Hewlett-Packard Australia Pavilion dv9800 (dv9821tx)
For work or play, this notebook is great
- Blu-ray drive, HDMI, strong processor performance
- Screen not full high definition, weak graphics card
For users wanting a home entertainment centre or a powerful desktop replacement to work with, the dv9800 is a very strong contender.
Price$ 2,399.00 (AUD)
The HP Pavilion dv9800 is a feature-packed unit that is hard to fault. Fitted with the latest networking options and a Blu-ray player with HDMI-output, it's a versatile option both for home entertainment and business productivity.
Those familiar with the Pavilion series of notebooks will quickly recognise the dv9800's design. The HP Pavilion dv6000 (dv6614TX) and Pavilion tx2011AU Entertainment Notebook PC both have very similar cover art.
On the unit's right-hand side a Blu-ray drive provides users with the latest disc format compatibility: it will burn to CDs and DVDs, and it will play Blu-ray movies.
While the optical drive is able to play 1080p Blu-ray movies, the 17in screen has a native resolution of 1440x900. This results in down-scaling and doesn't allow for the full potential of high-definition films to be appreciated on the device itself. The screen also suffers from reflectivity in well-lit environments and has a limited viewing angle from above.
Fortunately the notebook comes with an HDMI port, which allows easy connectivity to televisions capable of displaying a 1080p signal. D-Sub and S-Video ports, which are located on the left-hand side, allow a monitor or older TV to be connected. These ports, coupled with good performance in our benchmarks, make the dv9800 stand out as a potential home entertainment centre.
In our WorldBench 6 benchmark, the dv9800 returned an excellent result of 95. Running multiple applications simultaneously, as well as intensive tasks like video encoding, is easy. Our iTunes test, where we convert 53min worth of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s, also highlighted the processor's speed by performing the task in 1min 11sec.
The notebook gets its speed from a 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 processor and it features 3GB of DDR2 RAM. A 320GB hard drive is installed, and it spins at 5400rpm. It provides plenty of space for users to play with. Meanwhile, those wanting a little more graphical grunt will appreciate the NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS, which will be fine for games that aren't too graphics intensive, but will struggle with newer, and even some older titles.
This was reinforced in 3DMark06, where it only achieved a score of 1626. This means modern games like Crysis won't run at all, and even older DirectX 9-based games like F.E.A.R. will barely operate.
The notebook is comfortable to use: users will enjoy the responsive, full-sized keyboard and number pad. A fingerprint reader sits below the keyboard on the right palm rest; it's a convenient security option for those who want to do away with their login password.
The drawback of the full-sized keyboard and 17in screen is the lack of portability. Those hoping to use this device on the go probably will be thwarted by its 3.5kg weight. With its power adapter included, the total package comes to 4kg. It's definitely a stay-at-home notebook.
A set of Altec Lansing speakers offer excellent clarity, but suffer from a lack of bass. There is a line out option for connecting the notebook to a receiver, and two headphone ports are available for private listening. Other sound options include a microphone port and a built-in array microphone that surrounds the webcam above the screen.
Our DVD rundown benchmark, which simulates a worst-case scenario for battery life, returned a time of 1hr 36min. This isn't too bad for such a big notebook; however due to its size it will probably rarely be used far from a power point.
For network connectivity, the dv9800 has all the latest options: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 a/g/n and a 56Kbps modem. Also included is a FireWire port, a five-in-one card reader (SD, MS, MSPro, MMC, xD) and an ExpressCard/54 slot, which provides a good avenue for expansion.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
- Lenovo's Yoga A12 Android 2-in-1 has futuristic touch panel keyboard
- In PC comeback, ARM will battle Intel in Chromebooks and Windows 10
- Dell: Mainstream laptops with wireless charging are still years away
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPAPS6/EL1 Database Modelling SpecialistACT
- TPLead Change Manager - ERPVIC
- CCSAP/ Nakisa Implementation ConsultantQLD
- FTChief Architect - Public SectorACT
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTDeveloper/ ProgrammerSA
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- TPInsights ManagerWA
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTLead PMONSW
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- FTHR Payroll ConsultantQLD
- FT.Net Azure DeveloperSA
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- CCCloud Security Solutions Architect - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTIT Project Coordinator - Mascot/AlexandriaNSW
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- CCSenior Infrastructure EngineerNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- TPTechnical Support Resource-Skype for BusinessVIC
- TPSoftware EngineerWA