HP 255 G7 Ryzen 3 Review
HP introduced the 255 G7 to value conscious businesses and consumers looking for a sensible, no frills, bang for your buck laptop. On paper, we have a Full HD screen, Ryzen 3 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a fast 256GB SSD. Is it worth your hard earned cash? Let’s find out.
No surprise at this price point, the 255 G7 is mainly made of durable plastic. Generally it’s sturdy all round apart from the display lid which could do with more protection. Bending a bit too much for my likely. To some the design is a little too bland to others it’s just a laptop to work on. The 255 G7 weights 1.78kg helped by the expanse of plastic, ok for moving around now and again.
There is no maintenance cover underneath the 255 G7, instead, the HP engineers have made it as awkward as possible to remove the casing to get to the internal components. A fair amount of the screws are hidden underneath the two long rubber feet. These can easily stretch and break when removing them from the adhesive. Once you have removed all the screws, the second obstacle is to pry open the bottom case from the keyboard deck. Once open, you can replace the M.2 SSD, battery and upgrade the memory with two slots available.
The review model has a 15.6″ Full HD anti-glare display. It’s a SVA panel rather than IPS and it shows. Viewing angles are poor, finding yourself constantly moving the lid square on to make it readable. Colours look washed out and brightness is weak at 220 nits. No surprise image editing with the 255 G7 is inadequate at 67% sRGB.
On the right you have a Kensington Lock, a USB 2.0 Type-A, and a SD card reader. On the left hand side we have a power connector, Ethernet Gigabit port, HDMI 1.4b, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and a 3.5 mm headphone microphone combo jack. At this price point, it would be difficult to expect USB Type-C or DisplayPort.
WiFi is provided by the Realtek RTL8821ce chip supporting one stream wireless-AC and
Keyboard & Touchpad
The keyboard is not backlit but does have a full sized number pad. Typing experience is surprising good generally with mainly large keys. Touch typing was accurate and fast however the noise level goes up with speed. Not a keyboard to use in a quiet library or lecture theatre.
The same is true of the touchpad and dedicated buttons that makes a loud click, feeling cheap in the process. The touchpad itself is good with multi-finger gesture support and a smooth comfortable surface area.
Audio & Webcam
The 255 G7 has stereo speakers situated below the grille above the keyboard. Sound is tinny and flat with no bass to speak of. However it can get loud, useful for Skype calls. Stick to using headphones or an external bluetooth speaker.
The 720P webcam is best used for emergency Skype or Google Hangout calls only. Video quality is poor with grainy pictures and awful colour reproduction. If you must use a webcam, spend £20 on a superior external webcam.
This review model is powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 2200U CPU with 8GB DDR4 memory and a 256GB M.2 SATA SSD. This combination creates a responsive laptop comparable to an i5-7200U. Great for office work, Internet browsing, light video and photo editing. It’s also perfectly usable for development and programming on like Android Studio.
The integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega 3 graphics card supports DirectX 12 and is comparable to Intel’s UHD 620. Casual gaming is fine with the Vega 3 under low settings and 720P. For example, you can play Apex Legends at 35fps with low settings but don’t expect the 255 G7 to play X-Plane 11 or Far Cry 5 anytime soon.
The fans stay silent while idling. Under load, the cooling fan spins up to just over 40 decibels.
The 255 G7 stays cool under regular use. It mostly keeps its surface temperatures in check under load too. Only even reaching a warm to the touch under the laptop and in the middle of the keyboard with extended hard gaming.
The 255 G7 carries a small 3 cell, 41 Whr battery. Good for 4 to 5 hours general light tasks. Under load expect around 3 hours. Charging to full takes around two hours using the 45W AC Adapter.
3 Pros and Cons before buying the HP 255 G7 Ryzen 3
Nippy Performance – A well-balanced combination of the Ryzen 3 CPU, 8GB RAM running Windows 10 along with a M.2 SATA-3 SDD equates to a quick 255 G7. General day to day usage is responsive and fast.
Lightweight – For a 15.6” laptop, the 255 G7 is relatively light to carry around thanks to its extensive use of polycarbonate plastic. You could hold it in one hand and move it around in a rucksack or laptop bag.
Good keyboard – For this price, I wasn’t expecting a good keyboard but surprisingly it’s not half bad. Throw in a keypad and nice size keys, it’s a good keyboard for touch typist like myself. I wish HP would add backlit and slightly quieter keys but that would bump the price up.
Slow Wi-Fi – With a lower-end wireless 1×1 card in the 255 G7, wifi speeds can be poor at times. Most noticeable when trying to access files over a network say on a NAS or server. Luckily you can fall back on an ethernet connection if it’s practical.
Difficult to Upgrade – HP has made it vastly difficult to open up the maintenance lid to upgrade the components without damaging the rubber feet. Wouldn’t have taken much to re-design the cover to slide off with a few screws instead. With only a 256GB SSD installed and cheap SSD prices, it would have been nice to be able to replace this with a 512GB or 1TB SSD easily.
Poor Battery Life – HP skimped on the battery capacity on the 255 G7 to keep costs down. If you need to take a laptop with you around college all day without charging, this is not for you. By late morning, you’ll need to plug to recharge plus no fast charging to speak of.
For £350 or $433 the HP 255 G7 represents great value for money if you are after a 15.6” laptop that is well equipped with a decent CPU, plenty of memory and a fast SSD that ticks most boxes.
However, It’s not going to win design awards for all the plastic it uses and the screen is weak if you have used IPS displays. Battery life is average at best so you will need to be near a charging point.
If you can overlook these weak points, the 255 G7 is a fantastic, general all round laptop.
An excellent alternative to the HP 255 G7 for the same price if you happy to downsize to a 14 inch display and no keypad is the Lenovo V330 with a faster Ryzen 5 2500U CPU and Vega 8 GPU. The same 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD storage.
What do you guys think? Leave your comments and discuss below.
Hope you guys enjoyed the review of the HP 255 G7 Ryzen 3 laptop?