Heat and Noise
A single fan pushes warm air out the left side of the chassis. The fan is always on. At idle the fan is easily dismissed as background noise; under load it gets noticeably louder and develops a slight whine. The fan is noisier than it should be; ideally the fan would shut off when not needed.
The chassis remained cool to the touch over extended periods, which is one positive aspect of an always-on fan.
I measured 4 hours, 45 minutes of battery life from the g6's standard 6-cell battery (Windows 7 Balanced power profile, 70% screen brightness, wireless active and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds). This is a very good time for a budget notebook and certainly much better than a similarly-priced notebook would have produced several years ago.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
The HP Pavilion g6 is a solid choice for those in search of a budget notebook for basic use, including Internet surfing and Microsoft Office. Its highlights include good performance, almost five hours of battery life, a cool operating temperature, and decent build quality. The downsides are minor but notable; my number one complaint is the over-the-top use of glossy plastic, which turns the notebook into an eyesore and compromises durability. Furthermore, the keyboard could have had a better feel and the display panel could be sturdier. Lastly, the speakers are poor even by notebook standards.
Items on the wish list include a higher screen resolution and newer Intel processors, but that is simply not going to happen at this price range. In the face of things, most of my complaints are relatively mild.
The HP Pavilion g6 is recommendable to budget-conscious users. However, shoppers looking for a better multimedia experience should consider HP's higher end Pavilion dv6 ... if another $100 won't break the bank; the dv6 is an upgrade in nearly every area over the g6.
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