HP G72-a10SA review

It's huge, it's cheap, but is HP's low-end 17-inch laptop any good?

HP G72-a10SA
Expensive looking but a cheap price tag. Great

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

3DMark03 3244
3DMark06 1231
Battery Life 2hrs 45m

Bad points first – you're not getting much out of this in terms of 3D performance. It's one of the worst machines on the market right now for 3D gaming, especially if you want to push it to the full resolution of the panel. The Intel HD Graphics can't handle much pushing, and there's not much RAM to go round.

Double your investment and get a Dell XPS 17 – which also sports an active-shutter system for actual 3D images – if you want gaming on the move, because this simply isn't the platform for that.

And now the real picture – the HP G72 is absolutely adequate for everything (bar gaming) that you might possibly want to do with it. Honestly. Cast aside the slightly clumsy keyboard or all-too-sensitive continent-spanning touch pad, because these are things you'll learn to work around.

Ignore the fact that it pushes pixels with all the enthusiasm of a six year old pushing a piece of broccoli around his plate. Like we said, the market is flat, performance has levelled off, and if you want a PC and don't want to spend much money, this isn't going to leave you wishing you'd spent more.

It's absolutely great for movies. Playing 720p video using VLC was neat and glitch-free, looking great on the HP BrightView screen, and the machine coped well playing the same files back via the built-in HDMI output.

We should take a moment to compliment HP on the screen. Where its rivals are chucking out sub-standard panels with no good viewing angle, the 17.3-inch example in this machine is crisp, deep, and great to look at from almost every angle. It's the sort of screen that we'd advocate steering towards if you were stuck between a number of laptops at this price point.

Even the memory does the trick – 2GB RAM doesn't sound like a lot up against the competition, but it's actually perfectly adequate. Windows 7 Home Premium is obviously very kind on the memory, as we had no issues even with 10-15 tabs open in Firefox 4.

Don't get the idea that this is a performance machine, though. It's not. If you're used to a high-end Core 2 Chip and 6GB RAM, this might feel a little sluggish at times. But lower your expectations a single iota and this is everything you need.