Powerful, feature-packed and very shiny
When it comes to the cut-throat notebook market, aesthetics can often make or break a sale. With this in mind it’s no surprise that laptop makers experiment in an effort to stand out from the crowd.
- Built-in TV tuner, Blu-ray player, HDMI port, eSATA port, good screen, good processor
- Heavy, divisive design, low battery life, heat
If you don’t mind your laptop attracting more attention than you, the HP DV5-1010TX_01 is a fast but heavy unit that comes with a built-in TV tuner and Blu-ray player for a reasonable price.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
The HP Pavilion DV5-1010TX_01 is a unit that will definitely stand out in a line-up thanks to its excellent performance, good entertainment features and its design. HP’s use of a highly reflective chassis isn’t new, but its decision to roll out this design across its latest generation of 'Entertainment' notebooks is certainly bold. The Pavilion dv3000 (dv3021TX) has an almost identical body, right down to the glowing HP symbol on the lid. While some users may enjoy being different, to others the shiny style may come off as gaudy.
When handling the 'liquid metal'-themed unit we also noted that it became fairly warm after a few hours of data crunching. This made typing slightly uncomfortable and will affect the use of this notebook on laps. It’s a pity, because the full-sized keyboard is a dream to use, with large tapered keys and excellent keystroke response.
The DV5 is a formidable device. Thanks to a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 CPU, a 320GB hard drive that spins at 5400rpm and 4GB of DDR2 RAM, most users will be very satisfied with the laptop’s specifications.
Our WorldBench 6 tests confirm this, with the HP scoring a respectable 95. This means that users wanting to watch high-definition content or perform hardware-intensive tasks will have no problems.
More reassurance is offered by our iTunes benchmark, which gauges the CPU’s strengths by converting 53min of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s. The HP managed this in 1min 9sec, which is a respectable time that matches what we were expecting.
Users wanting to use the DV5 for gaming will be happy with the unit’s 3DMark06 score of 4375, which indicates an ability to play older games such as F.E.A.R. at middle to high levels. DirectX 10 games such as Crysis won’t get much love, but you’d have to look at a higher price bracket for a respectable gaming laptop.
While this may seem to contradict HP’s 'Entertainment' label, the device makes up for it with a Blu-ray drive and built-in TV tuner. These both work quite well. A short antenna adapter cable is provided, which can be used to plug in an external antenna.
Watching high-definition movies on the notebook is fine thanks to the excellent 15.4in display with a native resolution of 1280x800. The screen has an adequate viewing angle and displays pictures and movies with vibrancy.
If you’re not into watching high-end visuals on a relatively small screen, then its HDMI port enables a quick and easy connection to an LCD or plasma panel. This and the other ports available are another strong feature of the DV5, with a D-sub port, one ExpressCard/54 slot, a FireWire port, three USB 2.0 ports and a fourth USB 2.0 port, that doubles as an eSATA port, providing a relatively wide selection of expandability options. Network connectivity is excellent thanks to the Gigabit Ethernet port and 802.11n wireless module. An external 320GB hard drive is included with the notebook.
If you’re looking to use this unit on the road with long spells between recharges, then you’ll be disappointed by the unit’s endurance: it lasted only 1hr 8min in our DVD rundown test. Using the laptop on the go isn’t helped by the HP weighing a hefty 2.85kg without its power supply and 3.4kg with it packaged together.
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