HP Pavilion G6

8/8/2012 11:34:41 AM

The Pavilion G6's grey plastic chassis is hardly inspiring, but underneath are some surprisingly powerful components, Including a quad-core processor and dedicated graphics.

Taking center stage Is a quad-core AMD Llano A8-3520 CPU. It runs at 1.6GHz, but AMD's Turbo Core function can boost this to 2.5GHz for extra performance in single threaded applications. That, along with its 6GB of RAM, meant it completed our multimedia benchmarks with an overall score of 40, which is fast enough for most common applications. If you use multithreaded applications such as Adobe Photoshop, you should notice a significant boost over a dual-core processor.

Description: HP Pavilion G6
HP Pavilion G6

The processor has integrated graphics, but HP has added a dedicated Radeon 7450M card. This has 1GB of video memory and can work in CrossFire mode with the CPU’s onboard graphics to create a surprisingly powerful combination. In our Dirt 3 test, the G6 managed a very smooth 38.1 fps, so you'll be able to play modern games at reasonable levels of detail.

We expected battery life to suffer because of its processor and graphics card, but the G6 managed nearly six hours away from the mains. You’ll need to stick to light tasks but, unlike other quad-core laptops we've seen, there’s potential for working on the move.

Image quality is surprisingly good for a budget laptop, with plenty of brightness and reasonably vivid colors, although viewing angles are fairly basic. It has a limited amount of screen tilt and a glossy finish, so light reflections are more noticeable than on other laptops.

The keyboard is quite basic, but it is functional. The flat keys are grouped tightly together, but they’re full size so we didn't feel too cramped when typing. In typical HP fashion, the function keys have been repurposed as multimedia shortcuts, although you can disable this if you prefer.

Description: The keyboard is quite basic, but it is functional. The flat keys are grouped tightly together

The keyboard is quite basic, but it is functional. The flat keys are grouped tightly together

We had no trouble using the touchpad, although it’s smaller than we would have liked. It's sensitive enough to navigate the desktop quickly, and its raised surface makes it easy to find using your sense of touch alone If you’re working in the dark. Handily, a double-tap to the small recessed corner disables the touchpad should you prefer to use a mouse. The buttons directly below it push in rather far before they register a click, but at least they make a noise so you can tell when you've pressed them in far enough.

Unsurprisingly, there are no USB3 ports, but otherwise connectivity is good. Three standard USB ports, a multiformat card reader and a DVD optical drive are the highlights, but there's also audio input and output jacks and an Ethernet port, as well as HDMI and VGA video outputs.

Compared with the far more stylish Pavilion DV6, the G6 is something of an ugly duckling, albeit one with significantly more powerful components Inside. However, when it comes to real-world tests, very little separates the two. If you have multithreaded applications that can make the most of its quad-core processor then the G6 may perform better, but otherwise the cheaper DV6 is a better buy.








The G6 has powerful components, but it isn't significantly faster than the better-looking and slightly cheaper DV6

General-purpose laptop

AMD A8-3520M, 6GB RAM, 750GB disk, AMD Radeon 7450M graphics, DVD+/-RW +/-DL, 15.6in widescreen LCD, 2.6kg

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