The Bottom Line
Oct 25 2011 - Than main advantage that the HP Pavilion g4-1226nr brings over other laptops under $600 is a smaller and more compact design that doesn't drop features such as a standard DVD drive. In terms of performance and features, it is pretty much inline with most 15-inch laptops in the same price. It does feature Bluetooth support for wireless peripherals which is nice but the smaller size means that it lacks a numeric keypad. HP also chose to use a lower resoluton webcam which could impact those that like to video chat frequently.
- Smaller And Lighter
- Comfortable Keyboard
- Lacks USB 3.0 or eSATA Ports
- Lower Resolution Webcam
- Intel Core i3-2330M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 14" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 3000 Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
- 13.4" x 9.1" x 1.4" @ 4.7lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Review - HP Pavilion g4-1226nr
Oct 25 2011 - For many computer companies, the standard size laptop with full features is 15-inches. More compact systems are available with 13-inch displays but they often will drop items such as the optical drive due to space or costs. HP is one of the companies that offers systems with 14-inch displays that offer a slightly more compact design than the average 15-inch model but with most of the same features.
The HP Pavilion g4-1226nr is powered by the second generation Intel Core i3-2330M dual core processor. Now, this is a slightly faster processor than the i3-2310M that is found in most laptops under $600. While it will show a slight performance edge in more demanding tasks, most users would be hard press to tell the difference in web browsing, productivity or media watching that are the most common computer tasks. It still isn't quite suited for doing demanding tasks like desktop video especially compared to quad core mobile processors but it can do them. The 4GB of DDR3 memory is the typical amount found in the average budget laptop.
Storage features are typical of pretty much every budget laptop systems. A 500GB hard drive provides a decent amount of space for applications, data and media files. It spins at the 5400rpm rate that is standard for most laptop drives. Performance from it is average and nothing that really sets it apart from other systems. One downside to the smaller case is the fact that there are only three USB ports and none of them are of the new USB 3.0 rate. This combined with the lack of an eSATA port mean that expanding the storage with a high speed external storage drive isn't really an option. At least the 14-inch laptop frame still have room for a dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD and DVD media.
The 14-inch display doesn't compromise on resolution at all by using the standard 1366x768 resolution found in the majority of laptops. This does mean that the pixel sizes are a bit smaller which could be problematic for those with poorer eyesight but it should be fine for most. There is a glossy coating that is standard now for just about every consumer display that means it has troubles outside or in certain lighting conditions with glare and reflections. The graphics are handled by the new Intel HD Graphic 3000 that are built into the Core i3 processor. This offers improved graphics over past Intel integrated solutions but it still lacks any real 3D performance even for casual PC gaming. What it does offer though is accelerated media encoding when used with QuickSync compatible applications.
With the smaller size, one might be concerned that the keyboard might be more difficult to use. It does sacrifice the numeric keypad that would be found on the larger Pavilion g6 laptop, but the size and spacing of the isolated keyboard work well for the most part. The only annoyance is the home keys that have been placed on the far right side. Thankfully, there are very large backspace, enter and right shift keys that make accidental typos when using these keys fairly rare. The trackpad is a flush design which keeps the palmrest design very minimalistic but can make finding the edges difficult at times. There are dedicated right and left buttons but they are a bit smaller than average and are on the very edge of the laptop deck.
One might assume that with the smaller case, HP might have to also used a smaller battery pack. Thankfully, the Pavilion g6-1226nr does come with a six cell battery pack that only has a slightly reduced 47WHr capacity rating compared to the average 48WHr. In DVD playback testing, the system was able to run just under two and three quarter hours before going into standby mode. This puts it pretty much inline with much of the competition. More traditional usage should yield at least another hour of usage.