HP's G62-400 isn't a stunning laptop — it's just a fairly priced budget model for those who want a basic laptop.
According to the exterior packaging for the G62-400 (and, indeed any HP consumer laptop of recent years), "the computer is personal again". You wouldn't exactly know that from the name of this particular laptop, as G62-400 doesn't exactly roll off the tongue all that easily. Equally, you wouldn't know it from the notebook's design, which is, above and beyond all other factors, one thing — plain.
Very plain. The words mundane, ordinary, plebeian and nondescript even come to mind. If it wasn't a misrepresentation of the colour scheme, we'd throw beige in there as well. Whether that's a particular problem is naturally enough a matter of personal preference. If you don't want a flashy or showy laptop, this could indeed be perfect. Finished in black with a very discrete pattern inlaid, the only real design note is that the trackpad has no surface difference from the inlay around it, making it sometimes a little too easy to slip off if you're not paying attention.
The thing with the G62-400 is that it's not a high-priced system; this is definitely a budget system with budget sensibilities. That includes the specifics of the technology under the G62-400's black casing, which run to an Intel Core i3 M370 2.4GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics, a 500GB hard drive, DVD+-RW optical drive, three USB 2.0 ports and 10/100 Ethernet. HDMI output is supported, as is 802.11n Wi-Fi. The 15.6-inch display screen has a top resolution of 1366x768. On the software side, Windows 7 Home Premium is pre-installed, as is Cyberlink DVD Suite, Cyberlink PowerDVD, Adobe Reader, Windows Live applications and Microsoft Office 2010, but before you get too excited, it's only the Starter edition.
Using Intel's HD Graphics is an easy way to receive a low graphics benchmark score. Somehow, we feel the G62-400's target market won't care much that it scored 1441 in 3DMark06, although that's absolutely par for the course. The G62-400's PCMark05 score was something of a surprise, however, clocking in at a quite respectable 5421. It's still not a killer productivity machine, but it's certainly a solid one given the asking price.
Large screened machines are usually heavy and have generally awful battery life. At 2.5kg the G62-400 certainly isn't light, and its battery scores weren't all that surprising. Our standard battery test involves disabling all power-saving measures, turning screen brightness to full and then exhausting the battery with a looped XviD file. The G62-400's battery managed a highly ordinary two hours and 21 minutes, which again is in line for a system designed mostly for desktop work at this price point.
You may have gathered from the tone of this review that we're not that excited about the G62-400. You'd be right, but then there's not too much to get excited about, and that's rather the point of workhorse machines such as this. It's entirely fairly priced for what's on offer (and we've seen it somewhat cheaper at some retailers already), but it's not a system designed to really catch the attention of anyone. HP has its "hero" products out there with flashy designs and powerhouse processors, and then there's the G62-400. It's not even quite the little engine that could, but it certainly tries hard enough for the asking price.