HP G42-243CL-BFeb 13
HP launched in 2010 for Costco a laptop and a printer bundle for only $729.99. It is a 14-inch notebook that tips the scales at 4.7 pounds which means that it is a little bit lighter than the Dell Inspiron 14R but heavier than the HP Pavilion dm4. It is wearing a silver lid and keyboard deck which are both decorated by a lightly textured diamond pattern. We should also mention that the bottom portion of the chassis has a matte black finish.
The full-size keyboard manages to be quite firm and very comfortable to type on, but much like most of the other 14-inch laptops, it doesn’t have a dedicated numpad. The touchpad on this laptop is flush with the deck and has a single mouse button bar instead of two dedicated buttons. We should warn you that the mouse bar is not very responsive and from time to time it requires multiple clicks. At the top of the keyboard deck you will notice a single power button.
The HP G42-243CL-B has a 14-inch display that is framed by a piano black trim and has a webcam embedded in the upper bezel. This screen has a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels and manages to be bright. However, that glossy anti-glare coating will produce a mirror effect that is quite distracting.
As far as the features are concerned, it comes with three USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, VGA out and an HDMI port. Also on board you will be able to use headphone + microphone jacks and a multi-format memory card reader. HP installed a DVD+/-RW optical drive and for storage you get a 320GB hard drive that is spinning at 7,200 rpm. On this hard drive you’ll find the 64 bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium, along with a bunch of Cyberlink multimedia programs and the usual bloatware.
If purchased separately, that HC C4780 printer costs $69.99 and it is an all-in-one USB printer that has Wi-Fi incorporated. It features an interesting multi-tone black chassis and has the company’s TouchSmart Frame which means that you are able to view and print photos without having to use the computer.
The laptop is powered by an AMD Turion II P520 dual core processor clocked at 2.30 GHz and comes with 4GB of DDR3 memory. The graphics power is handled by the rather modest ATI Radeon Mobility HD 4250 which has been integrated in the AMD M880G chipset.
With the standard 6-cell lithium-ion battery, the HP G42-243CL-B is able to last for a little over five hours during a MobileMark 2007 battery drain test. This performance is average for this segment of laptops, managing to beat the Dell 14R by 30 minutes but a lot less than the 8 hours of battery life that the Asus U30Jc-A1 can provide.
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