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HP Pavillion dv2 AMD Neo notebook

Thin'n'light laptop CPU takes on the netbooks

HP no doubt has all the necessary software pieces in place to enable Blu-ray playback without a glitch, although we weren't able to test it as the review unit was only supplied with a DVD drive. Just because it can play Blu-ray, however, doesn't mean you can expect it to stretch to other HD formats as well, due to the complexities of DXVA.

HP Pavillion dv2

More stylish than most netbooks

As the dv2 has a bigger screen resolution than most netbooks, we could run the full PCMark05 test, resulting in an overall score of 2257. Its CPU and Memory scores were significantly better than most netbooks we've seen - around one and half times better when it comes to CPU performance. While it has the edge over the netbooks, though, it's still significantly slower than an Intel Core 2 equipped laptop.

Running our standard netbook GIMP Gaussian blur test it showed a slight improvement at 3.8 seconds compared to around 5 seconds for most netbooks.

Switching to battery life, however, the test results were far less impressive. In our standard netbook test, which involves playing a standard definition H.264 video on a loop until the battery gives up, it only managed to hold out for 96 minutes. Our standard laptop test of running PCMark05 on a loop was even more short lived - just 81 minutes. Both these are extreme tests, so you could probably expect around three hours of more moderate use, but they're nonetheless disappointing.

HP Pavillion dv2

Disappointing battery life for a laptop

While the dv2 has more processing power than most netbooks, it's worth noting that it can run pretty hot when stressed. It doesn't take much before the fan kicks in and you wouldn't want it on your laptop for too long when it's doing some serious number crunching.

Verdict

For its £599 price tag, the dv2 offers a decent compromise between performance and affordability. It's also much more stylish than many machines at this price. It doesn't have the raw performance of a fully-fledged laptop, but it packs more punch than most netbooks and comes with a larger screen and keyboard to boot, although its battery life is lacking. ®

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HP Pavillion dv2

HP Pavillion dv2 AMD Neo notebook

A stylish stopgap between netbook and laptop, the Pavilion dv2 packs reasonable performance but it's short on battery life.
Price: £599 RRP