Review HP Compaq 15-a024sg Notebook

Sascha Mölck (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 05/08/2014

Price war. HP demands just 400 Euros (~$550) for the well-configured, gaming-capable Compaq 15-a024sg. Weaknesses cannot be excluded in view of the price, and thus, not only the battery runtimes are below average...

For the original German review, see here.

HP releases laptops for the low-budget sector within the Compaq product line. The Compaq-a024sg merges seamlessly into this range. A well-configured, gaming-capable, 15.6-inch laptop is available for 400 Euros (~$550). Our report reveals whether the laptop is just as convincing in real-life use as it is on paper.

We used the Acer Aspire E1-572G (Core i5-4200U, Radeon R7 M265) and Asus X550LD-XX023H (Core i5-4200U, GeForce 820M) for classifying the laptop.

Since the Compaq's build is identical with many current HP laptops, we will not go in-depth about casing, connectivity, input devices or speakers unless there are differences. Further information can be found in, for example, the review of the HP 250 G2.

Case & Connectivity

The Compaq is in line with the design that HP currently uses for its consumer laptops. It is most similar with the HP 250 G2. Both laptops have a completely black casing. However, unlike the matte surfaces used for HP's 250 G2, the Compaq features glossy surfaces.

HP Compaq 15-a024sg (picture: HP).
HP Compaq 15-a024sg (picture: HP).
It is completely black (picture: HP).
It is completely black (picture: HP).
The surfaces are glossy (picture: HP).
The surfaces are glossy (picture: HP).

Display

The Compaq features a 15.6-inch, glare screen with a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The average brightness of 200.3 cd/m² is class average. However, the screen delivers very good rates in contrast (586:1) and black level (0.36 cd/m²).

219
cd/m²
212
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
207
cd/m²
211
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
190
cd/m²
190
cd/m²
182
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 219 cd/m²
Average: 200.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 211 cd/m²
Black: 0.36 cd/m²
Contrast: 586:1

The average DeltaE 2000 shift is 11.25 in state of delivery. This is an average rate that we ascertain in most screens. No color achieves the target range of DeltaE less than 3. The screen also exhibits an intense bluish cast. However, we discovered that calibrating eliminates it.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
The Compaq 15 outdoors
The Compaq 15 outdoors

The Compaq's screen only provides limited viewing angles. This was to be expected considering the laptop's price level. Using the laptop outdoors is at most possible in the shade. Otherwise, reflections will thwart any such plans.

Performance

HP offers an affordable and well-configured 15.6-inch all-rounder with its Compaq 15-a024sg. The installed Core i3 processor provides enough computing power to manage everyday tasks. It is even possible to play computer games on the device. The laptop is sold for approximately 400 Euros (~$550) but does not include a Windows operating system. Nevertheless, HP provides drivers for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

Processor

Surprise: HP still installs a processor from the Ivy Bridge generation. The Core i3-3110M dual-core processor runs with a base clock of 2.4 GHz. There is no Turbo. It is a standard mobile processor (not ULV) with a TDP of 35 watts. The Compaq's processor ran the Cinebench CPU tests at full speed in both AC and battery mode. The Aspire and X550LD manage somewhat better rates. They benefit from their Haswell processors that have a higher performance per MHz than the Ivy Bridge processors.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.97 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.38 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
29.44 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
85 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
214 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
35.84 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit
HP Compaq 15-a024sg
GeForce 820M, 3110M, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
0.97 Points ∼52%
Lenovo G505s-20255
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
0.81 Points ∼44% -16%
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
Radeon R7 M265, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.98 Points ∼53% +1%
Asus X550LD-XX023H
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1.11 Points ∼60% +14%
Medion Akoya P6647 (MD98571)
GeForce 825M, 4200M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
1.31 Points ∼71% +35%
Lenovo B5400 MB825GE
GeForce GT 720M, 4200M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
1.36 Points ∼74% +40%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit
HP Compaq 15-a024sg
GeForce 820M, 3110M, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
2.38 Points ∼14%
Lenovo G505s-20255
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.31 Points ∼13% -3%
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
Radeon R7 M265, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2.47 Points ∼14% +4%
Asus X550LD-XX023H
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
2.48 Points ∼14% +4%
Medion Akoya P6647 (MD98571)
GeForce 825M, 4200M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3.21 Points ∼18% +35%
Lenovo B5400 MB825GE
GeForce GT 720M, 4200M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3.21 Points ∼18% +35%

System Performance

We installed Windows 8 for performing our benchmarks because the laptop does not come with a Windows operating system. We did not encounter any problems. The installed system ran smoothly, and the laptop also achieved a good score in the PCMark benchmark. The X550LD is on par, and the Aspire achieves a slightly better score due to its stronger GPU.

