HP G72 £420
28th Mar 2011 | 10:00
The HP G72-a10SA is a well built desktop replacement machine with a vibrant 17.3-inch display
As well as being highly prolific, HP rarely disappoints with its laptops and deserves its reputation as one of the top computer manufacturers. The G72-a10SA is an affordable laptop, yet still has some surprising features and a great screen.
The G72 has quite a large chassis so is best considered as strictly a home laptop. The 3kg weight is also fairly heavy, making it more of a desktop replacement than a travelling companion. The 230-minute battery life is satisfactory if not spectacular.
If you have children, you can rest assured that the build quality is strong. The plastic chassis can withstand some punishment, with no sign of flex. The silver design is inoffensive, although we preferred the brightly coloured Samsung.
The large chassis allows for a well-sized keyboard, including a separate numeric keypad. We enjoyed the firm typing action and decent travel, although there isn't much differentiation between the keys.
The touchpad is a generous size, but there's no boundary and it's easily swiped by accident when typing.
The vibrant 17.3-inch screen is exellent for watching films and viewing photos. It's as sharp as smaller screens thanks to the 1600 x 900-pixel resolution, with strong contrast and dark blacks on display.
One of Intel's older Pentium P6000 processors provides the power, and consequently it fades in comparison with the cutting-edge Intel Core machines. Anyone wishing to multitask with their office applications will still find performance satisfactory, although more intensive applications and games struggle.
Gaming potential is also greatly limited by the integrated Intel GMA HD graphics. Browsing photos and watching movies are the height of this machine's multimedia potential.
Battery life: 230 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 195
3DMark 2003: 3256
However, the G72 has some interesting features. For instance, while the 250GB of storage is less generous than most other laptops at this price point, the hard drive spins at 7200rpm, providing faster access to your data.
Additionally, the DVD drive features LightScribe technology, and there's a good selection of ports on offer, including an HDMI cable which can be connected to output to a high-definition TV or monitor.
We appreciated the G72-a10SA's strong feature set considering the low price, while the colourful display is excellent for anyone wishing to watch movies or view photos. Portability and performance are limited, however, so this is best used as a basic home office machine.
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