HP 15-g090nr, also dubbed Sparkling Black, is a Windows 8.1 powered laptop advertised as suitable for on-the-go computing. In the past, HP has made a good job producing cheap but useful entry-level notebooks, so one could have high expectations also about this particular model. Without further ado, let’s put our reviewer hat on and find out if this HP laptop is really worth the price.
HP 15-g090nr features a processor called AMD A4-6210. It’s accelerated processing unit, acting as both CPU and graphics engine. The CPU part has 1.8GHz clock speed and four cores. Despite being a 2014 release, some earlier i3 processors from the Intel side outperform this AMD so it can’t really be recommended for daily heavyweight use. However, everyday computing works flawlessly on any computer – including this HP.
The laptop has 4GB RAM available on one chip. In case you want a memory boost the system supports 8GB RAM. As there’s just one slot on the mainboard you’d have to swap the old chip for a bigger one.
A 1024GB hard drive is responsible for your storage needs. And that’s a lot: terabyte HDD isn’t something you very often see in budget notebooks. The desktop-level drive can’t be praised for its 5400RPM speed because most modern drives operate faster, but for raw storage that HDD can’t be beaten.
Display and graphics
HP 15-g090nr has many names. In addition to “Sparkling Black”, you may notice the TouchSmart brand. You might think it means a touchscreen but sadly, it doesn’t. The display in this model is a regular 15.6″ screen with no touch support. Opinions are many about the 1366×768 resolution. I say it’s good but I’m used to less than Full HD. Your experience may understandably vary.
AMD Radeon R3 is the graphics engine part of the AMD processor. The Radeon chip should be comparable to low-end Intel HD cards. Getting playable frame rates on latest games isn’t realistic, but older titles should work. Minecraft should run around 40-50 FPS and CS:GO around 60 frames on low settings.
One USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports are available for connecting your peripherals. Like all today’s laptops, also this HP sports a HDMI out.
There are 10/100 Ethernet and 1×1 WiFi adapters for Internet. Bluetooth, to my knowledge, is not supported.
HP 15-g090nr contains a DVD drive for burning and reading discs. It also has a digital media card reader for SD cards. HD webcam and microphone are integrated.
Other noteworthy things
Budget HPs are notorious for bloatware. So is this model. You can of course easily uninstall unnecessary programs. And some software might even be useful, namely the anti-virus trial.
The laptop weighs 4.92 pounds. I consider that quite good for portability. The battery is a basic 3-cell one, so one can expect 4 hours operating time tops.
Numeric keypad is available on the keyboard.
HP 15-g090nr is a capable budget rig for somebody who requires more than simple Celeron-based notebook can offer. It’s quite well-rounded laptop, although having more RAM and less storage space might make it even a better choice for many. With the current price it’s not a great deal, but still good pick for a budget laptop seeker.