The Good HP's low-end laptop line gets a promotion to the Pavilion brand, and a much better processor, with the new Pavilion G6-1a69us.
The Bad With a last-gen CPU, this laptop is going to feel old way before its time. The battery life is disappointing.
The Bottom Line HP's unbranded G-series laptops can be reasonable choices for bargain hunters. The latest version gets a design upgrade and keeps the price down, but is stuck with last year's CPU and graphics.
HP Pavilion G6
Though it wasn't much to look at, we've always thought HP's non-Pavilion G-series laptops were decent for bargain hunters at the very low end of the price scale. Thewe looked at last year was usually available for around $500 and included a workable, if entry-level, Intel Pentium T4500 CPU. HP apparently thought it had something of a hidden gem (or at least a cubic zirconia) on its hands, as the revamped 2011 version not only moves up to be an officially Pavilion-branded system, but also includes a much better Intel Core i3 processor.
Of course, all this wouldn't matter if the price got a significant bump as well. Fortunately, HP is selling this configuration on its site for $549 right now, although we've seen other retailers selling it for up to $100 more.
Our main complaint is that the Core i3 included here isn't the, but instead one from last year. That means battery life isn't going to be as good (in fact it's pretty terrible), and you don't get Intel's improved onboard graphics. You can build a version of Dell's Inspiron 15R with similar specs and that newer Core i3 for $619, if better gaming and better battery life are of prime importance.
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