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HP G62-b18SA review

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.


15.6 in 1,366×768 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 ****
Processor Intel Core i3-350M
Processor clock speed 2.26GHz
Memory 3.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 37x374x246mm
Weight 2.2kg
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 64MB


Total storage capacity 320GB
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g/n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Office Starter 2010, CyberLink PowerDVD 9
Optional extras £26

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £380

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