If you are looking for a second laptop for the family or something just to play around with and give the kids you are probably just need a basic laptop. The new HP 250 G3 G4U97UT laptop is probably all you would need. This notebook from HP has the basics and is now a lot slimmer thanks to them cutting down the size. The only question is was thinning the device down a good idea or did the company get rid of some much needed space in a race to push out a low cost machine?
While you could get the HP 250 G3 for just about $340 it is a bit pricey considering we would only consider using it for the basic home or office task. Don’t expect any hardcore editing or gaming with this machine. It comes with 2GB memory with a 500GB hard drive and features the Intel Celeron N2830 that has a clock speed of 2.16GHz. For the operating system you are going to get the Windows 8.1 with Bing already preinstalled on the device. This is 15.6 inch laptop and by comparison you could get a Acer Aspire and even one with Haswell architecture that will give you more power and still pay less money.
When it comes to the display you are going to get a 15.6″ TN display from LG and a max screen resolution of 1366 x 768. Don’t expect high end viewing from this laptop and forget about being outside in the sun and being able to use it. If you want to work outside make sure you are in the shade. The case of the 250 G3 from HP is made from a plastic matte and while you might consider the plastic lower quality it is great for not showing fingerprints and allow you to grip the notebook very well. This will surely help aid in not dropping the laptop. It’s a very portable laptop and is just over an inch thick and weighs 4.7lbs. Be careful on the edges around some of the ports as they seem to have sharp edges.
For your connectivity the 250 G3 G4U97UT offers up three USB ports but of the three only one is USB 3.0. One downside is that all of the ports are the same color. On many other devices you can tell the difference between the USB 3.0 ports because they are blue in color. Most all of the connections for this laptop are in the front. You could say that this is both good and bad. Good because you can easily access all of the ports but bad because if you have a lot of things plugged up you are going to risk tangling everything up near the front of your laptop especially if you use a mouse that is connected. You get the power socket, Kensington lock, 1 VGA output, 1 HDMI output, 1 Ethernet, 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, DVD drive, SD card slot, and a combo audio jack.
This HP 250 comes with a chiclet keyboard like many other notebooks on the market. It does however offer a nice feel when typing and the keys are for the most part very flat. You also get a touchpad that measures about 4.4 x 2.1 inches that have click keys instead of a mouse. Nothing to complain about or change with the input devices as the both work like a charm.
For the $340 version of the HP 250 G3 performance isn’t much to brag about. This is clearly a machine to be used for light office work, surfing the web, and emailing. For someone wanting or needed a machine with good to great performance for heavy task we suggest looking at something else or trying to upgrade to other options for this one. However by the time you upgrade to a 4GB with the Intel Pentium N3530 quad core you will be looking at spending close to $600. This one comes with the Intel Celeron N2830 dual core processor and HP clearly did this in order to keep the pricing down. You would using find this processor in some of the smaller netbooks and notebooks as it only has a clock speed of 2.16GHz and with turbo up to 2.41GHz. For storage you 500GB which for most people is more than enough.
If you are looking for quality sound and a device that is good for gaming you need to look some place else as this isn’t going to cut it. Like most laptops in this price range the audio just not great. You won’t hear any bass and the sound seems a bit compressed. If you are willing to listen to everything on your headphones you will get a better sound quality. As for gaming the 250 G3 is not worth trying to attempt them on. You may be able to play the older games but even then they need to be on low graphics setting. This is a fanless laptop but even still it remains pretty much cool in both idle mode and under a hour or so of heavy use. The battery life is just short of 3.5 hours and there are a lot of other laptops out there with 6 to 8 hours.
In conclusion you can find a lot better machine for the same or lesser price. While the this 15.6″ HP 250 G3 is a solid device that offers a nice grip, has a good feeling keyboard, and very quiet due to the fanless design we think there are other options out there you should consider. When you look at the $339 price and the fact that the performance leaves you needing and wanting more and a battery life that well kind of sucks you could take a look at other HP laptops or even the Acer Aspire.