Let me tell you about HP 15-g163nr. It’s a new affordable laptop, released in December 2014, sporting AMD A8 level performance. Besides that, there’s also a lot of memory installed, so a quick look at the laptop shows it may work for power users, too. But it’s better to examine the topic a little further to find out what the laptop is really about…
HP 15-g163nr is powered by a quad-core AMD A8-6410. The base speed is 2.0GHz and the turbo feature will up the frequency to 2.4GHz. Being an accelerated processing unit, there’s also a Radeon graphics chip integrated. The processor is a 2014 release and does a similar job to Intel Core i3 CPUs. You can expect mid-range performance from this AMD, and it is adequate for everyday computing as well as some multitasking and heavier software.
One DIMM chip holds the 8GB memory this laptop has. It’s not stated in the specifications if you can add more, but you’re probably fine with the installed eight gigabytes.
There’s a large terabyte hard drive ready to store all of your data. That it can do, indeed, since 1024GB can take literally hundreds of games and high quality movies (not to mention hundred times more smaller files, like photos). Of course, the huge size comes with a price, reduced speed. The 5400RPM drive can’t keep up with read and write rates of SSDs, but for storage this hard drive can’t be beaten.
Display and graphics
A 15.6 inches, 1366×768 resolution screen is what you get with HP 15-g163nr. I bet it’s a cookie cutter display, alright for daily computing, but nothing really special. Obviously, it’s not a Full HD which you couldn’t get for this price anyway. It’s not a touch display either, so Windows 8.1’s touch functions can’t be used on this laptop.
The graphics are handled by AMD Radeon R5 (Beema) chip. It’s roughly similar to Intel HD 4200, allowing you to play mostly old games (Minecraft for example) without problems. Newer titles, like Assassin’s Creed IV should have only ~15FPS on lowest settings. Battlefield 3/4 should do a bit better, but still fall in the suboptimal 20-25 frame rates range.
You can plug your peripherals to the three USB ports HP 15-g163nr has. One of those is USB 3.0. There’s also HDMI out in case you want to use the laptop through an external monitor like HDTV.
A basic 15.6 incher, the HP also has an optical drive good for burning DVDs. An SD media card reader is available for additional data transferring.
Networking is alright, with 10/100Mbps Ethernet RJ-45 port and 1×1 WiFi adapter supporting Bluetooth 4.0.
The laptop can be used for (supposedly) good quality video chats since it contains an HD webcam and microphone.
Anything else to keep in mind?
HP 15-g163nr weighs less than most of its 15.6″ competitors: just 4.83 pounds. This is good news for portability. There’s a mediocre 4-cell battery that should be good for around 4 hours with a single charge.
HP laptops are notorious for their bloatware. This auxiliary software (to put it nicely) can slow down the computer startup and perhaps normal use. If this is a concern for you, just uninstall these programs from the Control Panel.
The keyboard has a 10-key numeric pad available on the right hand side – like basically every laptop of this size. However, the keyboard is not backlit, so the odds of hitting the right key in dark go down.
HP 15-g163nr is step above a rock-bottom Celeron laptop that would only suit as a starter notebook. But thanks to the AMD A8 processor and 8GB RAM this HP should be good for people after a faster user experience or more storage space for their large files. It’s still not a real powerhouse, which is most evident with games: not many recent titles run smoothly, hardly even on lowest settings. With the current ~$450 price, it’s a decent buy but not any special value, and getting it on 5-10% discount would constitute a good deal in my opinion.