HP Pavilion g7t vs. Lenovo Essential G770: Family Notebook Battle

by Reads (22,522)

These two sub-$700 notebooks offer a spacious 17.3-inch screen and are perfect for families on a budget. Read on to see why we’d pick one over the other.

Family Notebooks – What to Look For

I’m assuming that most families are on a budget so this comparison article does not include any Alienware gaming notebooks. As a matter of fact, the notebooks in this comparison aren’t capable of playing modern 3D games period – I’m making another assumption that many families will have a dedicated game console such as an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. The last assumption is that families will likely be looking for a large notebook that will stay in mostly the same place its entire life (which means battery life isn’t super important).

17-inch notebooks have been around for years and while they were rare around their introduction in 2004-05, they are now common as any other size. The two being compared today – the HP g7t and Lenovo G770 – are two of the lowest-priced 17.3” notebooks on the market. At the sub-$600 price point they lack the latest and greatest technologies such as USB 3.0, quad-core processors and backlit keyboards. They’re built around including essential functionality and after using them, I think they do a rather good job of it.

Here are the specifications of the notebooks in our comparison:

 

HP g7t

Lenovo G770

Screen

17.3” 1600×900 glossy

17.3” 1600×900 glossy

Processor

Intel Core i3-2350M dual-core

Intel Core i5-2450M dual-core

RAM

6GB

4GB

Storage

640GB 5400RPM

500GB 5400RPM

Graphics Card

Integrated Intel HD

Integrated Intel HD

Battery

6-cell 47WHr

6-cell; 5 hours battery

Optical Drive

DVD burner

DVD burner

Webcam?

Yes

Yes

Weight

6.05 lbs.

6.61 lbs.

Thickness

1.22~1.44 inches

1.42~1.77 inches

Ports

3x USB 2.0; HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, headphone, microphone, media card reader

5x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, headphone, microphone, media card reader

Sale price

$579.99

$599.99

Warranty

1-year

1-year

Highlighted items indicate which notebook has the advantage. The notebooks are configured as closely as possible for comparison.

Both notebooks pack plenty of power for everyday tasks such as web surfing, online shopping and school work. The integrated Intel HD graphics card is no good for modern 3D games but works fine for basic online flash games. The G770 is chunkier than the g7t but not by a significant amount, and it doesn’t matter much if the notebooks will remain in the same spot.

Design

While both notebooks look similar from a distance, the G770 is better up close and personal thanks to its stamped aluminum palm rest. It adds a higher-end look and feel not often seen in this price range. Aside from that these notebooks have nearly identical build quality and construction – the chassis are mostly ABS plastic and feel surprisingly solid; the chassis in both notebooks are resistant to bending. The G770 has less flex in the palm rest than the g7t thanks to that aluminum. Something I don’t like about either notebook is the glossy plastic lid, which attracts fingerprints too easily.

Overall the design edge goes to the Lenovo G770.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The G770 claims its second victory in a row thanks to its superb Chiclet-style keyboard. HP makes a good Chiclet keyboard as well but unfortunately doesn’t include it in it budget notebooks. The keys on the G770’s keyboard have plenty of travel and there’s almost no flex. Keys feel pleasant to press and overall typing is not a chore. The g7t on the other hand has a rather cheap-feeling keyboard with barely adequate tactile feedback. Both notebooks have a dedicated number pad.

Screen

The screen is a tie; the same quality screen is included in both notebooks. 1600×900 is a usable resolution and a nice bump over the 1366×768 we’re used to seeing on 15.6” notebooks. The quality of the screens is average; it has a slight bluish hue and isn’t overly bright or colorful – in other words, adequate.

Speakers

Despite the Altec Lansing badging, the g7t’s speakers leave much to be desired. The G770 doesn’t have name-brand speakers but they sound much clearer than the g7t’s. I’d suggest a set of external speakers or headphones with either notebook, especially if the notebooks will be used for entertainment.

Performance

This section is a tie since neither notebook has an outright advantage. The G770 includes a faster Core i5 processor but for the tasks these notebooks are designed for, it will make almost no difference over the Core i3 in the g7t. The g7t includes a slightly larger hard drive and more RAM, though again they’re not going to make a practical difference next to what’s included in the G770 for everyday usage.

Input and Output Ports

Both notebooks include a standard assortment of USB ports and HDMI and VGA video output ports. The G770 however includes a whopping FIVE USB 2.0 ports compared to the g7t’s three. I can’t remember the last time I saw a notebook with so many USB ports; definitely a plus for families since everyone will have their own iPod and so on.

The Winner?

The Lenovo Essential G770 earns the top spot in this comparison thanks to being better where it counts; namely in areas of design and user interface. At nearly the same price, no difference is too small to disregard. The G770 has a superior design thanks to its aluminum accents, a better feeling Chiclet keyboard, slightly better speakers, and more USB ports. Overall at this price it makes a great stay-at-home family notebook.

http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/essential/g-series/g770/

http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/computers/notebooks/g7t_series/rts/4/computer_store/A6Z19UA%2523ABA

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