Take a step back in time to 2011 and have a look around at what the laptop market looked like. There was a huge boom occurring that saw all of the biggest brands trying to create either super powerful and expensive devices or those that were cheap and cheerful, with not many in between.
HP is by far one of the biggest names when it comes to computers, and their range of laptops at this time could definitely fall into either category. Their HP Pavilion G6 was a definite cheap and cheerful contender though, priced at just over $ for the base model when it was first released.
Although this laptop has dated quite a bit since the initial release, there are still plenty in circulation. If you’ve been searching for an affordable and possibly refurbished laptop for home and work, you’ll get to know a little more about the HP Pavilion G6 after checking out our comprehensive review.
HP Pavilion Range
Before we can get into what the G6 offers specifically, let’s do some background research on the line of HP Pavilion devices. The Pavilion range is by far the most popular for the computing brand and offers both laptops and desktop computers.
The HP Pavilion line of computers is for home and home office use so their capabilities differ depending on the model. These computers are in competition with other big brands like the Toshiba Satellite range, Acer Aspire computers, and Lenovo’s IdeaPad, just to name a few.
The very first desktop computer launched in the Pavilion line was in 1995 and it was intended to be low cost and high power for the home user. This is a philosophy they still stick to today, although offer a much greater range of notebooks and desktops than ever before.
Today, the HP Pavilion line is still going strong and there are plenty of powerful devices within the range for gamers. The HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop is a popular choice although a little more expensive than ones like the Pavilion G6, but for those who only want to own a machine that can offer high definition display and smooth gameplay, it’s worth the extra money.
Overview of the HP Pavilion G6 Review
The HP Pavilion doesn’t offer anything overly unique in its construction of the features and specs it’s got on board, but its purpose is great value for money in a simple package. When it was first released in 2011, you could get a base model for around $ which made it exceptionally cheaper than those other brands and models it was in competition with.
Just like other HP Pavilion notebooks, this was designed for home and the home office. It’s got everything you could need to work from home, as well as a bit of entertainment with multimedia, browsing the internet, and looking at pictures, all bundled up in a pretty neat little package.
Looking at the HP Pavilion G6 doesn’t indicate anything unique either, and when lined up with others in its range it could get easily lost. However, it does hold the HP stamp which indicates its quality and signals that one is making a smart investment, provided they’re choosing the right laptop to meet their needs.
In terms of what it can offer gamers, we’ll need to look into that further. This was never designed to be a gaming laptop, that’s for sure, so what type of users would it suit? If you pushed it hard enough and got the available laptops could it be your dream gaming device? We’re going to look into all the specs and features to see what the HP Pavilion G6 really brings to the table.
Price and Upgrades
Like most laptops in this market, you’re given a few options when you purchase one. The base model of the HP Pavilion G6 offers pretty basic features like an Intel Pentium dual-core processor and just 2GB of RAM. If you want your laptop for gaming or multimedia use, this likely isn’t going to cut it.
However, HP has the solution for that and it’s with their upgrade options. Those who want something more serious from their 15.6” laptop can spend an extra $$ or so and get 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, and an Intel Core i3-380M processor.
These figures were all correct at the time of release, which now is over seven years ago. Thankfully, that means people looking for a more powerful version of this laptop can get it because the prices have come down considerably. There are many great refurbished models around that offer these upgrades and now that they’re a few years old, will be even better value.
Top Features and Specs
To really know what a computer has to offer, you need to check out its specs and features. This can show you exactly what it’s capable of and if it’s going to have the right stuff to suit your needs. The slightly upgraded model of the HP Pavilion G6 laptop has:
2.54GHz Intel Core i3-380M processor;
500GB hard drive;
4GB internal memory;
Mobile Intel HM55 Chipset;
Intel GMA Graphics Card;
14.7x9.7 inches for the laptop;
1.2 – 1.4 inches height when closed;
Windows Home Premium operating system;
Overall weight with AC adapter 6.1lbs;
15.6” display screen;
In regards to the ports and features, this is a pretty standard device but is missing some notable ones. There’s no USB 3.0, DisplayPort, ExpressCard, or eSATA slot which means file transfer is going to lack somewhat. However, due to the date it was released and the low cost, this was likely going to be unavoidable.
