HP G72 review

Price when reviewed

That display manages acceptable colour reproduction, and has a glossy finish that boosts contrast and adds punch to graphics and images. That means, inevitably, that it isn’t a great laptop for work – the reflections will be far too distracting – and brightness is a little on the low side too. That’s a shame, as the keyboard is definitely good enough. It’s spacious and feels pleasant under the finger, the layout is sensible and the spacing between keys is tight enough that dirt between the keys shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Excel enthusiasts will be happy to find there’s still enough room for numberpad to its right.

And, helped by the lack of dedicated graphics and low voltage CPU, good battery life makes the G72 solid on the road. We’re used to seeing desktop replacements of this size survive less than three hours, but this HP is different, clocking up just over five hours in our light-use battery test, and 1hr 30mins under intensive conditions.

HP G72

The remainder of what’s on offer is largely par for the course. There are three USB 2 sockets, HDMI and D-SUB video outputs, a card reader (supporting SD, MMC and MS formats) and a DVD writer. As for data connectivity, there are no glaring omissions either, with single-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The 500GB hard drive is large enough for a good-sized media collection and plenty of heavyweight installations.

In fact, the only major problem we have with the G72 was with its touchpad. We noticed a lag in responsiveness when using it and, as the touchpad melts seamlessly into the surrounding chassis, the textured surface may not be to everyone’s taste. Also frustrating is the rocker-style button which feels stiff and demands a considerable amount of pressure to click.

The HP G72 has much to recommend it, though. It manages to offer what few budget desktop replacements can: decent performance and a good range of features, coupled with a stylish exterior, generous screen size and surprising battery life. At £447 exc VAT, it’s good value too, so it’s hard to let a few minor flaws put us off a recommendation. It’s a good desktop replacement for anyone on a tight budget.

Physical specifications

Dimensions412 x 269 x 32.4mm (WDH)
Travelling weight3.3kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i3-350
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3

Screen and video

Screen size17.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,600
Resolution screen vertical900
Resolution1600 x 900
Graphics chipsetIntel HD graphics
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard diskSeagate ST9500325AS
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveHP
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


802.11a supportno
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
USB ports (downstream)3
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationAbove keyboard/Front edge
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.3mp
Fingerprint readerno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use5hr 6min
Battery life, heavy use1hr 30min
Overall application benchmark score1.30
Office application benchmark score1.02
2D graphics application benchmark score1.34
Encoding application benchmark score1.42
Multitasking application benchmark score1.46
3D performance (crysis) low settings13fps

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7

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