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HP G60-235DX review: HP G60-235DX

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Editors' note: This review is part of our Winter 2009 Retail Laptop Review Roundup, covering specific configurations of popular laptops that can be found in retail stores.

OVR
7.1

HP G60-235DX

Pricing Not Available

The Good

Good performance and battery life for an entry-level laptop; 16:9 display; separate number pad.

The Bad

Bland design; flimsy keyboard, no Bluetooth.

The Bottom Line

HP's anonymous-looking G60-235DX is one of the better overall values you'll find on retail-store shelves for under $600.

Shopping for a laptop under $600 is a bit like going for the half-priced, late-afternoon sushi special at your local deli--there's a certain risk versus reward calculation that has to occur. While it's not going to win any awards for flair or style, this anonymous-looking 15-inch retail model from Hewlett-Packard offers the best combination of features and performance in its price range.

The $599 HP G60-235DX has a 16:9 display, an Intel Dual-Core CPU (many budget systems use slower AMD chips), and even squeezes in a separate number pad. The system is occasionally offered at a discount by retailers, so keep an eye on the Sunday newspaper sales flyers.

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Price as reviewed / Starting price $599
Processor 2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core T4200
Memory 3GB, 667MHz DDR2
Hard drive 320GB 5,400rpm
Chipset Mobile Intel GM45 Express Chipset
Graphics Intel GMA 4500MHD (integrated)
Operating system Windows Vista Premium
Dimensions 14.9 inches wide by 9.9 inches deep
Height 1.4 to 1.7 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 15.6 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 6.3/7.2 pounds
Category Mainstream

The boxy HP G60 carries over some of the design cues from the sleeker, more upscale HP dv line of laptops, with a large hinge running the length of the display and a 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 plain, glossy, black lid screams "budget," unlike the intricate, artistic, imprint designs offered by more expensive HP laptops.

The keyboard tray takes advantage of the slightly wider 16:9 form factor to squeeze in a separate numberpad, something not possible on 15-inch laptops with 16:10 displays. The keys on the numberpad are a bit on the narrow side, but usable, and the keyboard itself is comfortable for typing, but flexes a bit too much toward the middle. There are no media-control or quick-launch buttons, so you'll have to control functions such as audio volume through function-key commands.

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 bothered by the overly glossy screen, which was very reflective, even in moderate lighting conditions.

  HP G60-235DX Average for category [mainstream]
Video VGA-out, HDMI VGA-out, HDMI
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
Expansion None ExpressCard/54
Networking Ethernet, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional WWAN
Optical drive DVD burner DVD burner
Along with the basic set of ports and connections on the HP G60, you also have the option of using HP's LightScribe-branded DVD burners to create grayscale text and images on burned discs, even if it requires special, more expensive, blank media. An ExpressCard slot is forgeable on an inexpensive laptop, but at $599, this at the high end of entry level, and really should include Bluetooth.

Most of the laptops in the Entry Level section of our Winter 2009 Retail Roundup (covering laptops up to $599) have AMD processors. These systems, for the most part, were slower than the two entry-level Intel-powered systems we tested, this HP G60-235DX and the Dell Inspiron I15-156B. Unlike some of our previous low-end Intel versus AMD comparisons, it wasn't a blowout, and the real-world performance difference will be minimal. The G60 was, overall, the best performer in this category, but also the most expensive (along with the Toshiba L355D).

The HP G60 ran for 2 hours and 20 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, the best score of any entry-level retail systems in this roundup. That's still not particularly impressive for a 15-inch laptop, but at least passes the 2-hour mark, and more than 20 minutes better than the closest competitor in this roundup.

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. Retail stores offer a variety of extended warranty plans with your laptop purchase, but they're generally expensive, and we do not recommend them.

Multimedia Multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video Playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP G60-235DX
140 
Toshiba Satellite L305D-5934
114 

Find out more about how we test laptops.

Compaq Presario CQ60-215DX
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core QL-62; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8200M G; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron 15-156B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.16GHz Intel Dual Core T3400; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 32MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 160GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Gateway MD2614u
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-72; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Toshiba Satellite L305D-5934
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-70; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3100; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7901
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.1GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-72; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3100; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

HP G60-235DX
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.16GHz Intel Dual Core T4200; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 64MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

OVR
7.1

HP G60-235DX

Pricing Not Available

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 6Battery 8Support 6