVD burner, so there’s no need to use an external one. SD card reader is provided as well, good for uploading data or increasing local storage space.
The notebook has a webcam and microphone. As such, Skype video calls are something you can do on it.
Are there other noteworthy things?
HP 15-g059wm weighs 5.25 pounds, so it’s not really heavier or lighter than other 15 inches models. Of course, somebody who travels a lot on airplanes might fancy a lightweight model. On the other hand, 15.6 inches is an excellent all-around size for homes and offices. There’s also a 3-cell battery included, which will last for three or four hours tops on WiFi browsing.
The keys on this keyboard are not illuminated. The right side has a numeric keypad, providing effortless access to number keys.
I can’t find that many bad things about HP 15-g059wm. Its price definitely justifies the performance provided by the quad-core AMD processor, 4GB RAM and 750GB hard drive. Touchscreen is also something many people don’t mind having with Windows 8. Bluetooth is not supported, a little disadvantage, but using an USB adapter shouldn’t be too big a hassle. To sum it up, if you’re not a power user or gamer, such a refurbished, inexpensive HP laptop is all you need.