Review Update HP 255 G2 Notebook

Sascha Mölck (translated by Martina Osztovits), 03/27/2014

Minimal. With the HP 255, HP focuses on private and professional users looking for the cheapest possible work tool. A price of significantly below 400 Euros (~$549) is definitely "cheap." Our review reveals whether the notebook is also convincing.

For the original German review, see here.

HP added new notebooks to the highly competitive market of cheap 15.6-inch notebooks with the 255 G2 series. The computers of this series feature the latest Kabini APUs from AMD.

We compare our test model to the following competitors: Acer Aspire E1-572 (Core i3-4010U, HD Graphics 4400) and Asus F550CA-XX078D (Pentium 2117U, HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)).

Since the 255 G2 is technically identical to the already reviewed 250 G2 (Pentium N3510, HD Graphics (Bay Trail)), this article will not cover case, connectivity, input devices, display, and speakers in detail. Information about these is available in our HP 250 G2 review.

Display

The HP 255 G2 and the HP 250 G2 feature the same display. However, its rates are slightly different, which is normal. Two identical screens never correspond to 100%. Overall, the brightness is still below average and the colors are modest.

218
cd/m²
210
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
214
cd/m²
223
cd/m²
206
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
194
cd/m²
194
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 223 cd/m²
Average: 207 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 184 cd/m²
Black: 0.39 cd/m²
Contrast: 572:1

Performance

With the 255 G2, HP offers a simple 15.6-inch office notebook. The computer is suitable for simple tasks like surfing, Skype, text processing, and watching videos. It is available for about 370 Euros (~$508). According to HP's press release, they would offer many models. However, we could not find any other configuration at the time of testing.

Processor

The 255 G2 features an E1-2100 APU from AMD's current Kabini generation. The CPU part of the APU consists of a dual-core processor clocked at 1 GHz. There is no Turbo, but the TDP is very frugal with just 8 Watts. The CPU can maintain its maximum clock in the Cinebench CPU benchmarks. The 255 G2 cannot keep up with its competitors. Their Intel processors are far superior compared to the AMD APU in single-thread as well as multi-thread applications.

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.47 Points ∼3%
HP 250 G2 (F0Z00EA)
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3510, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1.48 Points ∼8% +215%
HP Pavilion 15-n050sg
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
1.48 Points ∼8% +215%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.14 Points ∼6% +143%
Asus F550CA-XX078D
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2117U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
1.44 Points ∼8% +206%
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.87 Points ∼11% +298%
CPU Single 64Bit
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.25 Points ∼14%
HP 250 G2 (F0Z00EA)
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3510, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.26 Points ∼14% +4%
HP Pavilion 15-n050sg
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
0.39 Points ∼21% +56%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.61 Points ∼33% +144%
Asus F550CA-XX078D
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2117U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
0.73 Points ∼39% +192%
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.76 Points ∼41% +204%
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
1656
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
1403
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
747
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
1640 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
1668 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
892 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
8.48 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
0.47 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.25 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
7.69 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
36 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
20 Points
Help

System Performance

The system is rather slow. You will definitely notice the slow APU inside the notebook when launching applications or opening folders. Accordingly, the PCMark 7 result is not overwhelming. The F550CA and especially the Aspire perform significantly better.

PC Mark
PCMark 71083 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1083 Points ∼16%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1484 Points ∼22% +37%
HP Pavilion 15-n050sg
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
1501 Points ∼23% +39%
HP 250 G2 (F0Z00EA)
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3510, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1604 Points ∼24% +48%
Asus F550CA-XX078D
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2117U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
2025 Points ∼31% +87%
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2385 Points ∼36% +120%

Storage Devices

The 255 G2 features a hard drive from Hitachi's Travelstar series. It has a capacity of 500 GB and works with 5400 revolutions per minute. Overall, the results are throughout slightly worse than typical for 5400 rpm drives nowadays.

Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Transfer Rate Minimum: 44.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 105.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 77.8 MB/s
Access Time: 18.3 ms
Burst Rate: 116.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: 7.3 %

Graphics Card

The 255 G2 features the Radeon HD 8210 with a clock rate of 300 MHz. It supports DirectX 11.1. Its performance is on par with the HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge) GPU of the F550CA according to the 3DMark 2011 benchmarks. Neither competitor can keep up with the HD Graphics 4400 graphics core of the Aspire.

3D Mark
3DMark 11372 points
3DMark Ice Storm13163 points
3DMark Cloud Gate1161 points
3DMark Fire Strike215 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
372 Points ∼3%
Asus F550CA-XX078D
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2117U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
365 Points ∼3% -2%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
480 Points ∼4% +29%
HP Pavilion 15-n050sg
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
613 Points ∼5% +65%
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
HD Graphics 4400, 4010U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
782 Points ∼6% +110%

Gaming Performance

The performance of the APU is virtually insufficient for computer games. The computer can at best run a few games with low resolution and low quality settings including Dead Space 3 and StarCraft II. The Aspire and the F550CA are not significantly different.

low med.high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 15.88.8fps
Thief (2014) 2.2fps

Emissions

System Noise

Although the computer features a frugal APU, the fan runs continuously and audibly. This can get annoying quickly in quiet environments. The reason for the permanently running fan is a BIOS option found in many HP notebooks: "Fan always on" is enabled. Once this option is disabled, the fan is silent most of the time and only hard drive access is audible. The fan does not get especially loud under full load.

Noise Level

Idle 34.3 / 34.3 / 34.3 dB(A)
DVD 38.2 / dB(A)
Load 34.5 / 34.7 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The HP 255 G2 during the stress test.
The HP 255 G2 during the stress test.

All three computers in our comparison feature frugal processors or APUs. As a result, the temperatures are in the green while idle and under load. Our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark for at least one hour) shows the full performance for the CPU and GPU, both with AC power and on battery (CPU: 1 GHz, GPU: 300 MHz). The CPU temperature leveled off at around 44 °C during the stress test.

 23.9 °C24.7 °C23.8 °C 
 24.5 °C25 °C24.2 °C 
 24.8 °C24.9 °C26.6 °C 
Maximum: 26.6 °C
Average: 24.7 °C
24.1 °C25 °C24.3 °C
26.2 °C25.3 °C25.1 °C
28 °C25.4 °C24.7 °C
Maximum: 28 °C
Average: 25.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  31.3 °C | Room Temperature 23.1 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The AMD APU's TDP of 8 Watts is only half as high as the two Intel processors' (15 and 17 Watts), which means the HP is overall more frugal than the competition. While all three devices are comparable during idle, the 255 G2 performs significantly better than the Aspire and the F550CA during the stress test with a maximum power consumption of 16.4 Watt.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.3 / 0.2 Watt
Idle 4.7 / 7.9 / 7.9 Watt
Load 15 / 16.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940
HP 255 G2
AMD E1-2100, AMD Radeon HD 8210, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Asus F550CA-XX078D
Intel Pentium 2117U, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
HP 250 G2 (F0Z00EA)
Intel Pentium N3510, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk
Intel Core i3-4010U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Power Consumption
-28%
-20%
-32%
Idle Minimum *4.75.8
-23%
6.2
-32%
5.6
-19%
Idle Average *7.97.9
-0%
9.3
-18%
8.1
-3%
Idle Maximum *7.98.5
-8%
10.4
-32%
9.2
-16%
Load Average *1522.9
-53%
15.4
-3%
24.2
-61%
Load Maximum *16.425.4
-55%
19.2
-17%
26
-59%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Our practical WLAN test uses a script that refreshes websites every 40 seconds while the energy-saving mode is active and the display brightness is adjusted to around 150 cd/m². The 255 G2 achieves a runtime of 4:41 hours, which is okay for such an inexpensive and frugal notebook. The F550CA (3:26 h) has to be recharged much earlier. We could not run this test on the Aspire.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
4h 41min

