Unlike the cheaper netbooks available, which are more functional in their design ethic rather than stylish, HP has put some effort into the dv2 and turned out a very nice looking machine.
Oh, for a bigger touchpad
The extra space available means there's room for a big keyboard, which doesn't feel overly cramped to type on. The touchpad is also a decent width, although it would benefit form being a bit taller, which would bring the added advantage of pushing the buttons onto the bottom edge of the machine, making them easier to locate without looking.
On the left of the machine you'll find Ethernet, VGA, HDMI and two USB ports. Over on the opposite side sit power input, one USB port, headphone and microphone jacks, a memory card reader (SD, MMC, Memory Stick, xD), a wireless switch and a power button.
The screen stretches to 12.1in - although if the surrounding border was a bit thinner there'd probably room to squeeze in a 13in model - and the resolution runs to a 720p friendly 1280 x 800. The glossy finish provides vibrant colours, but at the expense of increased reflectivity. Above the display sits a webcam.
Like all the netbooks out there, there's no optical drive here, but HP has put an external USB Lightscribe DVD writer in the box so it's there if you need it.
Standard netbook port array
Despite its relatively slow processor, the promotional material mentions the dv2 supports Blu-ray playback using a second, optional external drive. Like the Asus Eee Box B206, however, this support for HD material comes not from pure processor grunt but from the graphics chip thanks to DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) which can be tricky to harness at times.
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.