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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
Verified Purchase
I usually prefer smaller laptops, but this was bought for my dad, and it's his first computer ever, so I thought the bigger screen would be appealing to him and to his poor eyesight.

I had to write a review after the only previous reviewer mentioned that the laptop was very slow - that's not true at all. The laptop is more than fast enough to deal with regular apps/surfing/movie watching, which is what it will primarily be used for. If you're thinking about heavy gaming, you should be looking for a different kind of laptop. And hp has excellent laptop builds, the sound is very low and you barely hear the fan at all.

The biggest problem is Windows 8, it's not very intuitive, and it takes some time getting used to. IMO Windows 7 is a better design for people who are not tech savvy.

12/26/12 Edit:
My Dad LOVES this laptop. It was very difficult to teach him some of the computer concepts, but the laptop itself is phenomenal and runs beautifully. The main reason for the review edit is that you can have a start menu for Windows 8 - it's called 'Classic Shell'. It is very easy to use and makes Windows 8 a lot better, just remember to uncheck the explorer and IE options in the installation process and just download the classic shell start menu. You get to enjoy the new upgrades from Windows 8 AND the previous benefits of Windows 7 all together. Windows 8 is the main reason I still have my review at 4 stars instead of 5, if it was just for the laptop itself I would grade it at 4.5-5 stars.

5/2/13 Edit:
I had to knock this down to 3 stars because of hardware troubles. Recently the fan malfunctioned and fortunately the computer was still under the original warranty (did not buy extended) so I was able to send it sent in to HP to get it fixed for free. I believe one of the things that contributed to the fan malfunction was how hard my father was running the laptop once he found out how to burn CDs (I know, old school!) Now that his laptop is back and functional, I purchased a quality notebook cooler to help keep his laptop in tiptop shape. A little disappointing that I encountered a computer issue this early, but I'm thankful it happened while still under warranty.

12/1/14 Edit:
Computer working perfectly up to this date after fixing the fan issue. Always make sure to use a good anti-virus (such as AVAST) and periodically use the boot scan to catch malware and viruses. Also use CCleaner to clean up any system registry issues. Also with this laptop you're going to want a notebook cooler just in case. If you regularly maintain the laptop with those 3 things, it should last a good long time (my regular laptop life expectancy is 5+ years).
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2012
Verified Purchase
Another Black Friday buyer here, first let me say what a great job Amazon customer support was when I had a small issue with billing and this order, top notch as always.

Anyways...

So I've owned the laptop for about 2 weeks now, the latter of which I've spent a considerable amount of time tinkering with various everyday tasks.

Let me begin with the OS, Windows 8 and it's relationship to the computer...

While I won't go into a personal review of the new Windows experience, which for the record I do mostly approve of, I will say this laptop does NOT have a Touch Screen, so you will be navigating with your track pad(more to come on that) or your mouse. Anyone who has used Windows 8 understands most of the new fancy changes were created with the idea of tablets in mind. By that I mean to say that getting around would be considerably easier with touch controls. That's not to say it isn't completely and totally usable with your mouse, just that technically it would be easier with touch. Personally I understood this going in, and it was a conscience choice not to get a touch screen as I'm not too keen on finger print smudges on what is replacing my primary machine. As a suggestion for someone looking for touch screen laptops, I would really look into one of the new flip style notebooks/ultrabooks, such as the lenovo yoga 13, where the computer pretty much converts to a tablet. One last thing I'll mention about the OS is the boot time is super fast (it doesn't actually shut down, but go to a kind of hibernate) Unless I have to restart I can be up and running in about or less than 20 seconds. For a fuller look into the actual pro's and con's of Windows 8 vs Windows 7 I'd check out engadget or cnet for in depth opinions.

*edit I should mention there is a fair amount of bloatware (software pre installed by the manufacturer) which is completely unnecessary (norton who?) but it is easy enough to uninstall, though time consuming that it is.

Next, the physical design/features...

By far the best thing the g7 has going for it is the beautiful screen and resolution. A beefy 17.3" and 1600 x 900 are nothing to scoff at when most budget laptops in this price range stick to the safe 1366x768 and 15ish". Again I say, it's simply perfect to sit down and enjoy family pictures, HD movies/tv, video games(more later), the real estate available also makes multi tasking with multiple programs open in the same screen completely doable without making sacrifices to what you see.

To go along with the screen the speakers are quite good as well, not blow you out of the water great, but I've heard a number of notebook speakers and these are certainly above better than average. Admittedly I am no audiophile, but I clearly hear the boom of a bassy explosion or the high's through pandora radio. Even with the lid closed, I can fill the room with music playing for a gathering.

The outer and inner shell are a glossy reflective black, which to some may be an inconvenience which could be a smudgy nightmare, it doesn't irk me much however, after a week of heavy use I haven't been bothered in the slight by it.

