HP Pavillion dv2 AMD Neo notebook
Thin'n'light laptop CPU takes on the netbooks
Review The first Asus Eee PC was only released a little over 18 months ago, but given the sheer number of Small, Cheap(ish) Computers on the market you could be forgiven for thinking it had been around for much longer.
HP's Pavillion dv2: AMD's Neo - not Intel's Atom - inside
With the Eee PC and its clones occupying the entry level, if you want something small and portable but with a bit more oomph, then you're venturing into expensive sub-notebook territory. There's very little in the middle, which is where the HP Pavilion dv2 comes in.
It's the first machine to use AMD's Athlon Neo processor, which was designed with thin, light laptops in mind but also with a careful eye on the price tag as well.
Three flavours of the dv2 are available. The entry-level dv2-1010ea comes in at £499, followed by the dv2-1030ea, reviewed here, for £599 and the top-of-the-range dv2-1035ea, which will set you back £699. They're all powered by the same 1.6GHz Athlon Neo MV-40 chip but pack 1GB, 2GB and 4GB of memory, and 160GB, 320GB and 500GB of hard drive storage, respectively.
The entry-level model is equipped with AMD's own ATI Radeon X1250 graphics chip and runs Windows Vista Home Basic, while the more expensive models come with more graphical grunt - an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3410 - and are pre-loaded with Vista Home Premium. The latter two gain an HDMI port although, somewhat strangely, the most expensive machine loses the Bluetooth capability seen on its cheaper siblings.
Not quite Air thin, but not far off
It's all wrapped up in a case with a 292 x 240mm footprint that measures 24mm at the front, rising to 33mm at the rear, and weighs in at 1.7kg. That's not quite MacBook Air thin and light, but it's not a million miles off.
Looks like I wont be replacing my Vaio SZ2XP/C with this thing
Same weight, better performance, better battery life
Does come at a pretty stiff price
DV2 is great !!!
I ordered a DV2 the day it came out and I love it. I travel a great deal and the DV2 is perfect - I had a netbook but it was just too underpowered even though the size was great. I also have a core duo 14" notebook. I like the power and speed but not the weight or size for travel. The DV2 is a great compromise. Not the most powerful but powerful enough and not the smallest or lightest but small and light enough.
As far as heat from the DV2 is concerned, I just returned from Phoenix,USA ( American Southwest ). In the two days I was there the temperature was 105F and 103F respectively. To put it another way - THE WHOLE WORLD was as hot as the exhaust from the DV2. People live, work and love in that heat. I use my DV2 on my lap all of the time in airports and hotel lobbies with no problem.
Battery life is good enough for me but I concede it may not be enough for some. Most airports have charging stations now so about the only place I run on battery power anymore is on the plane. I don't play movies but in just ordinary use I would agree with the Register review that the battery would last about 3 hours or so. I have used it over 2 hours with no problem. Turning off the WiFi helps.
One last note, I have used HP extensively for 30 years. Overall their quality is the best.
I'll never understand the thinking behind such poor designs. A downsized, performance reduced, ultraportable that can't do the one thing an ultraportable needs to, run for at least a couple hours per charge still after you've owned it a year.
I completely disagree with the suggestion in the review that if one test causes 81 minutes, we can wildly assume 3 hours otherwise. What use is there that isn't running the screen, Vista itself constantly hammers a hard drive with prefetching and auto-defrag let alone the bloated files it really is running, and you can't even browse the 'net these days without needing to view a few pages with flash content because people forgot how to design a website properly.
Simply playing an SD movie on this you probably can't even watch one of typical length due to insufficient battery capacity. I mean after you've had it a few months, battery capacity when brand new is a bit beside the point as it is brand new only once.
HP is all Style and no Quality
My HP Pavillion 9655ea had many overheating and hardware issues from day one, it died just two months out of warranty. Considering that I paid £650 for this Stylish Laptop and had go and get a new machine for almost the same amount within just 14 months, I Wouldn't touch HPs even with a barge-pole.
Pirates coz thats what HP are.