The HP Pavilion dv7t Quad Edition is HP’s 17″ desktop offering a lightning second-gen Intel Quad Core i7 CPU and switchable AMD GPU under its aluminum hood, and drivewise there’s a 540GB 7200rpm HDD as well as a capacious 120GB SSD, all for $1599. The Pavilion dv7t Quad sports a minimalist look, and the brushed-aluminum finish comes in either burnt umber or steel gray.
The dv7t measures 16.3 x 10.8 x 1.4 inches and tips the scales at a heftyish 7 pounds. The glossy 17.3″ 1600 x 900 pixel BrightView LED renders bright and vibrant colors with good viewing angles. For an extra $150 our config would have included a full anti-glare HD screen. Let’s take a look at some cool pictures:
The HP Pavilion dv7t Quad offers Beats Audio technology. Thus we are pleased to report rich, clear audio, albeit with very slight distortion at absolute max volume.
The island-style keyboard has plenty of room between its large, flat keys and bears a full number pad. The 3.7 x 2.2″ touchpad was likewise plenty big enough. Pinch-to-zoom and two-finger scrolling give snappy responses. The keyboard isn’t backlit, though the perimeter of the touchpad is.
A fingerprint reader is used in conjunction with the HP SimplePass password manager, enabling a one-finger swipe to sign in on Windows. Email and social networking pages can each be assigned a separate digit. Suave.
The HP TrueVision webcam captures video or stills at 1280 x 800, though bad lighting results in grainy and dark images.
Port-wise, there are two each of USB-3 and USB-2 sockets, an SD/MMC card reader, two headphone jacks, a microphone jack, HDMI and VGA sockets, and a DVD player and gigabit Ethernet jack.
The dv7t’s formidable combination of 2GHz i7-2630QM CPU, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD and 540GB 7200rpm hard drive chomps through practically anything you can throw at it – it trounced the category averages on benchmarks and outperforms both the Dell XPS 17 3D and the Asus G73 SW. The only 17″ notebook which scored higher than the Pavilion dv7t in 3D benchmarks was the Alienware M17x, and that was packing a monstrous 256GB Samsung SSD. In truth, it’s the SSD helping these machines thrash the competition. File transfer, multitasking, multi-tab browsing, all child’s play for the HP Pavilion dv7t Quad Edition. It boots Windows in 37 seconds, just for the record.
Graphics-side, the Pavilion dv7t boasts both Intel HD integrated graphics and a 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6770M discrete GPU. Like its little brother, the dv6t, the Pavilion dv7t Quad switches automatically between disrete and integrated solutions when on battery power to suit the task at hand, though users can override this and stick with full-on performance if they like. And there is a noticeable flicker during the switch…
WoW at ‘good’ settings gives 101fps(!). Even at max settings the dv7t registers 53fps. Current games are no problem for the Pavilion dv7t Quad edition.
Under moderate usage conditions the dv7t Quad’s battery delivered 4hrs 45 minutes.
It’s worth mentioning that the base model of
HP Pavilion dv7t Quad Edition Notebook costs just $1099 for these specs:
Intel Core i7-2630QM 2.0 GHz, 17.3″ HD HP LED BrightView Widescreen, 8GB Memory, 750GB Hard Drive, 1GB ATI Radeon HD 6490M GDDR5 Graphics, Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Our test unit took some beating, for anyone wanting to make a very solid $1600 investment in these uncertain times.
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