HP 15-g210nr Review

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February 26, 2015
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HP 15-g210nr is one of the latest releases to the budget laptop market. Its distinctive feature is the entry-level performance thanks to cheap components. But in the computer world, cheap doesn’t always equal bad, and many people have found these affordable notebooks very valuable pick. We’re here to tell you if this laptop is one of those golden nuggets too!

Performance

HP 15-g210nr has AMD A4-6210 processor. It features four cores and a clock speed of 1.8GHz. In the popular CPUMark benchmark it receives grade closer to some slower Intel Core i3s. This indeed suggests not so great overall performance, but a casual user doesn’t really need that much of power. For web browsing, emails and some video streaming the AMD A4 chip works very well.

The laptop has 4GB memory, in my opinion the minimum acceptable amount in the modern day. It’s unclear if the system has more than one memory slot in total. I doubt so, although replacing this 4GB chip for a bigger one should be possible if it’s memory boost you’re looking for.

There’s a 500GB hard drive installed which is a common sight in budget notebooks. To me, it would probably suffice, since half a terabyte can host dozens of games and thousands of smaller files easily. Of course, because it’s a 5400RPM hard drive it won’t even closely reach the speeds of solid state drives. So if read/write rates are a concern, consider doing the swap for an SSD.

Display and graphics

HP 15-g210nr has a cookie cutter screen of 15.6″ diagonal. It’s good enough for most uses but not excellent for any. Especially when the resolution is 1366×768, a low one, which would make power users cringe. It also lacks touch support, but this I don’t see a big disadvantage. Many have heard about Windows 8.1 requiring a touch screen but I’m using it everyday without one, and it’s not that different from Windows 7.

Graphics engine is integrated in the processor. It’s called Radeon R3 and in video card benchmark tests it receives low 370 points, much less than Intel HD 4000 for example. Many 2013-2015 games will have poor frame rates below 20, although some lighter (but still new) titles like Sims 4 or Fifa 15 should run fluently at least on low settings. Minecraft and other similar games should get playable frame rates as well.

Connections

HP 15-g210nr has three USB ports, the same amount than all the other budget laptops have. One is USB 3.0 which should be preferred for good transfer rates. For video connection, there’s a regular HDMI output.

Networking is basic, consisting of a 100Mbps Ethernet port and a 802.11b/g/n WiFi. Bluetooth support is not built-in, although it can be acquired with an USB gadget.

The laptop has a DVD burner which is usually the case with these cheaper models. For some reason, the more expensive ones seem to come without an optical drive more often. Also Secure Digital card reader is available if memory cards are important to you.

There’s a HD webcam installed which should be fine for occasional video chatting.

Some other things to keep in mind?

HP 15-g210nr weighs 4.8 pounds which I consider decent since many 15.6″ models cross the 5 pounds limit. The 3-cell battery might not be that good, giving only ~3 hours operating time.

The keyboard is not backlit. I’d be very surprised to find one in this cheap laptop. A numeric keypad is still there, so you won’t be having problems with hitting the number keys.

All HP notebooks come with a set of bloatware. I’d get rid of it, just by uninstalling from Control Panel. I recommend you do the same.

Conclusions

HP 15-g210nr is a low-cost laptop for somebody who don’t find use for huge performance and fancy features. Because very basic performance is what you’ll get from AMD A4 processor and other entry-level components. There are no premium things either, such as touchscreen or backlit keyboard, but not many home users are looking for these features anyway. If it’s a functional starter laptop you’re after, giving this HP a try would be worth your money.


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