HP G72 review

21 Jan 2011

A stylish desktop replacement laptop that looks good and plays hard; top value too

Price when reviewed: 
538(£538 inc VAT)
4

HP's G72 laptop boasts a generous screen size, stylish design and decent specifications, but surprisingly it's also a budget desktop replacement without a steep price tag to match.

It's encased in an elephant grey chassis, and the subtle geometric pattern etched onto the surface adds visual charm, a luxury often missing from budget desktop replacements. It's only when you touch the surface of the G72 that it becomes clear the chassis is plastic rather than aluminium.

Despite the plastic casing, overall build quality feels reassuring, and although the screen displays more flex than we'd like, we're confident it would survive in a bag during transit. Tipping the scales at just shy of 3kg and with fairly chunky dimensions, it's certainly not dainty, but that's not overly heavy for the size.

HP G72

Under the hood the line-up looks good too: HP has employed a low-voltage 2.27GHz Core i3-350M, at the less powerful end of the i3 line but still capable of handling most tasks with ease. In our application benchmarks it gained a score of 1.3, which is respectable, and it's backed up with 4GB of DDR3 RAM - a healthy helping that should enable you to run as many apps as you need simultaneously without impinging on responsiveness.

There's no dedicated graphics chip, and a result of just 13fps in the Low quality Crysis test shows intensive titles will be beyond the HP G72, but HD video is well within its reach. It tackled both 720p and 1080p HD video files well and we also found both YouTube HD and the demanding BBC iPlayer HD channel played smoothly on the 1,600 x 900, 17in display.

Details

Price ex VAT £448
Price inc VAT £538
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 4
Performance 4

Physical specifications

Dimensions 412 x 269 x 32.4mm (WDH)
Weight 2.880kg
Travelling weight 3.3kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i3-350
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3

Screen and video

Screen size 17.3in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,600
Resolution screen vertical 900
Resolution 1600 x 900
Graphics chipset Intel HD graphics
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 500GB
Hard disk Seagate ST9500325AS
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Optical drive HP
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
USB ports (downstream) 3
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Above keyboard/Front edge
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3mp
Fingerprint reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 5hr 6min
Battery life, heavy use 1hr 30min
Overall application benchmark score 1.30
Office application benchmark score 1.02
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.34
Encoding application benchmark score 1.42
Multitasking application benchmark score 1.46
3D performance (crysis) low settings 13fps

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS family Windows 7