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To make my review of this laptop easier to read and generally more useful I have broken it down into smaller chunks as follows:
With a dual core 1.66ghz Intel Centrino processor and 2GB of RAM you would expect this laptop to be pretty quick, and fortunately it is. Start up time is pretty reasonable, applications open up quickly, big files load quickly too. Can handle several applications at once and complete several processes at once. I've had a couple of crashes on a few occasions but nothing major that didn't fix itself within a minute or so and was only due to a huge memory overload.
Look and Feel:
This was one of the minor factors in me choosing this laptop over its competitors in the same price range. I get a lot of people coming up to me at school when I have this laptop out telling me they really like it, that it looks really cool. It isn't really flash but it does look very nice and well designed. It does feel a bit plastic like in places but is generally sturdy but not what I would call robust. You should not buy this laptop if you are going to be dropping it about, but if you want a portable laptop you will be taking good care with, this will be okay. It is on the larger side and more heavy as a result and this of course makes it less portable and rival models more preferable if portability is an issue, but otherwise this is still okay for travelling about with.
Memory and Capacity:
With a hard drive capacity of 160gb this certainly doesn't lack hard-drive space and whilst some competitor laptops have a much greater capacity you will find regardless of the specifications you will not want to be using more than 90-100gb of hard drive space as your laptop will slow down considerably. There is also an in-built hard drive partition in this laptop that uses 10gb of hard drive space, so in reality you have around 140gb of memory after you take away the partitioned drive and the software and operating system space. However this hard drive partition is your recovery system and if anything goes wrong you can use this to reset your laptop back to how it was before there were any fundamental errors or problems! A highly useful, use of memory capacity and a great function of this laptop.
Robustness and durability:
As I mentioned with the looks and feel of this laptop, I would not describe this laptop as being robust but if you take good care of it, it will remain durable. There are a few scratches after using it for several months but only the kind of scratches that any piece of electronic equipment suffers over time and being used and nothing to worry about at all, especially since you can only see them when you are looking for them. The durability goes hand in hand with the robustness, as long as you look after this laptop, it will remain durable too. Just do not buy this laptop if you are going to smashing it about in a backpack, travelling to and from work everyday, it is not because it will not be okay if you do so, but there are better products on the market for such a situation.
Ease of use:
The ease of use is fine, the media controls which are found above the keyboard allow easy and quick control over the volume, changing music tracks or DVD chapters, easy and quick access to DVD play and a quick play button that allows you quick access to all the media playing capabilities of this laptop. The inbuilt mouse pad is fine, it is not as practical as a mouse and nothing in comparison but if you do not have the ability to use a mouse, say you are on the move for instance then the inbuilt mouse pad is adequate.
Range of Extra features:
The extra features on this laptop are superb. There is almost total wireless connectivity which includes Bluetooth and wifi, allowing connectivity with most new mobile phones and any wireless internet connection. There is a 5 in one media card reader which can read all of the following formats: SD Memory Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, xD-Picture Card. The remote control that comes with the laptop works fine from a reasonable range and even fits into a slot into the left hand side of the laptop so that it can be easily stored away until it is wanted. The speakers are fine for playing music and movies and only become distorted at their maximum levels which far surpass the noise levels anyone should require for home use. There are three USB ports allowing a mouse to be plugged in with two more spaces still available for USB memory sticks, an external keypad or any other USB devices. There is also a DVD±RW drive and this works fine, it like the majority of laptops should not be used heavily if possible but can happily write and read large volumes of discs if required.
I never found much of a need to comprehensively use the instruction manual, but on the occasions I did, all the information I needed and wanted was there and it was more than sufficient.
I haven't had to deal with the manufacturer support but know of people that have had to deal with HP before and have all agreed that generally they have been well looked after and 'supported'
Value for money:
This laptop does come at a high price and I'm not entirely convinced it is totally worth the money, if I was comfortable in using an apple Mac then I would have bought one of the apple Mac laptops without a second thought for any windows run laptop. If you are after a powerful laptop that can run art, music, video or any kind of media operations extremely well then you should look no further than an apple Mac. However this laptop has served me well, it does look good, there have been few faults I can name on it and so generally the value for money has been pretty good although just not excellent at the £1100 rrp.
The cost is undoubtedly a downside; the whole laptop should be more robust. The screen size of 17 inches is great but does drain the battery ever so slightly faster than that of the HP Pavilion laptops with smaller screens, so is less great on the move. Portability can also be an issue and this laptop should not be bought on the basis of a need for portability.
I haven't had any major glitches, this laptop looks great, the performance is not faultless but generally excellent, and the extra features are fantastic.
Overall & Review Summary:
A good laptop but not necessarily worth the money, it depends heavily on what you are after - if you are after a top all around performer with excellent media features then this is a laptop you should consider. However for performance alone I would recommend an Apple Mac laptop or alternatively for a more solid, robust and cost efficient laptop something cheaper that focuses a less on extras and style and more on core performance would be a wise choice.