The Bottom Line
Jan 29 2013 - For those looking at a low cost laptop but don't want to suffer from a small screen with low resolution, the HP Pavilion g7-2220us is an extremely attractive option that is priced under $600 dollars. Performance is not going to be a huge factor here but if it is just being used for basic tasks it works just fine. It would also be nice to see HP cut down on the amount of applications that it loads into the operating system as Windows 8's start screen is cluttered with various tiles.
- Very Affordable
- Better Integrated Graphics
- Less Performance From AMD Processor
- Keyboard Is Too Soft
- Lots Of Preloaded Software
- AMD A6-4400M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 7520G Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 3.0, One USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, Card Reader
- 16.2" x 10.5" x 1.5" @ 6.6 lbs.
- Windows 8, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Review - HP Pavilion g7-2220us
Jan 29 2013 - HP's Pavilion g7 is their most affordable offering for a 17-inch laptop. To achieve this, it doesn't have the aluminum clad exterior and trim that the Pavilion dv7 used to have and instead uses a plastic shell. Ovreall it stands up pretty well but it offers a very shiny exterior that will quickly show smudges and dirt. This is especially true along the palmrest area from typing.
To keep the costs down for the Pavilion g7-2220us, HP opted to use the AMD A6-4400M dual core mobile processor. Now this is certainly not a high end version of the AMD chip but many buyers these days do not require a lot of performance. If the system is going to be used for web browsing, media playback and productivity software, it should work just fine. The 4GB of memory is a bit low but it still provides a smooth overall experience with Windows 8. Buyers might want to consider purchasing a memory upgrade to boost performance.
Storage on the HP Pavilion g7-2220us is fairly typical of a budget class system. It features a 500GB hard drive that is fairly small for 17-inch laptop system but it is average for this price range. Performance from the drive is mediocre due to the slower 5400rpm spin rate though. If you do need additional space, the system comes with two USB 3.0 ports for high speed external storage which is a nice addition as many budget systems offer none or just one of them. A dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD or DVD media.
The one bright spot for the HP Pavilion g7 is the graphics systems. The 17.3-inch display panel isn't necessarily a stellar performer but it does come with a 1600x900 native resolution which is far higher than the 1366x768 that most smaller budget laptop systems offer. The color and brightness are decent and it does have some narrow viewing angles which is to be expected at this price point. Driving the graphics is the AMD Radeon HD 7520G graphics that are built into the A6 processor. This provides an improved level of 3D support over the Intel integrated graphics although it is not really suitable for PC gaming beyond the most casual levels at low detail and resolution levels. What it does provide though is a greater range of acceleration for non-3D applications such as Photoshop.
The keyboard design of the HP Pavilion g7 doesn't differ much from HP's other models. It uses an isolated key design that offers a full keyboard layout including numeric keypad but the arrows keys are a reduced size. The problem is that the keyboard is quite soft compared to the more expensive ENVY series such that it only provides an average level of comfort and accuracy. The trackpad uses discrete buttons compared to the integrated design that is found on many of the HP laptops which is welcome. The downside here is that the multitouch gesture accuracy for Windows 8 could be improved.
The battery pack for the HP Pavilion g7 uses a more standard sized six cell battery pack with a typical 47WHr capacity rating. In digital video playback testing, this resulted in roughly three and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. This is a decent amount of running time consider the systems price tag and features but is still below what many similarly equipped Intel offerings have and is well behind the nearly five hours that the Dell Inspiron 17 offers with its efficient processor and larger battery pack.
With a price of under $600, the HP Pavilion g7-2220us is certainly one of the most affordable 17-inch laptops on the market. There is little competition at this price point and most competition will cost more. The ASUS X75A for instance costs around $700 and has roughly the same features but comes with an Intel Core i5 processor for higher performance. Dell's Inspiron 17 also costs $700 but has more RAM, hard drive space and a much longer running time. Lenovo's Essential G780 is a bit less that $700 but features a Core i5 processor and dedicated NVIDIA graphics.