Prior to recently, low-cost laptops could be used for some simple tasks like office work or web browsing. Low-end CPUs and iGPUs are significantly more capable and adaptable today. As a result, you can play simple games like CS: GO or Dota 2 on low-cost devices as well as watch 4K video on them.
Modern low-cost computers like the HP 255 G8 are a common sight. It’s not a flashy ultrabook, but it is lightweight, has thin bezels, and boasts hardware that is effective. This inexpensive gadget is available with a good selection of reasonably priced AMD Zen, Zen+, and Zen 2 APUs.
As a result, chips like the AMD Ryzen 3 5300U and AMD Ryzen 5 5500U are reliable in terms of their power efficiency. The AMD Vega 6 (15W, Ryzen 4000/5000) and AMD Vega 7 (15W, Ryzen 4000/5000) are two extremely potent integrated graphics options. Previous-generation goods like the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U are available in more cost-effective variants.
The aforementioned specifications seem respectable for a laptop in this price range. Additionally, there are two TN variants—one with a 1080p display and the other with a 768p variant—and a 1080p IPS display option. The IPS display will be the best option if you can afford it, while the TN variations, especially the 768p display, should be avoided if money is not an issue.
So with that, let’s see what the HP 255 G8 is capable of.
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What’s in the box?
The laptop comes in a simple cardboard box and inside of it, you can find the notebook itself, some manuals, and a 45W power adapter. The more powerful variants are bundled with a 65W charger.
Design and construction
As you can see, the build is entirely made of plastic. Nothing bad in it, we’re in the budget area here. The most important thing is, the laptop looks modern, and especially for its price it offers a slim and light body – it scales at 1.74kg while the profile is 19.9mm. The machine is strong enough to withstand some twists.
The lid can’t be opened with a single hand and sadly, it can bend while it’s being opened. On the bright side, the bezels around the display are thin and we can spot a Web camera (HD or VGA, depending on the laptop model) in an orthodox position.
The base of the laptop houses a big speaker grill that is positioned under the display hinge. The Power button is placed above the “Escape” and “F1” keys.
The keyboard looks like a decent unit but unfortunately, it does not have a backlight. Nevertheless, the typing experience is quite nice because of the long key travel and clicky feedback. Also, the keycaps have a nice and grippy texture which is a good thing if you type a lot. Sadly, we observed some flexes around the keyboard area and we didn’t like the small “Up” and “Down” arrow keys. Accountants can be happy because this machine has a NumberPad.
The touchpad has a big enough surface for normal usage but the unit itself isn’t very accurate and tracking isn’t the best. The two dedicated buttons don’t provide good feedback while using them, their “click” is too short and both buttons feel somehow numb.
The bottom plate isn’t very exciting. It has two big rubber feet and a ventilation grill. The hot air is being exhausted from in-between the backside and the screen and that’s not an optimal solution because the lower side of the display gets warm during heavy usage.
The left side of the laptop has a LAN port, an HDMI 1.4b connector, a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an audio jack. The right side houses a charging plug, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, and an SD card reader.
Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance
The removal of the bottom plate is a bit unorthodox. First, you have to undo 8 Phillips-head screws and most of them are placed under the two rubber feet. After that, you have to turn the laptop around, open the lid, and start prying the bottom panel off the laptop’s body.
This is a basic cooling solution – a single fan, one long heat pipe, and a decently-sized heatsink.
Upgradability-wise, the device offers a lot for a budget laptop. It has two SODIMMs, an M.2 slot, and a SATA slot.
The 41Wh battery unit dosn’t look like an optimal solution for a device with a 15.6″ screen.
Just like the HP 250 G8, the HP 255 G8’s speakers offer a sound of pretty good quality. In addition, the low, mid, and high tones have no deviations from clarity.
All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-255-g8-notebook-pc/38151405
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. Despite the fact the battery is just a 41Wh unit, it’s able to deliver about 9 hours of either Web browsing or video playback. That’s a great score for a budget device and much better compared to the Intel version of this device – HP 250 G8.