The Bottom Line
Apr 9 2013 - HP's Pavilion g6-2226nr offers a number of improvements over the past revision but its keyboard and trackpad are the most notable. It is one of the best laid out keyboards in this budget class of system. The AMD processor may still lack some performance behind Intel in many tasks but it still pulls ahead when it comes to graphics and the new processor has added some extra running time as well. If only they hadn't decided to make it purple as many buyers will be turned away by its very unique appearance.
- Excellent Keyboard And Trackpad
- Better Integrated Graphics
- Improved Battery Life
- General Performance Falls Behind Intel Based Systems
- Color May Deter Many Buyers
- AMD A4-4300M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) Display With 1.0 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 7420G Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wierless
- Two USB 3.0, One uSB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.8" x 9.6" x 1.4" @ 5.7 lbs.
- Windows 8
Review - HP Pavilion g6-2226nr
Apr 9 2013 - The first thing that stands out about the HP Pavilion g6-2226nr is its appearance. Rather than your typical black or silver exteriors, HP has elected to use a purple color for its plastic shell lid and keyboard deck. The remainder of the system uses your typical black colors. It certainly is very different and will be either really liked or disliked by people. I personally would prefer it to just be black. Beyond the coloring, the overall design of it is very similar to the previous Pavilion G6.
Rather than using Intel for the Pavilion g6-2226nr, HP has elected to use one of the latest AMD APUs. For this system, it is the A4-4300M dual core processor. In terms of performance, it falls well behind a Core i3 from Intel even with its higher base clock speed. Overall though, the processor does provide enough speed for the average user that primarily browses the web, watches video and does a few productivity applications. Those trying to use it for more demanding tasks like video editing will see its limitations as it takes more time to complete tasks. The processor is paired up with 4GB of DDR3 memory which provides a smooth enough experience with Windows 8 but will get bogged down if there is a lot of multitasking.
Storage features for the Pavilion g6-2226nr are typical for a laptop costing under $500. There is a 500GB hard drive that provides a decent amount of space for applications, data and media files. Performance is a bit slow from the 5400rpm spin rate which translates to about a half minute boot itme. If you do need additional space for the system, HP has included two USB 3.0 ports on the left hand side for use with high speed external hard drives. There is a dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD or DVD media.
With the new AMD APU, the HP Pavilion g6-2226nr also receives the new graphics engine that is built into the chip. The AMD Radeon HD 7420G offers some improved graphics performance over the past revision and certainly provides better 3D performance than even the new Intel HD Graphics. It still is not really capable of being a mobile PC gaming platform but it can play titles at lower resolution and detail levels for those that really want to. This also offers a wider range of acceleration for non-3D graphics programs. The display is completely unchanged using the same 15.6-inch panel with a native resolution of 1366x768 which feels so low for such a large display these days. Color, contrast, brightness and viewing angles are all about what you expect from such a low cost system which means it is serviceable but clearly nothing outstanding.
Thankfully the keyboard for the Pavilion g6-2226nr has been improved. It now spans the entire width of the system and includes a full size numeric keypad. All of the shift, tab, caps locks, backspace and enter keys are of a larger size that one would be familiar with in a desktop layout. They are of an isolated design that provides a nice accurate experience. The trackpad is colored purple like the surround deck but is textured and recessed slightly with dedicated buttons. It is shifted along with the keyboard to the left slightly so it doesn't get in the way of typing. It supports Windows 8 multitouch gestures without any problem.
The battery for the Pavilion g6 uses the same six cell and 47WHr capacity rating as past models. In digital video playback tests, the system was able to run for just under four hours. This is a good half hour improvement over the past version of the system but just average for a system in this price range. It does fall short of some of the newer systems that are using the lower power ultrabook class processors such as Dell's Inspiron 15 or even HP's own Envy Sleekbook 6.
Priced around $480, the HP Pavilion g6-2226nr is a full featured laptop that has a fair number of competitors including the Acer Aspire V3, ASUS X55C, Lenovo G580, Samsung NP550 and Toshiba Satellite L855. Acer's system features greater processing ability from a quad core processor and dedicated graphics. The downside is that it has less battery life. The ASUS system offers an older Intel Core i3 and Bluetooth but has a less desirable keyboard. Lenovo's G580 comes with a newer Core i3 and more memory for better general performance. Samsung offers a larger hard drive with a fairly comparable Core i3 processor. Toshiba also offers more hard drive space but at a very low price.