HP has upgraded its multimedia Pavilion dv7 notebook. Performance-wise it’s no shirker, besting most laptops and a good few desktops in benhmarks. It runs on a lightning-fast Intel i7-2670QM, with 8GB RAM and a generous 1TB hard disk. There’s a Blu-ray optical drive to ensure you can enjoy the latest movies in high-quality, and a 2GB Radeon HD 7690M graphics card will keep gamers happy.
HP dv7 has represented good value for money for a while now, and should cost around 950 euros($1100), less expensive than the sister model with full HD anti-glare screen. The latest Pavilion dv7 is done out in silver and black brushed aluminum, with a few synthetic materials thrown in to keep costs down. HP Pavilion dv7 laptop is well-built and sturdy. Workmanship on the HP Pavilion dv7 easily stands compare with the Asus N75SF and other similarly priced and specced notebooks. Though the Dell XPS 17 comes out top for high-quality design.
Connectivity is unchanged from the last edition – one USB-3 socket and a pair of USB-2s, 2-in-1 card reader, still no FireWire or eSATA; instead the Pavilion dv7 has the standard VGA and HDMI interfaces. And three 3.5mm audio jacks, so users can output to headphones and speakers simultaneously, although just how often that would be useful is a bit tricky to comprehend. WiFi connectivity is limited to WiFi 802.11n, meaning the dv7 is unable to connect to networks on the 5GHz wireless frequency. The Pavilion dv7-6c07eg did not come with Bluetooth functionality, though other configs do offer Bluetooth. Enjoy these HP Pavilion dv7 notebook pics courtesy of Notebookcheck.
For video calling there’s a 2MP TrueVision-HD webcam; Images were fairly sharp, and the microphone captures exceptionally crisp audio. A pre-installed CyberLink PowerDVD lets you play HD movies straight out of the box. A slider underneath the Pavilion dv7 means maintenance/upgrades of hard drives or RAM should be much easier than with any screw solution. Though the notebook ships with both RAM slots filled, as if the 8GB RAM weren’t enough, users can bump that up to 16GB for ultra-ultra demanding uses. An extra 2.5-inch slot can hold a second HDD or SSD . Warranty is two years’ standard, upgradable to 3 years’ Collect-and-Return for an extra 80 euros.
The dv7 offers a chiclet keyboard with integrated number-pad, with decent-sized keys, although travel was short and the pressure point a bit vague. Lightning-fingered secretaries will be frustrated. The large LED-illuminated Synaptics touchpad gives good slide, but the mouse buttons were slightly spongey at the edges. Shame, since otherwise the dv7 is nicely suited to business use.
The dv7′s 17.3-inch 1600 x 900 pixel display is brighter than that of the previous model, but the blackness of the screen is unchanged, for a weak contrast ratio of 164:1. Luckily users can upgrade to a far better full HD panel, with deeper blackness and a breath-taking 700:1 contrast ratio. Everyday users wil be happy with the lower-end display, nonetheless.
The glossy display, and low contrast, means outdoor use is problematical. The full HD display is far more usable. Viewing angles are fine.
Four speakers and a subwoofer still only produce middling audio – faint deep notes and distorted max volume.
Performance-wise the quad-core Sandy Bridge i7-2670QM processor is clocked at 2.2GHz, hyper-threaded for a total of eight threads, and its burden is eased by a 2GB AMD Radeon HD 7690M graphics card- that’s a formidable combination. One whole terabyte of storage space is a bonus.
All in all the dv7 will power through anything the normal people might throw at it – including Photoshop and video encoding. The slew of i5-2430M processors found on mid-rangers offer just half the computational power of this chip.
Our main gripe with the set-up is the slow-type 5400rpm hard-drive, which relegates data transfer speeds to 70MB/s, quite average. SSD systems, offering up to 500MB/s, give faster operation, and upgrading the dv7 with an SSD is a breeze thanks to that easy-access sliding cover.
Demanding games – Deus Ex Human Revolution or Mass Effect 3 – only run smoothly at 1366 x 768 resolution or at lowered details, but even Skyrim and Anno 2070 were playable at medium settings.
AMD’s switchable graphics help the dv7 deliver 4 hrs 45 wiFI surfing, or 77 mins flat out.
For less than 1000 euros the HP Pavilion dv7 laptop is a very capable multimedia or gaming outfit. It slightly suspect keyboard and mouse buttons disqualify it from serious office use, but only ultra-hardcore gamers could be disappointed in its performance. We strongly recommend upgrading to the HD version. Pick up hp vouchers before you make your purchase. For those who don’t yet know voucher codes can earn you some hefty discounts.
Sign up to the Gadgetmix Newsletter (free) for news and reviews mailed directly to your mailbox CLICK HERE