The Bottom Line
Aug 7 2012 - HP's Pavilion g6-1d80nr differs from most because it uses an AMD Fusion processor. While it doesn't have as high of performance as Intel based laptops at this price point, it does offer better graphics performance which may be useful for some buyers. It also features more storage space than others at this price point but it does lack the USB 3.0 ports found on many new laptops used for high speed external storage. Of course, price is also a big selling point as the system can be found for around $450 which is much more affordable than its primary competition that uses Intel processors.
- Above Average Hard Drive Capacity
- Better Integrated Graphics
- Relatively Low Cost
- General Performance Below Intel Laptop Offerings
- Lacks USB 3.0 Ports
- Keyboard Does Not Have Numeric Keypad
- AMD A4-3350M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 640GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) Display With VGA Webcam
- AMD Radeon 6480G Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.7" x 9.7" x 1.4" @ 5.2 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Review - HP Pavilion g6-1d80nr
Aug 7 2012 - Rather than using the dominant Intel processors for the Pavilion g6-1d80nr, HP elected to use the AMD Fusion platform. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as the AMD processors tend to have a better built in graphics engine and generally come with more cores than Intel's. For this unit though, the A4-3350M dual core processor is used. This puts it at a disadvantage already as on a per core level, Intel generally performs better. At this price point, it is generally easy to get a quad core AMD processor. Now, having said all that, if you are using the laptop for the basics of web browsing, email, media viewing and word processing, it will work fine.
The storage aspects of the HP Pavilion g6-1d80nr are both good and bad. First, it comes equipped with a 640GB hard drive that gives it roughly thirty percent more storage space for applications, data and media files than the average budget laptop with their 500GB drive. The drive does spin at the traditional 5400rpm spin rate which means that it does feel sluggish compared to more expensive laptops that use the faster 7200rpm drives or solid state drives. The bad part is that if you want to add more storage through an external drive, the laptop only uses the USB 2.0 ports and none of the new Super Speed USB 3.0 ports. A standard dual layer DVD burner is included for playback and recording of CD or DVD media.
The display for the Pavilion g6-1d80nr is typical 15.6-inch panel with a native resolution of 1366x768. It performs pretty much as expected at this price point. It won't win any awards for color, brightness or contrast but it gets the job done just fine. The graphics on the other hand are clearly a step up from the average budget laptop. The AMD Radeon HD 6480G that is built into the processor simply outperforms the Intel HD Graphics 3000 when it comes to 3D performance. It is still not going to provide a true gaming experience but it will offer casual PC gaming at lower resolution and detail levels that most cannot. This solution also offers a greater range of acceleration for non-3D applications that support the OpenCL extensions. The one area where it performs slower is in video transcoding.
The keyboard and mouse design for the Pavilion g6 is identical to the one in the Pavilion g4 I previously reviewed. That means that it lacks a numeric keypad which is a bit disappointing for a 15-inch size laptop but it does use the isolated key design which offers a pretty accurate and comfortable experience. The trackpad is built into the palmrest and is distinguished by the textured surface. It offers dedicated right and left mouse buttons rather than using a integrated button layout popular with many laptops now.
The battery pack that comes with the HP Pavilion g6 is your standard six cell with a capacity rating of 47WHr which is typical of most laptops in this price range. In my digital video playback tests, the laptop was able to run for just over three and a half hours before going into standby mode. While AMD has made some large advancements in terms of efficiency with their APU, they still haven't quite matched Intel. The battery life here is pretty much on par for this category but falls short of what the Dell Inspiron 15R with its Ivy Bridge processors can achieve.