HP Pavilion Dv1000
At a Glance
The HP Pavilion Entertainment Notebook PC Dv1000 lives up to its name. A standalone DVD player as well as a laptop, it plays movies or music CDs at the press of a button. An optional $15 remote lets you control the action from up to 10 feet away. (When you're not using it, the remote stores in the laptop's PC Card slot.) The $300 Xb2000 expansion base adds fantastic-sounding speakers. All that's missing is the popcorn.
The Dv1000 is trendy looking, lightweight, and crammed with useful features. The Wi-Fi-ready black-and-silver unit with sloped front weighs just 6.4 pounds altogether. Our unit came with a fixed combination drive whose release button was textured so you could find it easily; you can upgrade to an 8X multiformat DVD burner for $150 more. The excellent keyboard is full of nice touches. We liked the eye-catching navigation keys, which have white tops printed with black arrows. The extra-wide touchpad sports both a vertical scroll zone and a lock to prevent the cursor from accidentally repositioning while you type--not that we needed this feature on the well-behaved Dv1000. There's even a dedicated back button for toggling through browser windows or on the Windows desktop. If you decide not to buy the remote control, it's still easy to launch and play movies or CDs using the full set of multimedia buttons above the keyboard. It's also easy to share, thanks to dual headphone jacks on the front of the case.
On the performance bench, the Dv1000 did not break records, but it did show stamina. Equipped with a 1.5-GHz/600-MHz Pentium M and 512MB of RAM, it earned a WorldBench 5 score of 64--just behind the similarly configured IBM ThinkPad R51, which earned a score of 67. Processor choices for the Dv1000 top out at 1.8 GHz. In our battery tests, the Dv1000 lasted an excellent four hours.
In our multimedia tests, the Dv1000's 14-inch wide-aspect screen displayed full-screen DVD movies smoothly at its native resolution of 1280 by 768 pixels. The built-in speakers aren't bad for a laptop, but the full audio experience requires the Xb2000 expansion base that doubles as a stand, elevating the screen to eye level. The Xb2000 replicates most of the laptop's connections and adds two major features: an internal bay that accommodates a full-height 3.5-inch desktop hard drive, and a set of built-in premium Harman/Kardon speakers that will blow you away with their full sound. A wheel on the front of the base makes adjusting volume a breeze.
Docking the Dv1000 is not pretty; we had to struggle to tug the retractable cable out of the back of the base and pull it around to a connection on the left side of the laptop. And we did not like the clunky look of the big plastic USB infrared receiver for the bundled wireless keyboard and mouse. Still, the base is a worthwhile addition for audiophiles who could also use the extra storage: Its bay takes a 160GB hard drive ($180 extra), for a possible total of 240GB--not bad for a laptop.
The full set of connections includes FireWire and a six-in-one memory card reader that reads SD Cards and most other formats, including XD Picture Cards. Labels printed on the case help you keep track of the card types.
All of the Dv1000's rich features are well documented in two Acrobat manuals, which the company says come preinstalled on the hard drive. Our review unit did not have them, however; we had to download them from the HP Web site.
If a lightweight laptop with lots of connections and entertainment options galore is what you're after, the Dv1000 with an expansion base is light years ahead of the recently reviewed Averatec AV6200H60.