Product Type: Hewlett-Packard laptops
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A Laptop That Makes Me HP
HP Pavilion g6-113sa
Member Name: rosebud2001
HP Pavilion g6-113sa
Advantages: Range of colours available, excellent screen, decent speakers
Disadvantages: Battery life not as advertised, can be slow to boot up, not as stylish as a tablet
I did a little research into laptops and certainly when it came to value for money the HP seemed hard to beat. My main concern was the fact I haven't had any experience of an HP computer for many years - not since the mid 90s when my husband had an HP desktop computer which cost a small fortune and when considered from a 2011 perspective had no power whatsoever, never mind much in the way of a hard drive.
I have, up until fairly recently, been brand loyal to HP for printers and it was my rather bad experience with three HP printers in the space of just over a year which was my biggest stumbling block but at the end of the day this laptop was on budget, was available and most importantly of all, was available in pink - so I bought it.
In an era where sexy tablets are overtaking the traditional laptop, the HP Pavilion is quite a clunky looking thing in comparison. The outer casing which in our machine is bright pink but is also available in red and blue, is made of plastic which has been given a metallic effect. Despite the clunky look the laptop has rounded edges to give it a more contemporary feel and on the basis of looks alone it's perfect for a teenager.
The keyboard is black which looks rather nice against the pink surround and the whole thing weighs 2.6 kilos.
Main specifications are:-
* 500 GB hard drive
* 4 GB of RAM
* 1.6 GHz dual core AMD processor
* 15.6 inche LED with HD capabilities screen
* Windows 7 Home Premium pre installed
* built in wifi adaptor
* 3 USB sockets
* 1 HDMI socket
* SD card reader
* DVD-RW drive
* built in webcam and microphone
Although this is my daughter's laptop I have extensive experience of using it both in setting it up as my daughter lacks the patience to set up any computer and in general use too.
Setting up was very straightforward - just power up and follow the prompts. HP do not provide any software discs with this laptop so the box only contains the laptop, a set up leaflet and the power cable. Very little additional software is included - only a trial version of MacAfee and some links to Snapfish, eBay and Skype. The only other software included is HP related but none of it includes a user manual - you have to go online for that.
Getting online was wonderfully intuitive and I have to say I really like how intuitive Windows 7 is. I had to activate the wifi adaptor to get it to pick up the signal but this is easy to spot - it's the F12 key on the keyboard and illuminates when the wifi adaptor is activated. Once I had typed in my network security key we were good to go. I then installed AVG, Office 2010, iTunes and Google Chrome, and we were ready to get down to business. My daughter is music daft so my first job was to transfer over her large collection of music and video files and I was pleased with the transfer speeds from her external hard drive.
One of the first things to strike me about this laptop was how much better the screen is in comparison to my daughter's old Dell Inspiron 1545. This screen which has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, offers much better picture quality and it's obvious rather quickly that this is capable of handling HD images. The improvement in the picture quality was particularly noticeable when playing video content or a DVD. It's just a shame this machine doesn't have a BluRay drive but I guess at £349 you can't expect the world.
My only criticism of the screen is you do have to be sitting directly in front of it to see it clearly - on the occasions I share the laptop with my daughter it can be tricky for us both to see the entire screen clearly.
The laptop can be quite slow booting up which is a bit of a disappointment to my rather impatient daughter. It can, however, cope with several programs all running at the same time without much in the way of problems and this is very important as my daughter never has less than four programs running at once and hates for her computer to freeze.
One thing I really like about the laptop is the mousepad. My daughter's old Dell was piano black once opened and the mousepad was a dust magnet and also prone to smearing. On the HP Pavilion the mousepad is much larger and is textured with the control buttons underneath. I really find this much easier to use and more importantly, much easier to keep clean, and it's also incredibly responsive.
The laptop contains Altec Lansing speakers and I have to say I have been very impressed with them. The speakers are located around the bottom rim of the laptop so the sound can be a bit muffled if you have the computer sitting on your lap but if you use it at a desk the sound is excellent. I have to say I was genuinely surprised at how good music sounds on this laptop and my daughter is in no rush to buy external speakers for this, which mama is very pleased about as it saves her money.
The battery life on this is significantly better than the old Dell but the 4 hours listed by HP is rather optimistic - shave an hour off that for a more realistic figure if you want to have a screen that isn't dimmed to such an extent it's hard to see. Even using the power saving devices HP suggest when you run this laptop on the battery I don't see much of an extension in battery life at all. Finally, although the laptop does heat up it is well ventilated and doesn't get anything like as hot as the old Dell got which makes it far more comfortable to have sitting on your lap.
The specs on this HP laptop are perhaps a little too low for someone who wants really high end graphics and power but for a teenage girl who wants a laptop to do homework, surf the net and manage her iPod this is perfect and more to the point it won't break the bank either.
It looks good, isn't too heavy to carry around, has a battery life which is a vast improvement on her old laptop and thanks to the HDMI slot can be connected to her TV to enable HD content to be played there.
We have both been delighted with this laptop and while it's not an incredibly powerful laptop it's a decent enough workhorse so if you aren't looking for a sexy tablet but want technology you can trust, I can highly recommend this machine.
Summary: A cheap, cheerful and colourful laptop from HP
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