HP has been manufacturing winner notebooks for a long time. Year after year their reputation stays strong and customers mainly happy. There’s a reason to this: a quality product. One of the company’s new releases, the HP 15-g220nr laptop, also wants this “certificate of quality. True, it’s an entry-level laptop featuring a quad-core AMD processor and 500GB mechanical hard drive. Those specifications are nothing extraordinary but they might be all you need. How can you know for sure? We’ll tell you that in a moment…
It’s the AMD A6-5200 APU that’s powering this HP laptop. The processor has four cores and a 2.0GHz clock speed without turbo boost. In a benchmark called CPU Mark the chip receives a score of 2500. It’s in line with mobile Core i3s that get similar score in the same test. Thus, the AMD is a viable processor for casual users running not so demanding programs. It also includes a graphics engine that can be used for some gaming (hence the name APU, accelerated processing unit) – but more about that a bit later.
HP 15-g220nr has one 4GB DDR3L (1600MHz) memory stick installed. That is probably enough for you, but if it isn’t, feel free to swap it for an 8GB module. That’s the maximum this laptop supports. But my advice is to start with the default amount and see how it goes.
There’s a 500GB (5400RPM SATA) hard drive providing you storage. It can take around one hundred thousand JPEG photos, so in a way it’s rather big. On the other hand, many notebooks that cost just a bit more have 1000GB drives – essentially double the size of this laptop’s storage. Furthermore, such a hard drive doesn’t necessarily make HP 15-g220nr a fast system. For that, you would need a quick SSD. You can install one but you have to remove the HDD first, there’s no additional slot for a second drive.
Display and graphics
I don’t think there’s much to write about the display of HP 15-g220nr. It’s a typical 15.6″ screen with typical 1366×768 resolution. It goes for web surfing and such, but if you’re migrating from a Full HD monitor be prepared for bigger icons and larger text on the screen. It also features touch support so someone new to Windows 8.1 should not have problems starting using it.
HP 15-g220nr has an integrated graphics unit called Radeon HD 8400. Released in 2013, the chip has more or less the same performance than older Intel HD models such as the HD 4000. Thus, fancy graphics and high resolutions are unlikely to happen. To give you an example, you should be able to get around 20FPS on Battlefield 4 with low settings. The heavy yet popular GTA V would get less frames which pretty much makes it unplayable on this rig. However, with some older or lighter games like Fifas, CS: Go and World of Warcraft you’re able to pull better FPS even on medium to high details.
HP 15-g220nr offers in total three USB ports. One of them is USB 3.0 for a peripheral that needs fast transfer rates. The obligatory HDMI port is also there, so feel free to plug in an HD television or desktop display.
To get Internet access you can choose between 801.11b/g/n WiFi or 100Mbps RJ-45 port. I don’t see a mention about Bluetooth in the specifications, but you can always use a USB dongle to get support for that.
Many laptops meant for casual users sport a DVD burner. This one does too, so you’re able to create and read CDs & DVDs with HP 15-g220nr. Secure Digital card reader is found in the front, next to trackpad, allowing you to upload files from several devices such as digital cameras.
The computer also features a front-facing HD webcam and microphone that are good for video chats on Skype.
Other things to keep in mind?
If you plan to travel with this unit, bear in mind it weighs 5.34 pounds. That’s how much an average 15.6″ laptop weighs, not a burden at all, but considerably more than a sub-notebook or tablet. The included 4-cell 41WHr battery should work for around 4 hours of web surfing on a single charge.
No backlit keyboard is found on this model, the price isn’t high enough. However, a dedicated 10-key pad is installed on the right hand side.
Summing it up
If it’s a decent everyday laptop you’re after, HP 15-g220nr should be a good choice for you. It has enough performance for browsing the web, editing papers and even watching flicks off YouTube and Hulu. If you’re keen on gaming you might be little disappointed, the integrated Radeon chip can’t run many games on higher details. That is of course common among budget laptops, this HP is not the only one that struggles with several games. Connections are similar you’d find in any decent 15 incher, also the touchscreen might come handy getting used to Windows 8.1. Should you be fine with those things, you don’t probably need anything fancier than this simple HP. In that case, you have found a great laptop candidate I’d dare to say.