The Bottom Line
- Higher Performance Hard Drive
- Difficult to Use Trackpad And Function Keys
- Lots Of Trialware
- Below Average Battery Life
- AMD Turion II P520 Dual-Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 320GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 14" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 13.5" x 9" x 1.4" @ 4.9 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, Cyberlink DVD Suite, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - HP G32-240US 14-inch Budget Laptop PC
Oct 12 2010 - HP's G42 breaks away from the companies Pavilion lineup to provide an affordable laptop platform. One of the changes they made was to put the AMD Turion II P520 dual core processor in the G42-240US model. This is one of AMD's latest mobile processors and it performs well but falls slightly behind the Intel Core i3 processors in some tasks. For the most part, it will do just fine unless you are doing heavy graphics or other processor intensive tasks. The 4GB of DDR3 memory should help mitigate slowdowns caused from multitasking.
Rather than using a laptop drive that spins at the traditional 5400rpm speed, HP has decided to include a 320GB drive on the G42-240US. This gives the drive a bit faster performance than much of the competition which uses the same size drive but spinning at the slower speed. It should provide sufficient space for applications, data and media files. A dual layer DVD burner is included to handle all playback and recording of CDs or DVDs. Also included is a media card reader to handle the most popular flash media card formats.
The HP G42 uses a more compact 14-inch display rather than the more common 15.6-inch which helps reduce the overall size of the laptop without impacting the graphical working space thanks to its 1366x768 resolution. The display does use a glossy coating that is common of most consumer based laptops these days and it does cause a significant amount of glare and reflections in certain light. Since it is based on an AMD processor, the graphics are driven by the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 integrated graphics processor. This is a set up from Intel's in terms of 3D performance but it still lacks sufficient performance for anything beyond casual 3D gaming at lower resolutions and details.
As with most low cost laptops, the HP G42-240US comes with a relatively small six cell battery pack with a 47WHr capacity rating. In DVD playback tests, this yielded roughly two and a quarter hours of playback time before going into the sleep mode. This is a bit below the average running time for laptops in this price range but not that far off from the two and a half hour average. Users should expect a bit more than three hours of running time with more typical usage.
HP has tried a different trackpad and keyboard layout with the G42 laptop. The trackpad is the more problematic of the two with its design that is flush with the palmrest making it difficult to determine the edges. In addition, the trackpad button uses a single rocker bar design that is becoming popular with the companies but not with users. The keyboard is also a bit different as it has a media control key set that also doubles as the function keys. This requires the Fn and appropriate media key to function as the F1 through F12 keys that can confuse some users.