HP’s Pavilion line of notebooks have been around a while and they’ve evolved in performance and also, shape and design. The existing line of Pavilion g6 uses Intel’s Sandy Bridge line of processors. These are the line of processors that were launched back in January 2011 and the g6 model we’re reviewing uses this same architecture. The Pavilion g6 model we’re looking at today is the model, 2008tx. A notebook with this sort of configuration is priced at just around the Rs. 40,000 mark, a budget that most people tend to have when they decide to spend on more than just a basic notebook. This is a trend that brands are aware of and there are quite a few options available for this price range.
Design and build quality
The Pavillion g6 at first glimpse is a decent looking notebook. It’s as most notebooks these days are, black in colour and made of plastic. There’s no sign of any fancy brushed metal panels anywhere on the notebook. The finished used for the cover as well as the insides is glossy plastic. In terms of weight, it’s not too heavy weighing at 2.47 kg - roughly the same as any other 15-inch notebook in its price range. Open up the notebook and you have the large grill that houses the speakers right in between the screen hinge and the keyboard.
A rather slim and rounded bezel - helps with the style of the Pavilion g6
HP has put a pattern-engraved trackpad that is easy to use and doesn’t stick to your fingers if you get sweaty. The keys are of decent quality and so is the hinge for the screen. The bezel for the screen has some flex if you put some pressure on it. It’s strong but there are slightly better built laptops at this price range. In terms of aesthetics and design, it’s certainly no looker but it’s certainly not an uninspiring design.
The HP Pavilion g6-2008tx uses an Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 2350M proessor that runs at a core speed of 2.3GHz, just a 100MHz faster than the Core i3 2330M processor, that’s used on many of the cheaper notebooks in the market. This processor has two cores and it can handle two threads per core. However, what you get in addition for the money you spend is an AMD Radeon HD7670M discrete graphics card, which should come handy should you want to do some amount of gaming on the notebook. There’s 4GB DDR3 memory, as you’d expect on most notebooks sold these days and also a 500GB hard drive.
Compacted up-down direction key setup
This is one of the larger notebooks with a 15.6-inch screen, which supports a resolution of 1366x768, standard for most notebooks in this range. There’s an HDMI port should you want to connect the notebook to an external display such as a monitor, television or projector. The integrated graphics solution should also help with gaming at a higher resolution. Everything else about the core components is standard - you get WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, a VGA port and three USB 2.0 ports. There are no USB 3.0 ports on this particular model. The speakers onboard the Pavilion g6 are made by Altec Lansing.
You don’t get any fancy hotkeys on this laptop. There are of course, shortcut keys to access certain features of the notebook but you won’t find any dedicated buttons for WiFi or volume controls. The Lenovo Z570 that we’ve received for review however, does have such buttons. The Pavilion g6’s keys have tiny indicators within them, for displaying status of wireless connections and if the sound on the notebook is muted or not.
Line of USB ports on one side of the notebook
The keyboard on the g6 is laid out well with chiclet style keys. The spacing between the keys could’ve been reduced but typing on the notebook doesn’t take much time getting used to. The left Ctrl key for example is placed in its default position, on the left bottom corner of the keyboard.
The Enter key also is larger than the ones found on some other notebooks. There’s even a dedicated numerical keypad for those who need to punch in a lot of numbers. The rest of the keys are evenly shaped and are easy to use, except for the direction keys. If you’re the kind of gamer who likes racing games for example and likes to use the directional keys to control the car, you’ll find the layout and size of the keys a little annoying. The Up and Down keys for example are really tiny while the sideways keys are of normal size.
The keyboard layout - includes a numerical pad
One of the nifty features on the g6 is the ability to turn on and off the trackpad. While most notebooks allow you to do this using the hotkey on the keyboard, the g6 has a small depression in the trackpad. When you touch this dot twice, it toggles the trackpad and there’s even a status indicator on the side that tells you if the trackpad is currently enabled or not.
When we reviewed the HP Pavilion g6, we found that it performs rather well as compared to the other Core i3 processor-powered notebooks in its price range in most of the CPU heavy benchmarks. It’s noticeably slower if you compare it to the Core i5 powered notebooks. Hard drive performance isn’t too shabby with read and write speeds hovering around the 85MB/s mark - not bad for a notebook hard drive.
The DVD drive along with status indicators on the other side
PC Mark 7 puts up a score of 1971, which is respectable when you compare it to the Lenovo Z570 with a similar configuration. It’s a tad slower at times because of the Core i2350M processor that’s used on the notebook. However, desktop applications won’t suffer because of it; only CPU-intensive ones such as video compression and file compression will show the lack of power. The effects of this processor can also be seen in 3D model rendering tests such as Cinebench 11.5. It puts out a score of 2.09 points as compared to a 2.61 from a notebook running an Intel Core i5 2450M processor. Thankfully, the new AMD Radeon 7670M GPU is able to make up for the slower processor. In graphics intensive benchmarks as 3DMark, you find it getting a rather good performance score of 15,059, as compared to under 8,000 on a notebook running an integrated graphics solution.
Battery life isn’t too shabby. On our intensive battery test that renders an animated 3D model nonstop, it ran for an hour and 28 minutes. This is better than most of the other notebooks we’ve reviewed. Of course, on regular use, you’ll be able to use the notebook for much longer than this. The screen is decent and audio quality is rather good on this particular model.
HP Pavilion g6 2008tx - A good mix of performance and value-for-money
The HP Pavillion g6 is a solid product, which has a good mix of performance as well as value-for-money. Most users would opt for a 14-inch or 15-inch notebook for around Rs. 35,000 but spending that little more in the case of the HP Pavilion g6 means you get a more solid graphics performance. Of course, if you’re only looking for regular browsing and the occasional HD movie playback, you could do without it.
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