June 27, 2011
- Attractive, solid design
- Comfortable keyboard
- SSD hard drive & two USB 3.0 ports
- Dual-graphics system
- Outstanding quad-core performance
- No Blu-ray drive
The HP Pavilion dv7t Quad Edition is HP's newest 17-inch desktop replacement laptop that has a speedy second-generation Intel Quad Core i7 CPU and dual graphics, which results in excellent performance. The sleekly designed aluminum laptop has an SSD hard drive in addition to a 540GB hard drive and the latest USB 3.0 connectivity.
The HP Pavilion dv7t measures 16.3 x 10.8 x 1.4-inches (wdh) and weighs 7-pounds, which is quite heavy and definitely is a desktop replacement laptop. It has a stylish, brushed-aluminum finish that has two colors: steel grey or umber. It looks stunning visually and definitely has the computing power to back it up as you'll read to find out later.
The keyboard is an island-style keyboard with large, flat keys alongside a numeric keypad. The keys have a glossy look and provide a smooth, comfortable feel while typing. We felt that none of the keys were undersized or misplaced. The multitouch touchpad is adequately sized, at least in terms of width. It could be a little larger in terms of height, but it isn't anything to gripe about in the end. There's also a fingerprint reader for extra security under the numeric keypad on the right side of the keyboard deck.
HP includes a 17.3-inch BrightView LED display that has a native resolution of 1600 x 900-pixels. While not full 1080p high-definition, you can upgrade to one with an anti-glare coating for $150 extra. The quality of this screen, however, is still quite good although it did throw off some reflections because of the glossy coating.
In terms of connectivity and ports, you'll find two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, VGA-out, gigabit Ethernet, dual headphone jacks, a microphone jack and an SD/MMC memory card reader. There's also a dual-layer DVD+/-RW optical disc drive and 802.11b/g/n wireless connectivity. We really liked the two USB 3.0 ports because most new computers only include one of these, if any at all.
Specifications of the HP Pavilion dv7t include a second-generation Intel Quad Core i7-2630QM CPU (2.0GHz), 8GB of RAM, a 120GB solid state drive (SSD), a 540GB 7200RPM hard drive and AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics with 1GB of dedicated memory. The dual-hard drive feature is really great because you can choose to store data that you want to be able to access quickly, like photos, documents, music, on the solid state drive and have the operating system on the 7200RPM hard drive, which is also quite speedy itself. The second-gen Intel Quad Core CPU provides outstanding processing power that leads to unbelievable performance in conjunction with the SSD drive. We found performance to be almost twice as fast as other leading desktop replacements. HP includes Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) as the operating system.
This laptop has dual-graphics (Intel Integrated HD & AMD Radeon HD 6770M), which means you can get more graphics performance when you need it most. The laptop will automatically choose which graphics system to use based on your performance needs, although you can choose manually. Because this isn't Nvidia's Optimus technology, which makes this transition between systems seamless, you do notice a 1-2 second blackout while the graphics systems are switching over. When using the Radeon HD with the 1GB of dedicated memory, you get fantastic graphics performance, especially for gaming. This is probably the best gaming laptop that we've reviewed to date, which is a real complement.
Battery life with this laptop is about 4.5 hours, which is about 30-45 minutes longer than most other desktop replacements.