HP Pavilion 17-g120nr Review

September 30, 2015
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It’s a new set of laptops HP released in the late Summer of 2015. One thing those notebooks have in common: they’re all equipped with Windows 10. Otherwise, they don’t look so exciting, for example HP Pavilion 17-g120nr featuring basic AMD A8 processor and 4GB RAM. But laptop doesn’t always need to be exciting, often the most important thing is what you can actually do with it. Below, I’ll tell what’s the case with this HP!

Comments about performance

The general performance of HP Pavilion 17-g120nr can be compared to a Core i3 powered laptop. Its processor is AMD A8-7410, a quad-core chip featuring 2.2 – 2.5GHz clock speed depending on turbo boost use. The CPU Mark score this AMD gets is around 2500 which happens to be the same than mobile Core i3s from the 4th generation. Hence, using this notebook for word processing or web browsing is a good idea, there’s also enough oomph for some light image editing. But if you need to run heavy programs daily, I’m afraid AMD A8 is not going to cut it.

The notebook comes with 4GB DDR3L memory. A funny thing, there is only one memory slot in the system even though the unit is a big 17.3″ one. Furthermore, in the specifications it’s said the memory slot is not user accessible. I don’t buy this, with technical skills you can surely get to the slot, thus being able to upgrade the RAM on this computer to 8GB.

HP Pavilion 17-g120nr has quite a large, mechanical 750GB 5400RPM hard drive. There doesn’t seem to be free mSATA slots inside, so if you wanted to add in a solid-state drive you’d need to remove the current hard drive first. Again, not too tough a task if you know what you’re doing.

Is it any good for gaming?

HP Pavilion 17-g120nr works for gaming as fine as any laptop with integrated graphics; poorly, that is. The graphics unit is called Radeon R5. Playing games like League of Legends or Minecraft on medium settings will work, the more demanding GTA 5 hardly – you’d need low settings with that to get ~20 frames per second. There is no possibility to add a dedicated graphics card to the system, so you’ll indeed have to deal with the integrated Radeon.

How is the screen quality?

The display quality in this price category is rarely amazing, but the screen will most likely do its job fine. It’s a 17.3″ display with basic 1600×900 resolution – you won’t get the fancy Full HD here. Touch is supported, but if you need it with Windows 10 is entirely different thing.

What peripherals can be connected?

There are three USB ports in HP Pavilion 17-g120nr, you often see four in these 17-inch models. Two of those are USB 3.0 while one is USB 2.0. A regular HDMI-out is also offered, in case you want an external screen you can plug that in to the laptop.

The DVD burner is an internal one, located on the left hand side. Next to that, there’s a SD card reader for dealing with memory cards.

Networking interfaces aren’t too fancy but should be alright for most users. You’ll find a single-band N-type WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card inside. Also 10/100Mbps RJ-45 port is there for the friends of wired connection.

HD-level webcam is available so you can chat with your friends or make videos for, say, YouTube.

Other relevant things

HP Pavilion 17-g120nr is not ideal for traveling. It weighs 6.74 pounds and its 4-cell 41Whr battery won’t last more than the usual 4 hours with a single charge.

Keyboard is standard without backlight. A 10-key pad is installed on the right as well.

Summing it up

HP Pavilion 17-g120nr is a general use, not a heavyweight laptop. This is also apparent in the price: the unit doesn’t cost a lot, making it perhaps an interesting choice for the budget-minded. The engine room houses mediocre components like the said AMD A8 processor and 4GB RAM. They are indeed nothing to get excited about, but for everyday computing they’re just perfect. The big screen also hints this laptop might make a good desktop replacement – however for gaming the HP is a bad idea. If you’re good with this kind of a set-up, I don’t think you would be disappointed with this simple HP laptop.

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