The HP G72-a10SA is a 17.3-inch machine which steps nicely onto the bottom rung of the laptop ladder, comparing favourably in price to many 15-inch models but offering a much higher quality screen.

It's not a powerhouse performer, far from it, but it's adequate for most everyday computing uses and plays back high definition video just fine.

We liked

This really is a very well presented machine. HP's case is tough, it's classy looking, and it's well laid out. You would be forgiven for thinking this was a much more expensive machine at first look.

The screen, while it's not super high res at 1600 x 900, is brilliant – the viewing angle is way in excess of that exhibited by most laptops at this price. The difference between 15-inch and the 17.3-inch on offer here is striking too.

We should also mention the price. We like the price. A lot. £350 is an amazing deal for a machine this solid and with a screen this large.

We disliked

OK, complaining that a cheap laptop is underpowered is a bit like complaining that ice cream is cold, but we're going to do it anyway. While its performance is perfectly adequate for most everyday tasks, you're not going to get much out of the G72 if you start to push it.

Complaining that a laptop with a huge screen weighs as much as Jupiter is just as futile, but here we are. It's heavy.

The rest of our issues are little niggles more than anything. The trackpad is irritating, not necessarily because it's so large, but because it's camouflaged against the prism pattern of the case. If it was a different colour or texture, it might be a bit easier to avoid when typing. And the keyboard layout isn't excellent either.

Final verdict

Despite its lack of power, despite its sometimes quirky design, we found ourselves falling for the G72 beyond all reason.

It's a very nice little package, and one we'd be proud to own for the price. We wouldn't actually tell anyone it was so cheap, of course. No. A screen this big and defined belongs in a much more expensive machine.