HP Pavilion dv7 17.3in Llano notebook
AMD's Sandy Bridge alternative?
Like the Samsung RF711, the dv7’s expansive chassis is put to good use, and accommodates a pair of 500GB Hitachi hard disks, while the right-hand edge houses a Lightscribe DVD-writer. The absence of a Blu-ray player is a touch disappointing, though.
Desktop replacement at a tidy price
The idle battery life of the Pavilion dv7 was slightly surprising – it’s not unusual to see under four hours on a big desktop replacement, so the 5hrs 54mins result bodes well for those who want something to use away from the mains. The intensive use test was less impressive, although 2hrs 11mins is still likely to be acceptable to all but battle-hardened road warriors.
Students looking for a machine to get them through a few years of all-purpose computing should look no further – this is a great deal, powered by an up-to-the-second processor and with enough headroom to last a decent while, and the relatively long battery life is a definite plus.
The HP Pavilion dv7 has a huge screen, and while power users will crave more pixels, there’s not much you can’t do with 1600 x 900. Its desktop-replacement credentials continue with the full-size keyboard and numpad, and although this isn’t exactly the best-looking machine out there, its ergonomics are perfectly fine for daily desk work, if you don't mind the off-centre trackpad. Those with high-end aspirations should be mindful of the relative lack of computational poke, yet at under £600, there’s a lot to like here. ®
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