The HP 250 G7 has the insides of a performance laptop and the exterior of a cheap one. It has a full Core i5 processor, SSD storage and 8GB RAM for under £450. Many laptops well over £1000 have a similar core spec. Here’s our full review.

Can you handle the sacrifices, though? The HP 250 G7 is a style-free zone. The trackpad charitably clarifies as ‘basic’, and, most importantly, it uses an inferior TN display panel. Don’t be fooled by its otherwise-good 1080p resolution.

It’s still one of the best buys for sheer practical value, though, particularly now the glossier rival Acer Swift 3 costs £679 for the same spec.


In the UK, the HP 250 G7 is available for just £429 and has decent specs. Ebuyer provided our review sample, which is £399 after cashback. You can also get the laptop from places like Amazon and HP direct.

The US price isn’t so reasonable at $679 for the model we’ve tested and $599 for a model with 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard disk drive. Your best option is to get the SSD model from Newegg at $599.

See our chart of the best budget laptops competing with the Acer Aspire 3 and Lenovo V330R.

Design & Build

The HP 250 G7 is a very plain laptop. Its shell is grey, peppered with black parts like the keys and screen surround. There’s not a single plate of aluminium to see, and no attempt to look glossy or higher-end than the price.

You’d have to search for a discontinued bargain or make do with a Chromebook to get higher-end design elements at this price, though, and we’re pleased HP has kept the design sensible and straightforward. All the plastic panels do have an embossed texture. It makes the surfaces more “grippy” and avoids the tacky feel of plain plastic.

HP does not avoid the overall cheap impression, though. It is not so much about flexing in the HP 250 G7. There’s a bit of it, but not loads. It’s more how the laptop reacts to bumps and taps. Every resulting sound is a little high-pitch, giving the impression that the plastic shell here is relatively slight or thin.

This effect isn’t necessarily a given among cheap laptops, either. Some of Acer’s Chromebooks seem made to withstand a war.

The HP 250 G7 is a 15.6 laptop, so it naturally isn’t particularly small or light either. It weighs 1.78kg and is 22.5mm thick. There’s none of the slim bezel design you get in some high-end laptops either, so the footprint is relatively substantial.

However, during a few weeks of testing, we carried the HP 250 G7 in a rucksack on a few occasions, and it wasn’t a terrible burden. We prefer 13- and 14-in laptops for portable work, but this one doesn’t feel entirely out of place when given such a job.

It’s under 2kg, not closer to 3kg, so for a 15.6 budget laptop, it’s not heavy

Keyboard & Trackpad

Not fancy, but refined: that’s the HP 250 G7 way. It extends to the keyboard and trackpad too.

The keys make the same higher-pitch sound as the case itself, which doesn’t exactly exude quality. And there’s a fair bit of flex to the surround when you apply pressure.

However, we’re primarily happy enough with the feel. There’s proper travel to each key, and when you analyse the tactile feedback ignoring that slightly hollow sound, the level of resistance and the “clonk” of the depression are perfect.

Innovating With the Cloud

The HP 250 G7 does not have a backlight, but this should surprise no one at £429.

Similarly, the trackpad is distinctly non-luxurious but serviceable. There’s no clicky action to the pad itself, so you must use the separate buttons below unless you’ll be happy with zero physical feedback. We aren’t.

Again, the button action sounds cheap but feels better than it sounds.

The pad itself is (of course) plastic rather than glass too. There was almost zero chance of HP using glass here, though, and it’s both smooth and of a good size.


The HP 250 G7’s screen sounds excellent on paper, but it is one of its weakest areas, like many budget laptops.

A 15.6in screen with 1080p resolution seems to offer everything you could ask of a cheap workhorse laptop. There’s plenty of display space and enough pixels to make data-packed applications look OK.

However, the panel is elementary. It uses TN technology, which does not provide specific benchmarks of image quality most of us have come to expect, having been spoilt by phones and tablets.

Viewing angles and colour are the clearest offenders. Look at the HP 250 G7 screen dead-on; it seems fine enough, but each degree of tilt worsens its appearance. Fold the display forward slightly, and it becomes washed out. Turn it backwards, the image turns shadowy, and colours eventually invert.


The HP 250 G1 is a business-oriented laptop that focuses on mobility. Despite its small size, the computer is mechanical by an Intel Core i3-3110M processor with a clock rate of 2.4 GHz. Alongside 6 GB of RAM, the HP 250 G1 is no pushover when you compare its performance with other mobility-based laptops.