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HP Pavilion dv7 review

Verdict

Not perfect, but it does have great speakers, a good display and plenty of power under the hood

Review Date: 8 Oct 2010

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £820 (£964 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

HP’s premium-priced Envy range may be catching all the headlines, but now its Pavilion range of affordable consumer laptops has gone under the knife. With an all-new design and some trickle-down technology from its luxurious stablemates, HP’s Pavilion dv7 just might be the affordable powerhouse we’ve been waiting for.

The Pavilion dv7 is entirely unrecognisable from its predecessors. Gone is the ostentatious glossy silver of previous models, replaced by an altogether more understated, stylish finish. That’s no bad thing, as the Pavilion now looks a little like a cut-price Envy 17. It has a smoothly contoured chassis, and little touches such as the subtle, textured finish on the lid and wristrest make all the difference.

HP Pavilion dv7

The hefty 3.05kg chassis doesn’t just look good; that slick appearance goes hand in hand with fine build quality. The base is flex-free, with a wide and solid wristrest to lean on, and the lid does a great job of protecting the display within. No matter how hard we prodded and poked it, the lid stayed firm, with no sign of any showthrough on the display itself.

All the physical changes have been accompanied by tweaks under the hood. This, the range-topping dv7, now includes the Beats Audio technology, which made its debut in the Envy range. The multiple speakers dotted around the HP’s chassis reach the sort of volumes required to make games and movie soundtracks enjoyable, and there’s enough clarity that listening to music’s a pleasure rather than the usual tinny chore. They might not have the Bang & Olufsen accreditation of the fancy-pants Asus N53JN, but they’re certainly no poorer for it.

The HP’s aural finery is accompanied by an equally good display. The glossy 17.3in panel may make do with a native resolution of just 1,600 x 900 pixels – it seems a waste not to have a Full HD screen on a Blu-ray-equipped laptop such as this – but the quality is very good. Colours are rich, and even tricky skintones are handled well. There’s plenty of brightness on tap too.

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User comments

worth it!

Yeah, i am writing this on my hp pavilion dv7 right now. If you are unsure take my word for it, the screen is amazing and it has a really long battery life (which is perfect when you are delayed for 24 hours in the airport) and some of the small features it offers are great. These include (my favourite) the fingerprint scanner in the bottom right hand of the base. This can then remember sign in names and passwords so for signing in to say, facebook or ebay, a simple finger scan will sign you in :) brilliant.

By chrisbird93 on 28 Dec 2010

Recommended

I brought one 2 months ago for work, thinking of getting one for home also. Great laptop, only downside is the touchpad for the mosue - it's the worst I've used!

By JamesD on 6 Mar 2011

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