Verdict

HP 255 G2
HP 255 G2

Because of its APU, the HP 255 G2 ranks at the bottom in terms of performance. It can be used for text processing, watching videos, Internet surfing and Skype. The notebook always works quietly - once you disabled the option "Fan always on" in the BIOS - and only requires little energy. In addition, the battery life is good in our realistic WLAN test. The matte display is also alright considering the price of the notebook. It has a good contrast and at least average brightness.

Despite its pros, there is no real good reason to buy this notebook. Its biggest weakness is the slow APU. There are much faster notebooks available in the price segment of the 255 G2 including the Aspire and the F550CA and also the Aspire's sister model - the Aspire E1-532. The latter is already available from 250 Euros (~$343) - without Windows OS.

The Acer Aspire E1-572 is not only an alternative to the 255 G2 because of its much faster CPU, but also because of its matte full HD display. The Asus F550CA-XX078D also features a faster processor. In addition, it is already available for about 320 Euros (~$439) - without Windows OS.

Note: This test model was already rated according to the new rating system (v4), so the total rating is not necessarily comparable to that of older articles.

In Review: The HP 255 G2 F0Z61EA
In Review: The HP 255 G2 F0Z61EA

Specifications

HP 255 G2

:: Processor
AMD E1-2100 1 GHz
:: Mainboard
AMD Yangtze
:: Memory
4096 MB, DDR3
:: Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon HD 8210, Core: 300 MHz, Catalyst 13.12
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, Chi Mei CMO15A1, TN LED, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380, 500 GB 5400 rpm , 420 GB free
:: Soundcard
AMD Kabini - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: audio combo, Card Reader: SD,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8102E Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet (10/100MBit), Atheros Communications AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
hp CDDVDW SU-208FB
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 28.1 x 378 x 259
:: Weight
2.5 kg Power Supply: 0.194 kg
:: Battery
41 Wh Lithium-Ion, 14.8 V, 2620 mAh
:: Price
379 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD web cam, Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Cyberlink Media Suite 10, Cyberlink PowerDVD 12, Cyberlink Youcam, McAfee LiveSafe - Internet Security, MS Office 365 (trial version), Windows Essentials 2012, 24 Months Warranty

 

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Devices with the same GPU

» Review Update Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14D Convertible
E-Series E1-2100, 14.0", 1.883 kg
» Review HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11-e000sb Notebook
A-Series A4-1250, 11.6", 1.4 kg

Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

» Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 2 15 Notebook Review
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» Lenovo IdeaPad G50-70 Notebook Review
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» Asus GL550JK-CN391H Notebook Review
GeForce GTX 850M, Core i7 4700HQ

Links

Compare Prices

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Pro

+frugal
+cool
+24 months warranty
+matte display
 

Cons

-weak APU
-BIOS option "Fan always on" is enabled by default

Shortcut

What we like

The low power consumption.

What we would like to see

A faster APU.

What surprises us

The display is decent for the price range of the notebook.

The competition

Acer Aspire E1-572, Asus F550CA, Acer Aspire E1-532, HP 250 G2, HP Pavilion 15-n050sg, Lenovo G500s, Lenovo G505s, Acer Aspire E1-522HP Compaq 15-h024sg.

Rating

HP 255 G2
03/18/2014 v4
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
66 / 98 → 67%
Keyboard
69%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
63%
Weight
60 / 67 → 85%
Battery
86%
Display
74%
Games Performance
33 / 85 → 39%
Application Performance
36%
Temperature
94%
Noise
81%
Audio
44%
Camera
48 / 85 → 56%
Add Points
-2%
Average
59%
70%
Office *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Update HP 255 G2 Notebook
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-03-27 (Update: 2014-03-27)