HP Pavilion dv3539TX (FZ917PA#ABG)
Stylish and well-featured laptop
- Easy to carry around, HDMI, 3GB RAM, stylish
- Long set-up time, keys have dark lettering and are a little slippery, glossy screen can be hard to view
This laptop is a good size and offers better performance than its predecessor. Its bronze style probably won't resonate with many users, and its glossy screen is prone to reflections, but we think it looks pretty good.
Price$ 2,199.00 (AUD)
It has only taken six months, but HP's Pavilion dv3000 (dv3021TX) has already been refreshed. The new and improved model, the dv3539TX (FZ917PA#ABG), has a more impressive design as well as tougher guts under the hood, making it faster than its predecessor by approximately five per cent.
The specifications of the dv3539TX aren't dramatically different to the dv3000 — in fact, it has the same CPU speed and the same amount of RAM — but it has a 1066MHz front-side bus speed and a slightly faster graphics adapter. It runs a GeForce 9300M GS with 512MB of RAM instead of a GeForce Go 8400M adapter. With 3GB of DDR2 RAM and a 320GB hard drive, in addition to the afore-mentioned specifications, the dv3539TX scored 90 in WorldBench 6, and it also recorded good times in the Blender 3D and MP3 encoding tests (1min 20sec, and 1min 17sec, respectively).
But it's the outside of the laptop that will garner most attention. Its bronze-coloured base and lid are elegant, and the same colour is used on the keyboard keys. The dark-printed letters mean that the keys are a little hard to read from most angles, so a lighter colour would have been a better choice. That, or backlit keys, which would make this thing really stand out. In fact, it has some illuminated media touch-keys, which reside above the keyboard. They can be used to navigate movies and manipulate the volume. There is also a shortcut key for HP's MediaSmart interface, which lets you quickly launch photo, music, TV and video applications.
The dv3539TX's size makes it easy to carry to and from the office, but it's so nice you probably won't want to use it on public transport or anywhere else where it might get damaged or nicked. It has a 13.3in screen, ships with a 6-cell, 55Wh (Watt hour) battery, and weighs 2.2kg without its power supply. In our DVD run-down test, the unit lasted for 1hr 58min, which is a decent time for a 13.3in unit with a standard battery pack; you should be able to get more out of it if you implement a power-saving scheme and reduce the brightness of the screen.
HP calls this an Entertainment PC because of the media buttons and MediaSmart software, and you also get a built-in DVD drive and an HDMI port. There is an option for a TV tuner as well, which fits into the unit's ExpressCard/34 slot, but you could always buy a non-HP TV tuner and plug it into one of the unit's three USB 2.0 ports. One of the USB ports is a combination USB 2.0/eSATA port, so you can easily expand the laptop's already generous storage space.
Its hard drive spins at 5400rpm, and it recorded a transfer rate of 22 megabytes per second in our data transfer test, which is a standard speed. It supplies a formatted capacity of 287GB for your operating system, programs and files, and 10GB is reserved for the backup partition as the unit doesn't ship with recovery discs.
During regular use the laptop didn't make too much noise, although its hard drive could be heard ticking slightly when it was writing data, and its cooling fan did emit a slight whirr. Some heat travelled up through the palm rest, which is due to the 802.11n wireless adapter. The hard drive and RAM are located underneath the keyboard area, which helps disperse the heat across the chassis, making it a pleasure to use on your lap. The keyboard keys produced adequate travel, although they did feel a little shallow and slippery. The touchpad also felt a little too sticky, but it got easier to use as time went on.
The glossy bezel around the screen is a little distracting in a well-lit room or when you're outdoors, and the screen itself is also glossy, which makes it prone to reflections depending on the viewing angle. The screen is latch-less and can be easily opened, and this adds to the overall aesthetic appeal and ease of use of this laptop.
What we don't like about this laptop is its long set-up time. It tries to push ISP deals and Symantec Anti-Virus onto your Desktop, and it also ships with a trial version of Microsoft Office. It's not a good impression when it takes so long to use the laptop after getting it out of the box, so we wish HP would lighten the load and improve this aspect of the product.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 ASUS TUF FX505 (Ryzen 7) review: Tolerable trade-offs
- 2 Oppo A5Xs review: Cutting corners
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Xiro Drone Xplorer V by Rapoo review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft slash 15% off the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3
- Huawei's new Matebook D14 is even cheaper on Amazon right now
- Huawei hold their own with new Matebook laptops
- Razer refresh Blade lineup with 300Hz screens and 10th Gen Core processors
- Tile connectivity is coming to the next generation of Intel laptops
PCW Evaluation Team
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
- Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- Soundbars: Why they’re worth it and which one should you buy
- Buying a laptop this EOFY? Here's a cheat sheet
- 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