PC Mark
PCMark 72464 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
HP Compaq 15-a024sg
GeForce 820M, 3110M, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
2464 Points ∼37%
Asus X550LD-XX023H
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
2533 Points ∼38% +3%
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
Radeon R7 M265, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2742 Points ∼41% +11%
Medion Akoya P6647 (MD98571)
GeForce 825M, 4200M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2833 Points ∼43% +15%
Lenovo B5400 MB825GE
GeForce GT 720M, 4200M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2885 Points ∼44% +17%
Lenovo G505s-20255
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3062 Points ∼46% +24%

Storage Devices

HP installs a hard drive from Hitachi's Travelstar line in the Compaq. It has a capacity of 1 TB and spins with 5400 revolutions per minute. The ascertained rates are on par with what we expect from a modern 5400 rpm hard drive.

HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Sequential Read: 94.46 MB/s
Sequential Write: 94.19 MB/s
512K Read: 31.25 MB/s
512K Write: 32.6 MB/s
4K Read: 0.377 MB/s
4K Write: 0.839 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 0.722 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 0.834 MB/s

Graphics Card

The Compaq sports two graphics cores: Intel's HD Graphics 4000 GPU and the GeForce 820M graphics core. While Intel's graphics core is used for routine tasks and in battery mode, the GeForce chip is enabled in graphics-intensive applications, such as computer games. Both cores support DirectX 11 as a minimum. The GeForce graphics core is a member of the entry-level category. Its base speed is 775 MHz, which can be increased to 955 MHz via Turbo.

The scores of the Compaq and the X550LD are on par in the 3DMark benchmarks since both laptops sport the same graphics core. The Aspire delivers the best results because it has the strongest GPU.

3D Mark
3DMark 111351 points
3DMark Ice Storm51917 points
3DMark Cloud Gate4323 points
3DMark Fire Strike822 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance
HP Compaq 15-a024sg
GeForce 820M, 3110M, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
1351 Points ∼10%
Asus X550LD-XX023H
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1302 Points ∼10% -4%
Medion Akoya P6647 (MD98571)
GeForce 825M, 4200M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
1888 Points ∼14% +40%
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
Radeon R7 M265, 4200U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2012 Points ∼15% +49%
Lenovo G505s-20255
Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics, A10-5750M, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2115 Points ∼16% +57%

Gaming Performance

The Compaq is also suitable for rendering computer games. Most games can be played smoothly in the screen's native resolution using low to medium quality settings. Games with low requirements even allow more. The Compaq cannot compete with the Aspire. Its Radeon core is stronger than the GeForce GPU and generates overall higher frame rates.

low med.high ultra
Civilization 5 (2010) 46.6fps
Batman: Arkham City (2011) 4725fps
Battlefield 3 (2011) 36.72419fps
Risen 2: Dark Waters (2012) 30.620.715.9fps
Counter-Strike: GO (2012) 135105.878.7fps
Medal of Honor: Warfighter (2012) 36.624.320.8fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012) 60.746.928.4fps
Far Cry 3 (2012) 51.333.315.9fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 78.83922fps
The Elder Scrolls Online (2014) 58.63425.2fps
HP Compaq 15-a024sg
Intel Core i3-3110M, NVIDIA GeForce 820M, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
Intel Core i5-4200U, AMD Radeon R7 M265, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Asus X550LD-XX023H
Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce 820M, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
Tomb Raider
18%
-11%
1024x768 Low Preset78.874
-6%
70.4
-11%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x3945.6
17%
34.7
-11%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x2231.4
43%
19.7
-10%

Emissions

System Noise

The fan is not inactive when idling. The produced noise level will soon be found annoying in quiet surroundings. This is due to the enabled BIOS option "Fan always on" that is common in many HP laptops. The fan occasionally stops spinning or runs at low speeds when this option is disabled. However, that does not change anything about the fact that every hard drive access is heard. The fan increased its speed up to 40.2 dB in medium load via 3DMark06, and 41.1 dB in full load during the stress test via Prime95 and Furmark. Both levels are quite audible.

Noise Level

Idle 33 / 33 / 33.2 dB(A)
HDD 33.8 dB(A)
DVD 39.6 / dB(A)
Load 40.2 / 41.1 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

HP Compaq in the stress test.
HP Compaq in the stress test.

The casings of the three comparison devices barely heat up when idling. We ascertained the highest temperature increase in the Compaq. But that is not surprising because the Compaq sports a standard mobile CPU unlike the ULV processors in the Aspire and X550LD.

The CPU ran the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark run for at least one hour) with 2.4 GHz in AC mode and 1.2 GHz in battery mode. The graphics core started the stress test with its full speed of 955 MHz in AC mode. Its speed dropped gradually in the course of the test and settled to 878 MHz. The graphics core ran at full speed when the stress test was performed in battery mode. The CPU's temperature settled to approximately 74 °C in the stress test (AC mode).

