HP Pavilion G60-445dx
Editors' note: This review is part of our , covering specific fixed configurations of popular systems that can be found in retail stores.
The HP Pavilion G60-445dx should look familiar--that's because we reviewed a similar (and similarly named) dual-core HP Pavilion in our winter roundup, the HP Pavilion G60-235dx. Admittedly, that one came with an Intel T4200 Dual-Core processor. The G60-445dx also comes with a dual-core processor, but by AMD (the dual-core Turion X2), as well as Nvidia GeForce 8200M graphics (replacing the 235dx's Intel GMA 4500MHD). It also has a slightly larger 16-inch screen, as opposed to the 235dx's 15.6-inch. But other than that, you're getting a nearly identical product for $50 less. And that product, amid a landscape of increasingly more affordable Core 2 Duo laptops, is decidedly mediocre.
|Price as reviewed / Starting price||$549|
|Processor||2.2GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-75|
|Memory||3GB, DDR2 800 MHz|
|Hard drive||320GB 5,400rpm|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce 8200M G|
|Operating System||Windows Vista Home Premium SP1|
|Dimensions (WD)||14.9x9.9 inches|
|Screen size (diagonal)||16 inches|
|System weight / Weight with AC adapter||6.34 / 7.18 pounds|
There's not much point in going into tremendous detail over the G60-445dx's outer appearances, for two reasons: it's not a looker, and the look's been done before. In fact, the HP Presario CQ60-417DX in our back-to-school retail roundup uses the same chassis. On both systems, we liked the good-feeling tapered keyboard and glossy, indented touch pad, Unfortunately, the bulky laptop's just boring to look at. The black keyboard, surrounded by silver plastic, is at least inoffensive, but it's just not a machine to show off in public (which isn't necessarily unusual for a $550 laptop).
Other than a power and Wi-Fi on/off button, every other control, including volume, is executed with function/number commands on the keyboard. Dedicated volume buttons, at the least, we would have gladly swapped for the big Wi-Fi button.
A glossy 16-inch 1,366x768-pixel resolution LCD 16:9 screen is set in the middle of its matte black plastic lid, and sits under an included Webcam (the cheaper Compaq CQ60-417DX didn't have a Webcam). It's a nice large screen (even if it could be brighter and crisper), and it has a standard resolution for inexpensive mainstream laptops; but 1080p HD video content won't look its best. Speaker volume and clarity is sufficient, but not outstanding.
|HP Pavilion G60-445dx||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|
|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|
While HDMI-out is included on the G60-445dx, there's a notable omission of Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and an ExpressCard slot. We've let such omissions slide in budget laptops in previous roundups, but with Netbooks starting to throw in some of these features, it's getting harder to forgive. The hard-drive capacity and included RAM, at 320GB and 3GB, is at least more generous.
What we find less forgivable is the swapping out of the already mediocre T4200 Intel Dual-Core processor for an AMD Turion X2, which performed even worse in our benchmark tests. For 50 dollars' savings over the previous version, you're absorbing a performance hit, which negates the savings in our opinion. It performed the worst overall out of all the budget retail laptops in this category.
|HP Pavilion G60-445dx|
|Raw (annual kWh)||70.67|
|Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh)||$8.02|
The HP Pavilion G60-445dx's battery lasted a mere 1 hour and 47 minutes in our battery drain test. That's more than a half-hour worse than HP's G60-235dx, and is significantly below what we'd expect in a mainstream 16-inch laptop. Only the Toshiba Satellite P505D-S8930 performed worse battery-wise, and that laptop has an 18.4-inch screen. In our Juice Box energy-consumption tests, the G60-445dx also cost more yearly to run than our other category laptops, although the differential is no more than a few dollars.
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.
Note: While this machine comes with Windows Vista, many retailers, including Best Buy, and some hardware manufacturers, are offering a free upgrade to Windows 7 for systems purchased after the end of June.
Find out more about how we test laptops.
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.2GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-75; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8200M G; 320GB Seagate 5,400rpm
Toshiba Satellite A505-S6960
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Western Digital 5,400rpm
Toshiba Satellite P505D-S8930
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.19GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-74; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200; 320GB Toshiba 5,400rpm
Toshiba Tecra M505-S4945
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 160GB Toshiba 5,400rpm