Screen and Speakers
The g6 has a 15.6-inch display with a 720p (1366×768) resolution and a glossy surface. This is a typical display for a budget notebook. Brightness is satisfactory; contrast is low and color reproduction is a bit cold – some colors look washed out. Viewing angles are poor from above and below, which is expected since this is a TN-type panel. The glossy surface helps contrast but introduces reflections and is difficult to clean.
The resolution is the Achilles’ heel of this display (and that of nearly all other budget notebooks, as a matter of fact); 1366×768 is the bottom of the barrel and the lowest found on mainstream computers. Having just 768 pixels of vertical resolution means a cramped working space; a lot of scrolling is required in web pages. Using two windows side-by-side is impractical. It’s unreasonable to expect a better resolution on a notebook this inexpensive, however.
There are two stereo speakers located below the palm rest with Altec Lansing branding. Despite HP’s history of using good Altec Lansing and Beats Audio speakers, these are some of the worst I?ve heard on any laptop, netbooks included. The sound is muffled and bass notes clip the sound.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Pavilion g6 has a full-size keyboard but no separate numeric keypad. The square flat-topped keys have a chiseled base to create extra space between them. The keyboard feels and sounds cheap; the keys make a slight rattling sound when pressed. Tactile feedback is substandard; it doesn’t exactly encourage typing. Surprisingly the keyboard has a solid base with no flex. The matte texture of the keys will most definitely wear shiny over time; I saw it happening on our review unit over the span of a week. Overall the keyboard gets a passing grade but that’s all; the keyboard on higher-priced HP Pavilion notebooks is much better.
The touchpad is good for a consumer notebook. The dimpled surface has too much texture for my taste but is certainly better than having an all-glossy surface from a usability standpoint. The buttons are quiet and unobtrusive which is always welcome and how touchpads should be; inexpensive consumer notebooks are notorious for loud, clacky touchpad buttons.