Design and Feel
If you put the HP Pavilion G6 next to other laptops from around this time, you probably wouldn’t be able to choose it out of a lineup. They’ve made some improvements from the bulky and boring previous model, and the newer G6 has a mix of light gray and dark gray plastic covering the bottom with a seriously glossy lid.
Compared to other models in this price range, it feels surprisingly tough. HP laptops are known for their quality so it’s good to know this doesn’t just refer to the stuff on the inside. Although more durable than others, it does have a bit of flex to it and the hinges make the slightest squeak when opened, but most should be able to overlook it.
The keyboard is comfortable to use and it doesn’t feel as cramped as some other notebooks this size. They’ve also added a row of dedicated media buttons which is a nice touch. There’s a touchpad included which handles even better. Made from etched plastic, this seems to be the perfect texture for getting the grip and freedom you need working together.
When used for gaming, it’s probably not going to be ideal to use a touchpad, so investing in some external accessories would be ideal. However, the response time is great and the keyboard doesn’t seem to pose any challenges for whatever purpose you might need it for.
Display and Graphics
The most important part of a laptop for gamers is how well the display works and what type of visuals we’re getting. This laptop features a 15.6-inch screen and 1366 x 768 resolution, which is by no means powerful. For those wanting to play newer games and get high quality definition out of them, it just won’t be possible.
The colors and brightness could also do with some improvement, and at times looked a little dull. However, it’s got a great glossy finish to it that actually helps to prevent some shine and can improve the display a fair bit. For a budget notebook, it’s pretty standard in what it offers on the display.
Performance For Gaming and Other Tasks
The HP Pavilion G6 was never designed to be a gaming laptop and expecting it to deliver on this front is just not reasonable. You’ll certainly be able to enjoy some games from this time, but for those made after 2011, you’re going to start losing some quality.
When the G6 was made it used an i3-380M processor which was the older version, and in some newer models you’ll actually get the second generation i3-2310M instead. This means you’ll get better performance with one of these and also better battery life, which is an area where the G6 fails miserably.
On one charge, this laptop will run for just under two hours. This means if you plan on taking it traveling or anywhere that’s far away from power, it’s probably not ideal. However, when running powered up, it’s incredibly quiet and does a great job of not getting overheated.
Who Would This Laptop Suit?
If you plan on using this laptop more for multimedia, like video and photo editing or watching the occasional movie, you’ll probably get better use from it. For gamers, it’s certainly capable of older generations but you have to be realistic about what it can do.
The best type of user that would benefit from the HP Pavilion G6, even in this day and age, is the home or office user. It’s not capable enough to do every single task you’d need at work but it’s good enough for those general tasks and word processing, as well as being able to unwind and check out Facebook or watch a movie once you get home.
Because it’s now a few years old, the value is even better on this laptop these days. Many of the refurbished models come with upgrades and so long as you can put up with its shortcomings, it’s quite a bargain. Those who don’t require a lot of power from their notebooks will certainly be happy with everything it has to offer.
Is It A Gamer’s Device?
To answer the question about whether the HP Pavilion G6 is a gamer’s dream, the answer is no. Sure, it can play some of the older generations of games and would be quite suitable for those are only interested in retro gaming. However, if you want the latest and greatest games and want to watch them on the display that they were intended for, this isn’t the one for you.
Even with the upgrades, this will still probably fall short as a gaming only device. There’s nothing stopping you from using it now and then to play your old titles, but the performance just won’t cut it when compared to newer models with better specs.
Final Thoughts on the HP Pavilion G6
HP has ensured with their Pavilion line that they’ve made a notebook or desktop computer to suit every single type of user. If you’re a gamer looking to invest in one of their models specifically, the G6 is not going to be the best pick for your needs.
This is a quality computer for use at home or the home office and comes with everything you could ask for in a simple package. Due to the low cost and relatively oldness of the device now, it makes even better value when being used for basic computing tasks and multimedia viewing.
HP has many great laptops and desktop PCs out there for gamers, but the Pavilion G6 isn’t one of them. Although certainly capable and a standout when it was released in 2011, there are some better options out there for those looking for a budget-friendly device that could take care of their gaming needs.