Editors' note: This review is part of our Holiday 2008 Retail Laptop Roundup, covering specific new configurations of popular laptops that can be found in retail stores.
The HP G60-125NR is one of only a couple of laptops we've seen with a 15.6-inch display. We're seeing more and more 16:9 displays all the time (changing over from 16:10 aspect ratios), but these displays are usually 16 and 18 inches in size. Besides the cinematic display (and a rare separate number pad on a midsize system), there's unfortunately little to recommend about the AMD-powered G60. At $729, it's more expensive and slower than another 15.6-inch mainstream laptop, the $499 Acer Aspire 5735-4624. With both choices having the same 16:9 display and separate number pad, it's hard to argue against saving $130 and getting better performance (and battery life) from the Acer's Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU.
|Price as reviewed / Starting price||$729|
|Processor||2.0GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-70|
|Memory||3GB, 667MHz DDR2|
|Hard drive||250GB, 5,400rpm|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce 8200M G (integrated)|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium SP1|
|Dimensions (WD)||14.9 x 9.9 inches|
|Screen size (diagonal)||15.6 inches|
|System weight / Weight with AC adapter||6.4/7.2 pounds|
The boxy HP G60-125NR takes its design cues from HP's current DV line of laptops, with one large hinge running almost the entire length of the display, rounded-edge keyboard, and one-piece wrist rest, where the touch pad is simply an indented area of the keyboard tray, not a physically separate piece of plastic. It's a sleek look, but the plastic has a bit too much finger drag; there's a reason most touch pads have a distinct, matte coating. The keyboard is identical to the one you'd find on more expensive HP systems, although the keyboard tray lacks the touch-sensitive media control buttons seen on the popular Pavilion line.
The 15.6-inch wide-screen LCD display offers a 1,366x768 native resolution, which is standard on this screen size (and comparable with the 1,280x800 found on 16:10 models). It's readable, but most documents and Web pages will require some scrolling. We were also turned off by the overly glossy screen, which was very reflective, even in moderate lighting conditions.
|HP G60-125NR||Average for category [mainstream]|
|Video||VGA-out, HDMI||VGA-out, S-Video|
|Audio||Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks||Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks|
|Data||3 USB 2.0, SD card reader||4 USB 2.0, SD card reader|
|Networking||Ethernet, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi||modem, Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional WWAN|
|Optical drive||DVD burner||DVD burner|
You get a basic set of ports and connections--though no ExpressCard slot--on the HP G60, and we always like having the option of using HP's LightScribe-branded DVD burners to create grayscale text and images on our burned discs, even if it requires special blank media, which can be more expensive than generic DVDs and CDs. We can live without Bluetooth in an entry-level system, but once you get past the $700 mark, it really should be included by default.
Turning to AMD's 2.0GHz Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-70 CPU might be an option if you're looking to keep costs down and have only basic computing needs. Unfortunately, the HP G60 is $729, and you can find a 15.6-inch 16:9 laptop that offers better performance for less. The Acer Aspire 5735-4624 costs only $499 and uses a 2.0GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T3200; it completed our multitasking benchmark test in one-third the time the HP G60 did. The HP G60 wasn't the last-place performer in our mainstream midprice holiday retail laptop roundup. That dubious distinction goes to the Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7825, also an AMD-powered system.
We were also disappointed in the G60's battery life. In our video playback test, the system ran for only 1 hour and 58 minutes, well under the 3 hours we'd ideally like to see in mainstream laptops. The Acer didn't hit this mark either, but came closer, at 2 hours and 20 minutes.
HP includes an industry-standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty with the system. Support is accessible through a 24-7 toll-free phone line, an online knowledge base, and driver downloads.