So you don’t care so much about portability but want a proper laptop with large screen? HP Pavilion 17-g030nr might be a suitable pick, it has a 17.3″ display good for watching a movie or two, or playing some less demanding games. And the price isn’t bad at all. But how is the general performance of this laptop, and does it offer good value for its price? I’ll tell you more about that below.
What programs does it run?
HP Pavilion 17-g030nr features Intel Pentium 3825U, a processor with two cores and a 1.9GHz clock speed (no turbo available). In real life, it’s comparable to 4th generation i3 models – the Pentium receives ~2650 CPU Mark points which is pretty much the same than those i3s get. It’s a solid processor for web surfing, word processing and even multimedia activities – you wouldn’t really need anything beefier than this unless you’re a real power user. Also thermal design power is low 15W, excess heat shouldn’t become an issue here.
There’s 4GB DDR3L memory (one DIMM) installed in the laptop. I’d be surprised to see no extra slots on the mainboard, often laptops of this size have two memory sockets. If that’s true here, you’ll be able to upgrade the memory all the way to 16 gigabytes. Even if there’s only one memory socket, the maximum RAM would still be 8GB.
The desktop offers a 750GB 5400RPM hard drive for storage. It’s quite much for a budget laptop, often these models come with a basic 500GB drive. Performance might be on the low side but there’s a fix for this: You remove the HDD and put in a fast solid-state drive. You need a bit of tech knowledge for that, or a friend who can do it for you.
And is it powerful enough for games?
A cheap laptop like HP Pavilion 17-g030nr is obviously not a gaming machine. It has no strong, dedicated graphics card – instead, there’s only Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell) engine integrated in the Pentium processor. It’s about as fast or slow as the older Intel HD 4000 model. Hence, only a handful of titles would really work here. For example, GTA 5 is expected to have only 15-20FPS with 720p and medium settings. That being said, the less-demanding Minecraft would work with no lagging here. The same is true for other low-level titles including CS: Go, League of Legends and Sims 4.
Is the display a decent one?
HP Pavilion 17-g030nr is a big computer, it features a 17.3-inch non-touch display. As expected from an inexpensive laptop, the resolution is just 1600×900, not Full HD that many would like. In my experience, the current 1600×900 is good for everyday use, 1920×1080 is better if you need to do video or image editing a lot.
What devices can be plugged in?
There are three USB ports in HP Pavilion 17-g030nr. Keep in mind two of them are USB 3.0 and one is the older USB 2.0 type. The laptop also has HDMI output for connecting a television or another kind of monitor.
The notebook features a re-writable DVD drive on the left hand side. Media card reader is also there, you’ll be able to transfer photos from digital cameras without USB cable.
You can connect to Internet with 100Mbps RJ-45 port or the 1×1 802.11 n-type WiFi card. Bluetooth 4.0 is enabled, too.
The unit comes with a front-facing HD webcam.
Anything else to keep in mind?
HP Pavilion 17-g030nr is not ideal for a road warrior because of its size and weight (6.2 pounds). Also the 4-cell 41Whr battery won’t last forever, if you ask me you’ll get no more than 4 hours of use under WiFi browsing.
The keys don’t light up on this model. A numpad is still available on the right.
HP Pavilion 17-g030nr is a laptop with decent performance, considering it has a new Intel Pentium processor and 4GB RAM occupying the engine room. A hardcore power user might cringe at such things, but for home (or small office) use there’s nothing these budget components couldn’t do. You could also fire up some lightweight games here, although most new 3D titles would be too much for the integrated Intel HD graphics unit. A big thing for or against this machine is also the display: if you fancy a large 17.3″ screen you have a good reason to get this HP.