The keyboard is spacious with firm keys, layed out in a familiar manner with some usefull hoteys built into the "f" keys such as brightness, volume, play/pause. As far as keyboards I enjoy using this one, the keys have just the right amount of push to them and they are well spaced out.

Connections wise there is something to be desired, no bluetooth (get a bluetooth dongle for cheap) is a bit of a hit, but once more for the price I think I'll live. HDMI is on the left side and easy to get to, perfect for plugging into your TV or A/V receiver. The power connection is on the right back, with the actual plug being a straight long type, so you will need at least a couple inches on your right side if your sitting this on a desk. The cable and power brick also are acceptable lengths with a velcro strap and small clip for cable management.

The touch pad. So far my only real gripe with this machine is the touchpad. I'm not sure if it's a matter of software(synaptics) or RAM or I just don't know yet, but this pad has some issues. It is multi touch capable but the multi part simply does not work 100% of the time. No issues with simple one finger point and click(or tap) but when using gestures such as two finger scroll, two fingers anywhere can scroll horizontal or vertical, it will lock up and not be responsive for up to 2-3 seconds sometimes. There is a pinch to zoom which I inadvertently activate once in a while as I'm doing the two finger scroll as well. Two finger tap acts as a right click, unfortunately this has the same frequency of fail rate with the two finger slide, slightly less maybe but noticeable still. Obviously there is a problem with accuracy with multi touch, and I'm looking for a solution but for now there you go. I know it can be done right, I've used more than one mac with the multi gesture track pads and those have all worked perfect for me so we'll see, hopefully you can get some better software to fix it. The physical buttons, left and right click, work well enough, just as you'd expect, and a firm press and click.

Games...

I'm somewhat of a gamer, so of course I was extremely curious to what I could throw at this machine. It does has a dedicated card, AMD Radeon HD 7520G, it won't win any prize fights, but certainly should pull in some good bouts.

I loaded Diablo 3 and surprisingly it ran fairly well, with settings like textures at the highest but a few reductions in physics and lighting the game runs in full screen 1600x900 at about 20 fps average, and looks quite good doing so. You can lower some settings to improve your frame rate, but it's more than playable.

Starcraft 2 wasn't as successful, I can run it at high settings(ultra being higher) at about 20 fps as well, but that game will slow down as more units appear onscreen and the game progresses, and there can be a fair amount of things happening later in games, so you will likely have to turn down your graphic fidelity to get it playable.

Portal 2 looks fantastic and runs at the highest settings with a fluid gameplay, sorry I didn't get the fps for this one but it's smooth and fast as far as I can tell.

Less graphically intensive games such as Torchlight 2, Super Meat Boy, The Walking Dead all look perfect and run great. I did try the X-Com Enemy Unknown demo, but it didn't run quite well enough to try and get it working better.

I'll likely update this at a future date when I've tried some other games and report how they ran.

*Conclusion*

I feel as if I've been rambling for a while now and I may have lost some of my original thoughts but I'll summarize here real quick.

Biggest PROS~
Screen size and resolution 17.3" and 1600x900 pixels are above and beyond the call of duty for this price (currently $500 on amazon) Even better when I payed $420 on black friday week. Looks beautiful and crisp
Keyboard is spacious and quite comfortable
Battery Life( I think I forgot to mention this above) Listed as 3 hours, easily that running HD video and multi tasking in the background, more than enough for my needs
Plays recent video games, such as diablo 3, great and more than capable of less graphically intensive games such as torchlight 2

Biggest CONS~
TouchPad multi-touch simply doesn't work 100% of time. Could be software, will hopefully find a solution
No bluetooth, I can live with this however remembering the price, and you can find a good cheap dongle you can plug into one of your 3 USB's
(Not a huge CON, but the hardrive could be bigger, 500GB can fill up quite quickly these days)
Bloatware, but this almost doesn't count since everything comes with bloatware now, just find and delete it if you know what your're doing.

In my opinion, worth the buy alone for the screen size and resolution.
Hope this helps someone.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
Verified Purchase
If you have the expertise to reformat this laptop and set up Windows 7 properly with drivers, this is an excellent budget laptop. I've already linked the HP drivers you need in the Q&A sections.

Overall, a great value for the 17" screen and nice looking black metallic paint. Doesn't feel cheap at all. I've already upgraded the hard disk and RAM, and plan to trash the Atheros wi-fi adapter soon.

Wi-fi speeds are OK for Internet access but go way down over the LAN. See product images on how the Centrino N 1000 wifi card registers & works fine with this laptop.

