HP 255 G8 quick review – fast and portable device with great battery

Not so long ago, budget laptops were suitable for some light tasks like office work or browsing the Web. Today, we have much more powerful and versatile low-end CPUs as well as iGPUs. Because of that, you can use the inexpensive devices for watching 4K content, and even for some light games like CS:GO or Dota 2.

The HP 255 G8 is a typical example of a modern budget machine. It’s not a shiny ultrabook, but it’s light, it has slim bezels and it’s equipped with efficient hardware under the bonnet. This inexpensive device can be picked up with a decent variety of affordable AMD Zen, Zen+, and Zen 2 APUs.

This means you can rely on some power-efficient chips like the AMD Ryzen 3 5300U and AMD Ryzen 5 5500U. Expectedly, there are some powerful integrated graphics – the AMD Vega 6 (15W, Ryzen 4000/5000) and AMD Vega 7 (15W, Ryzen 4000/5000). The more budget-friendly configurations offer previous-gen products such as the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U.

The abovementioned specs sound decent for a laptop in the budget category. In addition, there is a 1080p IPS display option and two TN variants – one 1080p display and even a 768p variant. If you can afford the IPS display it’ll be the optimal solution, while the TN variants should be avoided if money isn’t a problem, especially the 768p display.

So, enough talking, let’s see how capable is the HP 255 G8.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-250-g8/

Contents


Specs Sheet

HP 250 G8 / 255 G8 - Specs

  • Innolux CMN1526
  • Color accuracy  7.2  2.8
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 1x 2280 M.2 NVMe/SATA slot  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 32GB
  • OS
  • Windows 11 Home, Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Pro, No OS
  • Battery
  • 41Wh, 3-cell, 41Wh
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate
  • Dimensions
  • 358 x 242 x 19.9 mm (14.09" x 9.53" x 0.78")
  • Weight
  • 1.74 kg (3.8 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • HDMI
  • 1.4b
  • Card reader
  • SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Ethernet LAN
  • 10, 100, 1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • optional
  • Microphone
  • Digital Microphone
  • Speakers
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Optical drive

All HP 250 G8 / 255 G8 configurations

#CommissionsEarned

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.

Ports

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.


Sound

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.


Drivers

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

Battery

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.


Storage performance

Our laptop is equipped with a 256GB NVMe drive and that’s the Kioxia KBG40ZNV256G. We inspect the drive’s performance with the 3DMark storage benchmark and here is the result:


CPU options

The HP 255 can be picked with a large variety of CPU options. That includes some AMD Zen, Zen+, and Zen 2 APUs – AMD Ryzen 3 5300U, AMD Ryzen 5 5500U, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, AMD Ryzen 3 3300U, etc. We can definitely recommend the Zen 2 variants – the AMD Ryzen 3 5300U, AMD Ryzen 5 5500U because they come with an improved single and multicore performance compared to their older Zen and Zen+ siblings.

HP 250 G8 / 255 G8 CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the HP 250 G8 / 255 G8 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which HP 250 G8 / 255 G8 model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.


GPU options

HP 255 G8 relies on iGPUs only when it comes to graphics power – the AMD Vega 6 (15W, Ryzen 4000/5000) and AMD Vega 7 (15W, Ryzen 4000/5000) as well as some older versions like the AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 (Ryzen 2000/3000) and AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 2000/3000).

HP 250 G8 / 255 G8 GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the HP 250 G8 / 255 G8 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which HP 250 G8 / 255 G8 model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.


Gaming tests (internal display)

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings) HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 63 fps 42 fps 29 fps

DOTA 2 HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings) HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS 83 fps 45 fps 25 fps

Gaming tests (external display)

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
MIN
MED
MAX
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 (R4000/5000, 15W) 33 FPS 25 FPS 18 FPS
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
VERY LOW
MED
MAX
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 (R4000/5000, 15W) 186 FPS 155 FPS 148 FPS
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
HIGH PERF
HIGH QLT
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 (R4000/5000, 15W) 117 FPS PLAY VIDEO 42 FPS PLAY VIDEO

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

AMD Ryzen 3 5300U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
HP 255 G8 3.55 GHz (B+37%) @ 66°C @ 29W 3.24 GHz (B+25%) @ 70°C @ 23W 2.91 GHz (B+12%) @ 66°C @ 15W
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Gen 6 (14″) 3.30 GHz (B+27%) @ 68°C @ 25W 3.12 GHz (B+20%) @ 75°C @ 22W 2.97 GHz (B+14%) @ 72°C @ 18W

No matter the fact that the cooling solution looks basic, it does the job well. In short-to-medium loads, the HP 255 G8 is slightly edging the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Gen 6 (14″) in terms of clocks but the HP device has better thermals. During longer loads, HP 255 G8 CPU is staying relatively cool while the processor frequency is 2.91 GHz.