Max. Load
 36.5 °C38.4 °C26.7 °C 
 37.8 °C42 °C27.1 °C 
 36.7 °C37.7 °C30 °C 
Maximum: 42 °C
Average: 34.8 °C
25.8 °C35.3 °C48.6 °C
28.1 °C42.8 °C40.6 °C
29.6 °C27 °C37 °C
Maximum: 48.6 °C
Average: 35 °C
Power Supply (max.)  37.5 °C | Room Temperature 23.5 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption is within a range of what we expect from a 15.6-inch laptop with a dedicated GPU and standard mobile CPU. Both the Aspire and X550LD are a bit more energy efficient because they sport ULV processors.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.2 / 0.4 Watt
Idle 9.7 / 13.1 / 13.4 Watt
Load 52.7 / 56 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

Websites are automatically opened every 40 seconds, the energy-saving profile is enabled, and the screen's brightness is set to roughly 150 cd/m² in our practical Wi-Fi test. The Compaq achieved a runtime of 3:05 h, which is not an extraordinary rate. Both the Aspire (4:01 h) and the X550LD (4:04 h) last longer.

Battery Runtime - WLAN
HP Compaq 15-a024sg
185 min ∼12%
Acer Aspire E1-572G-54204G50Mnkk
241 min ∼16% +30%
Asus X550LD-XX023H
244 min ∼16% +32%
Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
3h 05min

Verdict

HP demands 400 Euros (~$550) for its Compaq 15-a024sg. The bundle seems balanced in view of the price. The buyer gets a strong processor, gaming-capable GPU, high storage capacity, and 8 GB of working memory. The screen will not reap in awards, but it is acceptable in a 400 Euros (~$550) laptop. The battery runtime ascertained in the practical Wi-Fi test could be longer. The standard mobile processor is noticed here (no ULV).

Asus' X550LD-XX023H achieves a longer battery runtime and has approximately the same application performance as the Compaq. The advantages of Acer's Aspire E1-572G are its matte Full HD screen and higher gaming performance. However, the laptop also costs almost 600 Euros (~$825). Users who do not need an HD screen and Windows operating system will find the laptop for 450 Euros (~$619).

Comment this article:

In Review: HP Compaq 15-a024sg (F9F69EA), courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de.
In Review: HP Compaq 15-a024sg (F9F69EA), courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de.

Specifications

HP Compaq 15-a024sg

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM76 (Panther Point)
:: Memory
8192 MB, DDR3, single-channel, two memory banks (one bank filled)
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 820M - 1024 MB, Core: 775-955 MHz, Memory: 1000 MHz, 335.23, Optimus
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AU Optronics B156XW01 V0, TN LED, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680, 1000 GB 5400 rpm , 930 GB free
:: Soundcard
Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combo audio jack, Card Reader: SD,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8102E Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet (10/100MBit), Realtek RTL8188EE (b g n )
:: Optical drive
hp CDDVDW SU-208FB
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 28 x 378 x 260
:: Weight
2.5 kg Power Supply: 0.456 kg
:: Battery
41 Wh Lithium-Ion, 14.8 V, 2620 mAh
:: Price
499 Euro
:: Operating System
FreeDos
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD webcam, Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 12 Months Warranty

 

Similar Laptops

Devices with the same GPU

» Lenovo Z40-59422614 Notebook Review
Core i5 4200U, 14.0", 2.066 kg

Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

» Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 2 15 Notebook Review
HD Graphics 4400, Core i5 4210U
» Lenovo IdeaPad G50-70 Notebook Review
Radeon R5 M230, Core i5 4200U
» Asus GL550JK-CN391H Notebook Review
GeForce GTX 850M, Core i7 4700HQ
» Lenovo B50-30 Notebook Review
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Celeron N2815

Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Amazon: Invalid XML response.

Amazon.com

Show results on Amazon.com

Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Low Price
+Good application performance
+Gaming suitable
+High storage capacity
 

Cons

-Not very bright screen w/ bluish cast
-Below average battery runtimes
-12 month warranty only

Shortcut

What we like

The purchase price and good configuration.

What we'd like to see

Considering the purchase price, we don't really miss anything. But a better screen never hurts.

What surprises us

HP delivers a rounded laptop without any serious drawbacks for 400 Euros.

The competition

Acer Aspire E1-572G, Asus X550LD-XX023H, Medion Akoya P6647, Lenovo B5400, HP Pavilion 15-n213eg, Lenovo G505s, Lenovo G500s, Acer Aspire V5-552G, Acer Aspire V5-561G, Acer Aspire V5-573G.

Rating

HP Compaq 15-a024sg
04/30/2014 v4
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
64 / 98 → 65%
Keyboard
62%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
61 / 95 → 64%
Weight
60 / 67 → 85%
Battery
77%
Display
71%
Games Performance
72 / 93 → 77%
Application Performance
60%
Temperature
79%
Noise
83 / 95 → 87%
Audio
45%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
66%
71%
Multimedia *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review HP Compaq 15-a024sg Notebook
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-05- 8 (Update: 2014-05-10)