Summary: The HP Pavilion dv3 is a bit of an odd bird when it comes to an up-or-down recommendation. The performance is lacklustre on paper, but we didn't have any major holdups in everyday use. We didn't like the touchpad, which kept trying to second-guess our moves. Tweak that touch sensitivity enough - or just be extra careful while highlighting - and it shouldn't be a big a burden. But why should you have to wonder if it will be a burden in the first place?
Summary: The HP Pavilion dv3z has a lot going for it: a svelte design (even with the nine-cell battery); good looks; a bright, LED-backlit display; loud speakers, and good performance—with the exception of the sluggish hard drive. Although heavier, the $799 Gateway UC Series delivers decent performance and better battery life in an attractive package. However, if you prefer a slimmer and lighter design to longer endurance, the dv3z is the better choice.
Summary: With an SRP of £799 and low-key good looks courtesy of two HP Imprint designs, the HP Pavilion dv3-2055ea is a well-specified laptop that doesn't skimp in any particular area. At between two to four hours depending on the task, battery life could be better, but a larger cell will bump up the weight, and portability is one of this laptop's strengths.
Pros: Excellent baseline specification; compact and stylish; good selection of ports.
Cons: Middling battery life; 3D graphics only so-so.
Summary: Laptops with touchscreens are nothing new. Take HP's own TX2, for example, or Toshiba's excellent Portege M750. The TouchSmart dv3 trumps them all, however, by adding an iPhone-like multitouch panel to the latest revision of its 13.3in chassis. So can it triumph where other tablets have failed? In six years of finger-friendly computing, tablets have struggled to win the masses over.
Summary: The HP Pavilion dv3-2055ea is a well-specified 13.3-inch laptop that doesn't sacrifice usability for the sake of portability. Middling 3D graphics performance makes it a capable all-rounder rather than true multimedia powerhouse, but it's otherwise well-specified, and well worth a look
Pros: Huge hard disk, Comfortable keyboard, Comprehensive set of ports