I'm a long time computer nerd; for the longest time I believed that no commercial systems out there could really meet my demands, so I built all my own computers. Eventually it became a hassle and, at that point, I started looking into commercial systems that could live up. I bought my first HP computer probably 15 years ago, and it kept up just fine. Ever since then I've been a big HP supporter. This laptop is an excellent example of HP's good work. I'm actually composing this review from my new Pavilion G7. First, the outside; the first thing you'll notice, this thing is big! It barely fits in my laptop bag (which is designed for the largest laptops out there) and that was most definitely a surprise. This isn't my first laptop purchase by far, but I've never invested in one that had such a large screen size. It's only about 1.5" thick, and not very heavy compared to others, so it's easy to pick up with one hand. The case's finish looks black but, upon closer inspection, actually has a slight metallic/pearlescent finish. It looks very nice. The downside is that, because of the glossy nature, fingerprints show up easily, not that this matters really. When you open it you are greeted with a FULL QUERTY keyboard, even a separate numpad, so you'll find typing is easy; keys aren't scrunched together and your hands are comfortable when typing for long periods. The touchpad is easy to see and it's large size makes it easy to use with great precision. It's textured so that you can use it even in complete darkness and still have perfect feedback. It supports multi-touch so you can use two fingers to scroll, etc and even use certain gestures that begin off the pad's surface (example, start with your finger slightly off the side of the pad and swipe unto it) to use certain Windows 8 features. Next would be the screen. For obvious reasons the screen is one of the more important aspects for purchasing a laptop, and this screen doesn't disappoint. The large size coupled with the great color response make it great; doesn't matter if you're looking at funny pictures of cats, watching DVD's, playing games, surfing Facebook, watching YouTube, or typing a class paper, the screen on this device is perfect. The built-in webcam plus microphone coupled with this screen make video chatting or using Skype a pleasure. I can say I have never been satisfied by laptop speakers, but my expectations are very high; I grew up in a family of musicians, so I can be pretty picky on what I consider "good" speakers. Speaking from the perspective of someone with that sort of taste, I can honestly say that these speakers aren't that bad. I put them through their paces with lots of artists, George Gershwin, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Bob Dylan, Bach, Mozart, Frank Sinatra, etc. and, despite the range of styles and sounds, they sounded pretty nice. On the right side you'll find the DVD-R/W drive. The button is nice and recessed so you won't be hitting it accidentally and it closes pretty solid. On any laptop computer find the CD/DVD drives to feel a bit "unstable", that is the tray seems wobbly or like it might break if you put any force on it, etc. This is a given considering the size. This is no exception. At first you might look at the wobbly tray and think it's cheaply-made or poorly manufactured, but this is normal given a laptop computer. The drive is fast, spins up quick, and is surprisingly quiet. Nowadays wireless Internet access is a must, and the WiFi modem in this laptop doesn't disappoint. Anywhere I take it I get superior reception, even in places where others have sporadic connections. If you're somewhere that you only have access to a wired connection you're still in luck thanks to the nice ethernet port on the left side. If you're a tech geek and you want hardware specs you can check the description, if you just want an idea of how it performs, read on. I've been skeptical about Windows 8 and have only started using it in the past four months. This laptop is the first device I've owned to come with Windows 8 preinstalled and I was surprised to find that I like it very much. I was literally shocked when I saw how fast it started, literally starts in 17 seconds and, after inputting my password, another four seconds and I'm at the Start Screen ready to get to work. The video capabilities are great and, coupled with the awesome screen, make for quite an experience. I can play The Sims 3 at full screen, with the options set at the highest quality, and it performs without a hiccup. Excellent visuals thanks to the power of the system and the great display. The processing power and speed of this device means that you could replace your desktop PC entirely. The battery life is another strong point this laptop has; it charges surprisingly fast and the battery maintains a charge for a good while. My girlfriend and I were both sick in bed and were able to watch an entire season of "House M.D.", twenty-two hours of HD video (over a two-day period) without recharging. If you aren't an Xbox 360 owner/player then you most likely have no interest in this feature, but one that I really love about Windows 8 is "Xbox SmartGlass". It gives me real time control of my Xbox 360 via my laptop. If I have a movie on my laptop, I can use SmartGlass to stream it to my Xbox 360 so I can play it on my TV. Because of those features I can take picture slideshows and family movies and wirelessly view them on my home TV instead of having everyone crowd around my laptop. There is a VGA port on the side to connect to an external monitor, the HDMI port is handy, I can plug it into any high-definition TV for presentations or even if I want to show off a YouTube video in my livingroom, three USB ports for things like memory sticks, mice, even printers, separate jacks for headphones or a microphone, and an SD card reader to accept media cards from devices like camcorders or digital cameras. PROS: Beautiful screen! Large, easy-to-read keyboard. Fast, powerful system offering flexibility for the user. HDMI output for use with televisions, projectors, etc. Did I mention the great screen and graphics? Windows 8 and its features coupled with 64-bit hardware. Fast shipping! Comes in a good-sized box. (my cat loved it) CONS: I... I can't really think of any, except certain features about Windows 8 that nagged me. The biggest issue I have with Windows 8 right now is that the media player doesn't have an E/Q! I can't tweak the sounds pouring through my headphones! In the end I can say that this was a great purchase, one that I am very satisfied with. All the things that this laptop offers me made it worth every penny. I recommend that you purchase a laptop bag to store it in, even if you're using it as a desktop replacement. Also invest in an external USB wireless mouse (HP makes one that matches this computer exactly) they're compact and can fit in a pocket on a laptop case but are definitely worth it. While it isn't really a *requirement* per se, I suggest you go to *** and buy some protective covers for the ports on the side. Keeping a cover on the VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, and USB ports is wise, preventing any grime or dust from getting in there in case you need it, and they can grant the system a "cleaner" look.
- How did the image on site compare with the actual product? The product in the image is exactly the same as the product I received.
- Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? It was completely free of any kind of defects.
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. Excellent. Hewlett-Packard makes some really nice computers, and this Pavilian G7 is easily one of the nicest.
- Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes