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DV2 Review by digitgeek.com December 12, 2009

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Ultraportables seem to have been overshadowed by netbooks in a big way. This has not only to do with the smaller size of netbooks but also the price factor. HP Pavilion dv2 aims to reduce the price gap between netbooks and ultraportables without compromising on performance. The laptop first made its appearance at CES 2009 and attracted a lot of potential buyers. HP has kept an attractive base price that will give touch competition to netbooks which lack the same level of performance that it has to offer.


HP Pavilion dv2 specifications :

  • Processor : AMD Athlon Neo / 1.6 GHz
  • Display : 12.1″ TFT HP BrightView
  • Display resolution : 1280 x 800
  • Memory : 3GB DDR2
  • Hard Disk : 160GB SATA-150 5400 rpm
  • Graphics : ATI Radeon HD 3419
  • Graphics memory : 256MB
  • Optical Drive : External Blu-ray drive with DL support
  • OS : Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Battery : 4-cell Li-ion
  • Approx. price : $699

The base price of the HP pavilion d2 starts at $699. The external Blu-ray drives is not included in the base price and you have to shell out extra for it. However, you do get a good configuration in the base price sans the graphics card and some other goodies.

The design of the HP Pavilion dv2 is stylish and looks stunning in all black look. The laptop is not only ultra thin but also light weight at just 3.8 pounds. The usual imprint finish can be found all over the laptop. Portability was one of the top priorities for HP while designing this laptop and you can make that out by looking at its dimensions and weight. The lid of the laptop is sturdy and does not make any funny noises while opening or closing.

The body is made of high-quality plastic and it does not show scratched easily which can make a black notebook look messy. The edges of the notebook are smooth and round as has been the case with HP Pavilion notebooks. The lid does not have a latch to keep it secure while closed but it hinges manage to keep it in place without it too. Overall the build quality of the dv2 is excellent.

The 12.1″ display on the laptop is as good as it gets for HP laptops. Having a bigger display when compared to netbook never hurts. The display has good contrast and the colors appear rich. The depth in colors is its strong point along with uniform backlighting across the screen. Viewing angles are good but the glossy screen produces reflections in bright light. The 1280 x 800 resolution is fine for a 12″ screen and you can enjoy movies in full glory.

The keyboard has finally got a refresh on the HP Pavilion series laptop and is much improved, hopefully HP will implement the change for all future Pavilion laptops. The keyboard is rigid and keys offer good tactile feedback with minimal sound. The keys have are slightly glossy but that does not affect typing. The palm area has enough space to accommodate palms. We definitely like the new keyboard on the HP Pavilion line which supposedly is the same the HP tx series flaunts.

The touchpad however has remained unchanged, disappointing. The touchpad has a big area for an ultraportable but the surface is slippery that makes it hard to use especially with oily hands. The keys too are shallow and do not give enough tactile feedback for our satisfaction. The On/Off button on the touchpad is the best part that allows to turn the touchpad on/off one the fly as it can interfere while typing. We are still waiting for HP to improve their touchpads, till then we are going to have to do with a mouse.

Ports get the axe in ultraportables and especially when they are ultra-thin too. HP seems to have taken good care of that by including a good number of ports in its ultra-thin body. One can find three USB 2.0 ports that are standard for many mainstream notebooks too. Apart from that it has a  HDMI 1.3 connector to connect external display. A card reader, LAN port, VGA port and a Kensington lock port have been squeezed in as well. That surely is a nice list of ports to have on the move!

The laptop does not come with a internal optical drive due to space constraints but you have the option of going in with either a normal DVD burner or a Blu-ray one both of which are available as external drives. They are powered and driven by a single USB port and do not require any external power. The external drive has similar design as the notebook and gels with it completely.

The laptop has the latest AMD Athlon Neo processor under its hood. The processor is designed to run cooler and consume less power. A cooler processor takes care of the heating problem with ultra-thin notebooks and the dv2 does indeed run much cooler. The performance of the processor is almost twice when comapred to Intel Atom. The dedicated graphics card on the laptop offers flawless full HD video playback and also allows for casual gaming. Overall the dv2 is a good performing notebook. The netbooks simply do not offer the similar performance level.

Pros :

  • Good display
  • Dedicated graphics
  • Good performance
  • All major ports present
  • Great design

Cons :

  • Average touchpad
  • No internal optical drive
  • Low battery life

Final Thoughts

The HP Pavilion dv2 is a nice offering from HP that puts in a lot of features in to the ultra slim ultraportables while keeping the price at a reasonable level. The design of the notebook is cool and Imprint finish lends a sexy look. Although there isn’t an internal optical drive but you can go for an external one. Dedicated graphics is its biggest advantage over netbooks that make it more performance oriented rather than just portability. The keyboard is great but same isn’t the case with touchpad. There isn’t much negative to write about this notebook and one should seriously look consider it over netbooks if performance is top priority.

Rating : 4/5

Source : http://www.digitgeek.com/hp-pavilion-dv2-review/