Saturday, January 14, 2012

HP dv7t Quad Edition Review

The HP Pavilion dv7t Quad Edition Series (dv7tqe) is a desktop replacement style laptop available from HP.com which currently starts at $899.99. The model I purchased came in at $1,199.99 with a number of additional options added. This price includes a $300 discount and various free upgrades being offered by HP at the time.
When looking for a new laptop I primarily wanted something at a price of around $1,000, a 17” or greater screen, and a powerful processor and graphics card capable of handling just about anything I threw at it. I already had a smaller laptop I used all over my apartment for various tasks, but it was severely underpowered and unimpressive when running games and sometimes even displaying full-screen video. This laptop wouldn’t completely replace my smaller laptop, just compliment it with more power in exchange for less portability.
While there were a number of manufacturers that had laptops which could potentially satisfy my requirements, very few of those manufacturers had fully customizable laptop choices. Many manufacturers have a “CUSTOMIZE” button next to their various models of laptops on their website, but usually few real choices await the potential buyer (getting to pick a version of Windows 7 does not count as customizing a laptop). I still looked at just about every manufacturer I could imagine, and in the end chose the dv7tqe because it offered everything I was looking for, and then some, at the most competitive price.

Here are the specifications of my dv7tqe as ordered:
Display: 17.3-inch diagonal Full HD Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)
Processor: Intel i7-2670QM (2.2 Ghz, 6MB l3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 3.1 Ghz
OS: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Graphics Card: 2GB Radeon HD 6770M GDDR5
Memory: 8GB DDR3 (2 Dimm)
Storage: 750GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
Battery: 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
Optical Drive: Combination Blue-ray Player & SuperMulti DVD Burner
Ports: 2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, Microphone, 2 Headphone
Dimensions: 16.38" (W) x 10.83" (D) x 1.24" (min H) / 1.42” (max H)
Weight: 6.72 lbs
Color: Dark Umber
Multimedia Inputs: HP TrueVision HD Webcam with Integrated Microphone; Fingerprint Reader
Wireless: Intel 802.11 b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth
A few comments regarding my build out and the options HP had available. First, as I wanted the best possible graphics and gaming performance, the extra $150 for the 1080p screen over the stock 900p screen was a must buy. What would be the point of a giant screen if you couldn’t back it up with great resolution? Second, while processor upgrades were available for $150 to $350, the potential gains seemed pretty insignificant. A few tenths of a GHz when you’re already pushing into the 3’s in turbo mode just wasn’t worth it to me. Third, taking the 2GB option over the 1GB option on the video card was probably a waste, even at only an additional cost of $50 more. Most reliable sources will tell you that 2GB will offer no performance increase over 1GB for this level of graphics card (or possibly most any level of graphics card). Fourth, you can probably skip the 7200RPM drive if you’re planning on installing a Solid State Drive (SSD) yourself. More on that later.

1 comment:

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