8GB RAM upgrade kit I installed:
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Laptop Memory (CMSX8GX3M2A1600C9)
review image review image
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2012
Verified Purchase
I also purchased this laptop on Black Friday. I received the laptop yesterday and spent the afternoon setting it up. I did a lot of preference tweaking and burned a recovery disc; everything went well. However I could not locate the windows 8 key code to save for any possible future use and so I contacted and chatted with HP support. Support finally figured out that the key was stored in the BIOS and wouldn't normally be required to be re-entered in the future if I replace the hard drive or other components. This is new to me but since windows 8 had already set itself up earlier that day without me providing the key it did make sense. I like its look and as another poster stated the laptop is very quiet. I do wish it had bluetooth though. Another negative is no lighted indicator for the caps key and the numbers lock key. The keys are also very square which at first was odd to me but they feel fine to type on. As for speed it seems fine. Windows 8 is a bit odd but I 'm catching on. Although I've only had it for one day now, my first experience and impression are very good.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2012
Verified Purchase
I got this as a lightning deal because I was looking for a new laptop. The screen is really great, the 17.3" does make a little hard to find a less expensive laptop sleeve/ case though. It seems well made and is easy to operate (I especially like Windows 8) There is a bit of a learning curve with the mouse "pad" but what is really great about this is that there are multiple videos that explain, in plain English, so you can catch on quickly. The main thing I have disliked about this so far is that the mouse/ screen will freeze up for a second or two inexplicably. The other minor complaint I have is that the disk drive feels a little flimsy. Overall, if you are looking for an inexpensive laptop with a large screen for the basics, then this is a good laptop.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2012
Verified Purchase
I see a few people complaining that this computer is slow. My parents are not technologically inclined, so after learning it was running on Windows 8, which I had never used before, I knew I would have to learn it myself and then teach them how to use it.

Thankfully I found a program online called Win8 Start Button, so at the least I could make the computer skip the metro screen and go directly into desktop mode, along with the good ole start button! I played with the computer for several hours. Watched a Netflix movie, surfed the web as I normally would and had no issues with its performance.

If people were expecting a gaming pc, or a multitasking pc(for example: running Microsoft excel, Photoshop, surfing the web etc) concurrently, then I could see them having issues with the computer. You can upgrade the memory if you need some extra power, but the AMD processor is a budget, eco friendly cpu. Not an Intel ; powerhouse
.
But for a computer that is going to be used for skyping, web surfing and storing pictures, I and my parents found it to be perfect for them. Especially for only 379.99(Black Friday deal)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
Verified Purchase
I bought this for my son and his family to replace an old computer that they had and it is wonderful. So simplistic in design, yet so attractive to look at. The ease to set up is always a plus with HP and Microsoft. My son's family is thrilled with it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2013
Verified Purchase
Pros:
- I got mine for $454, so most likely the best deal I have ever gotten, because this would cost at least $800 at Bestbuy of any other offline store. Amazon rocks !
- The graphics are amazingly beautiful. This is the biggest selling point for me.
- Great for watching movies on the go when you are away from you big screen at home
(graphics are AWESOME !)
- You can control the lighting very easily on the keyboard.
- The design is sleek and attractive.
- It makes little to no sound at all while running programs.
- The operating system is excellent. I love the new Windows 8 setup. You can pin your most used programs to the start up screen and launch without going to the desktop.
- It can run windows 98,2000,XP,Vista programs in compatibility mode.
- There are many more amazing things to say.

Cons:
- It is kind of difficult to see a list of all the installed programs in one place like in windows 7. I have to go to control panel > add remove programs to see all my programs. I would have liked it more if they had one place where I can see everything. This is a minor detail so not a big deal in the big picture but Just saying.
- Sometimes while loading a page the mouse stops moving. Not a complete freeze, but a couple seconds of inactivity. Again, not a big deal but just saying for the sake of full disclosure.

Overall analysis:

This is an excellent machine with a great operating system and excellent exterior design. The price is criminally low, which is a great. I am a college student so I needed a mobile computer to work with while I'm at school, which is most of my day. If that is your purpose then this is definitely the laptop for you. Overall I definitely recommend this system to anyone on interested in a laptop. I update my experiences again in a couple of months.

Thanks for reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2013
Verified Purchase
The computer is just fine. Windows 8 how ever takes a little getting used to.As a guy who is not computer literate I did have a tough time figuring it out. After having a regular start button installed all is well. I like the larger screen and the speed. All in all it serves my purposes very well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2013
Verified Purchase
I have had a problem in the past buying more computing power than I needed. This time, I decided to only buy what I needed; this laptop happened to fit the bill.

PROS:
-Full HD Screen
-Discrete Graphics (not a lot, but enough)
-USB 3.0
-HDMI
-8GB Max Memory
-Adequate Speaker Volume
-Windows 7 has lower resource demands, and runs extremely well on this laptop.
-Windows 8 is great, once used to it.
-Number Pad
-Adequate Battery Life
-Price
-Mouse Pad works well.

CONS:
-Playing flash games makes the processor go full throttle, and the fan goes full throttle as well.
-Flash seems to slow the laptop down.
-Cannot connect to 5Ghz Wi-Fi bands.
-Windows 8 is a bit of a resource hog (reformat and install of Windows 7 recommended).
-Default Mouse Pad settings can become annoying if a second finger is touching the pad without you knowing.
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