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HP Pavilion dv7

>> Friday, July 31, 2009

At 10.9 by 16.2 by 1.4 inches (HWD) and weighing 8.4 pounds with and 7.3 pounds without its AC adapter, HP Pavilion dv7 (2173cl) is wide enough for a full sized keyboard with separate numeric keypad, although the former's Insert and Delete keys and cursor arrows are on the small side compared with their counterparts on the keypad. The keyboard has a smooth, firm typing feel and the touch-pad is precise and responsive.

The most impressive part is MediaSmart, a handsome house brand alternative to Windows Media Center for browsing photos, music, and videos, with features such as the ability to view CD covers and image folders in either a plain grid or fancy fan or arc copied from HP's TouchSmart desktop suite. HP Pavilion dv7 doesn't have a touch screen, but comes with a cute miniature remote control for MediaSmart and Windows Media Center that tucks into the system's ExpressCard slot for storage.

The least impressive part of the Pavilion dv7's software library is HP's usual assortment of crapware, including games, online service offers, and the 60-day versions of Norton Internet Security 2009 and Microsoft Office 2007 Home & Student. HP Pavilion dv7 (2173cl) has two main differences from its near twin, the HP Pavilion dv7 (2170us) available at Staples. The first tilts in the 2173cl's favor a Blu-ray player instead of a plain vanilla DVD+/-RW drive.

Combined with a capable ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 graphics adapter, the BD-ROM drive (which is also a LightScribe enabled CD and DVD burner) makes the 2173cl a solid high definition video platform. Above average Altec Lansing speakers with a downward firing subwoofer no thunder rumbler, but definitely fuller and less tinny than your usual notebook audio help enhance the movie viewing experience.

So does the 17.3 inch screen a brightly LED backlit panel with 1,600 by 900 resolution (HD's 16:9 aspect ratio, not the 16:10 of older 17 inch wide screens like the Dell Studio 1737's). Price presumably forbade a full 1080p resolution display, but the dv3's is crisp and colorful enough to satisfy film buffs, with an HDMI port at the ready for those seeking external HDTV playback and a FireWire 400 port for home video editors' digital camcorders. One of the system's four USB 2.0 ports doubles as an eSATA connector if additional storage is your craving.


Lillian September 8, 2009 at 11:34 AM  

Great review.! HP Pavilion dv7 delivers rich digital entertainment capability coupled with desktop-caliber performance.

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