Summary: We recommend the eye-catching, media-friendly HP Pavilion dv7-1025nr desktop replacement for students who want a laptop that doubles as an entertainment center. Gateway, however, has a slightly cheaper 17-inch model that's better suited to gamers.
Pros: Refined Pavilion design; "frameless" display bezel enhances screen's appearance; high-end Centrino 2 components result in great multimedia performance; touch pad On/Off button; light-touch media controls; dual headphone jacks; HDMI and eSATA ports.
Cons: Glossy finish easily picks up fingerprints; metallic touch pad provides too much drag; fixed configuration lacks Bluetooth and Blu-ray; frame rates adequate for casual gaming only.
Summary: Multimedia in an Aluminum Skin. The HP Pavilion dv7 is a multimedia notebook available for less than 800 Euro (~$1035). Although, the buyer might not get the newest hardware, they should be happy with the nice aluminum case.
Pros: Case has good workmanship, Aluminum case, Very good brightness distribution, Great speakers, Fingerprint reader is a nice extra, Decent keyboard/touchpad combo, The aluminum case and the great speakers.
Cons: Reflective display, Poor contrast, Limited processor performance, Quite warm in certain areas, A Full HD matte display and a Blu-ray drive. Unfortunately, this could not fit into HP's budget.
Conclusion: First impressions can be everything, though sometimes these pre-conceived notions can be thrown out the door when companies try hard enough. Before this review unit showed up, my previous experience with HP was with their 2007-2009 Pavilion laptops with the infamous quality control issues, let alone nVidia’s blunder with GPUs of that era. Those laptops weren’t well-built, they would overheat like crazy, and the overall experience was negative.
Summary: Refreshed. HP has improved its multimedia laptop, the Pavilion dv7, by adding a graphic card from the new AMD Radeon HD 7000M series. This high-performance desktop replacement (DTR) laptop has a few weaknesses, but its great price-to-performance ratio is guaranteed to entice buyers.
Pros: Great program performance, Powerful graphics card, Sturdy aluminium case, Blu-ray optical drive, 2x USB 3.0, Good battery life, Exceptional performance for a fair price - this argument will attract buyers to the Pavilion dv7. The great hardware components and stylish yet sturdy case are also worthy of praise.
Cons: Weak display, Slight throttling, Few workmanship flaws, Somewhat loud under load, Unfortunately, the notebook does not use the amazing Full HD display found in the other configuration of this model. Low contrast and unstable viewing angles are the result. In addition, the manufacturer should pay more attention to workmanship flaws such as gaps in the material and parts.
Summary: Multimedia headquarters. The Pavilion dv7-6b02eg has everything that can be expected from a well-equipped multimedia notebook. In addition to a quad core processor and a top of the range, DirectX 11 graphics card, a solid state drive and a BluRay burner are under the hood. Another highlight is the matt Full HD screen. Is the price of €1300 justified?
Pros: Non-glare Full HD screen with good rates, Mostly matt surfaces, High application performance, Great gaming performance, Graphics switching, Solid state drive, BluRay burner, Good looks, 2 USB 3.0 ports, The solid state drive speeds up Windows routine significantly.
Cons: High noise development during load, No eSATA, FireWire or ExpressCard, CPU throttling in the stress test, Somewhat spongy keyboard, High weight, It would be nice if the fan would stay more in the background during load.
Summary: Inexpensive entertainer. HP's dv7-6101eg is a powerful 17-inch notebook, which will appeal to multimedia fans and also occasional gamers, thanks to its Blu-Ray drive and decent graphics card. We put it to the test, to see whether HP has produced a well-rounded package or whether it has tried to save money in the wrong places.
Pros: Reasonable battery life, Graphics switching, Smart design, Classy case, Good performance, Fair price, 2x USB 3.0, The classy, well built metal case.
Cons: Sound of the fan under stress, Rattling hard drive, Mediocre screen quality, Reflective screen, Awkward port layout