Comfort during full load

When the device is under heavy stress, you can hear the fan but it’s moderately loud, luckily, the fan isn’t turning the laptop into a vacuum cleaner during longer usage. The left side of the keyboard gets a bit warm but that’s all – you’re going to sense just a little bit of heat under your fingers.

Verdict

It seems that the HP 255 G8, in the configuration that we’ve tested, is a great device that offers a much longer battery life compared to the Intel version that we have also tested. This is mainly because of the fast and efficient AMD Zen 2 APUs. Speaking of which, despite the fact that our device has just one preinstalled stick of 8GB DDR4-3200MHz RAM, the performance is definitely there.

The laptop feels snappy enough for everyday usage, every program starts fast not just because of the CPU – the NVMe drive adds a lot of good responsiveness to the whole package. Dual-channel RAM will add even more CPU and iGPU performance so it’ll be good if you get a 2x8GB DDR4-3200MHz configuration. This will make the laptop a bit more futureproof.

The good news is that the iGPU can be used for light games – sure, this HP notebook is not a gaming device but you can have some fun after work with games like CS:GO, Dota 2, Rocket League, Team Fortress 2, etc. The AMD Vega 6 (15W, Ryzen 4000/5000) is a good choice for light gaming on a budget because it’s an integrated solution that doesn’t take any additional space inside of the laptop and that leads to lower heat dissipation and power consumption.

At first sight, the cooling solution looks like a budget and a rather basic solution, but in real-life situations it doing a decent job. The CPU boost above its base clock all the time no matter the load, and the temperatures are always in check. Despite the fact that the cooling has just one fan, the noise during heavy stress is okay – not silent but it’s clearly acceptable for comfortable daily usability.

The upgradability options are another pleasant surprise. For such an inexpensive device, this one has two SODIMM slots as well as an M.2 port for fast NVMe drive and a SATA port for regular SSDs or HDDs. You can add one big hard drive for backup or maybe it can store your collection of movies, pictures, music, etc. Having two SODIMMs instead of soldered RAM means that you can add more memory in the future and that extends the device’s lifespan.

The I/O of the HP 255 G8 isn’t too populated, but it offers an SD card slot and a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 1) – not bad for such a budget notebook. In terms of connectivity, HP 255 G8 has a Gigabit Ethernet port and if you want a fast wireless connection, you can pick a machine with an optional Wi-Fi 6 WLAN card.

The good news is that the laptop comes with decent portability – it’s not too thick and the weight is on the low side. Additionally, the lid and the bottom plate have a grippy surface and that helps when you’re carrying the device from room to room. Moreover, despite its plastic build, the HP 255 G8 is a rigid machine that can survive some twists while the machine is closed. Last but not least, this device has a great battery life – you can watch one or two movies, you can browse the Web for hours – the laptop can survive in this situation when it’s away from the charger.

Now it’s time for some drawbacks. One of them is that you can’t open the lid with a single hand, and the lid itself is a bit bendable. The display color coverage is too low but that’s not a big problem if you’re not going to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The plastic build seems normal for that kind of price tag and we observe some flexes around the keyboard deck. Sadly, but the touchpad isn’t a great unit, it’s not that accurate and its surface doesn’t provide good gliding.

In short, the HP 255 G8 is a light and budget device that can be a decent performer if you choose a configuration with AMD Zen 2 CPUs. These processors are fast, the iGPUs can be used for light gaming and 4K video content, the battery life is great, and the notebook has a comfortable keyboard.

Pros

  • Tons configuration options
  • Great keyboard for this kind of price tag
  • Great upgrade options
  • Portable and light


Cons

  • Plastic build
  • Uncomfortable touchpad

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-250-g8/

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Strenki
Strenki
1 year ago

Thanks for the review, very helpful! Also because of this review I have just ordered HP 255 G8 4K7N7EA. Much love 🙂

SakA
SakA
4 months ago

Did you not notice that although there is space for a regular sata disk, there is no slot/controller to connect it to?