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HP G62-b18SA review

Barry de la Rosa
24 Feb 2011
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
HP G62-b18SA
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
380
inc VAT

Solid construction screen and enough performance for everyday tasks at an extremely attractive price.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.2kg, 2.26GHz Intel Core i3-350M, 3.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The G62 borrows design elements from previous HP laptops, but thankfully loses some of the faults, such as the dodgy all-in-one touchpad that put us off the dv6-3065ea. It includes a Core i3 processor, an internal optical drive and a spacious 15.6in screen, but comes at a price that’s only a bit higher than some netbooks.

An Intel Core i3-350M provides the grunt, running at 2.26GHz and backed up by 3GB of RAM. This isn't the latest or fastest Core i3 processor but an overall result of 80 in our benchmarks shows it to be powerful enough for most applications. It’s a huge improvement on netbooks, which typically manage scores of around 19.

It's reasonably portable, weighing in at 2.2kg. It's also power-efficient, and lasted for five hours and 34 minutes in our light-usage battery test. One reason for the healthy battery life is the lack of a dedicated graphics card. The integrated graphics chip can't handle intensive games, as shown by its measly 8fps in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark, but it’s fine for everything else including HD video playback.

HP G62-b18SA

It's a great-looking laptop: the textured plastic outer shell has a metallic look and a smart pattern, while the clean lines and rounded edges make it feel satisfyingly chunky. Meanwhile, the glossy black screen bezel and touches of silver on the hinges and buttons add a touch of bling. The keyboard sits in a recess that looks as if it's been carved out of the bronze case, and the touchpad is cleverly built into this design, with only a small bump delineating its top edge.

It's not perfect – the touchpad has the same textured surface that covers the rest of the case, and thus has more friction than a normal touchpad surface – but it works. We also found the single see-saw button a bit stiff. The function keys' roles are reversed, so you don't have to press the Fn key to perform shortcut actions, but it complicates keyboard commands such as Alt-F4. There's a column of shortcut keys down the left side that confused us – we kept on hitting the Calculator key instead of Ctrl.

Thankfully, the keys themselves have a light, crisp action that provides adequate feedback. The layout of the main keys is standard, and there's a double-height Enter key. Above the keyboard is a speaker grille that pumped out a fair volume, although the sound was tinny and lacked bass.

Even with LED backlights, the screen wasn't as bright as others we've tested, but it was even and had a slightly warm cast. The glossy finish, coupled with tight vertical viewing angles, meant that we had to adjust the lid's tilt carefully. Once we’d got it right, we found image quality to be reasonable with strong colours and decent contrast.

It has its niggles, such as the odd keyboard layout, but overall the G62 is fantastic value. It's as powerful as much pricier laptops and its battery life is extremely competitive. It wins our Budget Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i3-350M
Processor clock speed2.26GHz
Memory3.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size37x374x246mm
Weight2.2kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD Graphics
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory64MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedMicrosoft Office Starter 2010, CyberLink PowerDVD 9
Optional extras£26

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£380
Detailswww.hp.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.comet.co.uk

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