For performance testing the dv2699 Special Edition was put through the usual set of benchmarks, including both PCMark 2005 and Vantage, our in-house Photoshop Elements and Virtual Dub tests and MobileMark 2007. For comparison we've used the XPS M1330 and M1530, which represent similarly priced machines and also flank it in terms of form factor, the M1330 being a 13.3in model and the M1530 a 15.4in.
Starting with PCMark 05 results are very encouraging, with the HP only bested by the XPS M1530 due to its superior graphics processing - in every other respect it outperforms both. In PCMark Vantage, a more comprehensive suite of tests, the HP comes out on top overall scoring 3008 to the M1530's 2809. Most notably the HP won out in CPU intensive segments such as the Music, Communications and Productivity tests, though gaming is still a weak point. This pattern continued in our in-house tests, where the HP is consistently faster by a noticeable margin.
In MobileMark 2007 it also performed very well. Utilising a 47 watt-hour, six-cell battery the dv2699 managed ten minutes longer than the XPS M1530 in Productivity test, lasting 184 minutes (3hr 4mins) using the Balanced Profile setting. That said, both the Reader and DVD Playback tests were neck and neck and as a whole you shouldn't see too much variation in this department.
If you've read this far you've probably got the impression we really like this special edition machine, and you'd be right. Both aesthetically and practically this is a great notebook, successfully marrying a unique art design and a chassis full of neat features and sturdy construction.
Performance is excellent, too, and though this edition isn't Penryn powered just yet, the 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo T7500 is a very capable CPU and should keep you happy for a long time to come. And, with Penryn inbound, this model is very competitively priced at the moment, so a bargain is to be had. As such, provided you're not interested in gaming, this is a serious contender for your cash.
It has style, it has performance and it's reasonably priced, which is all the ingredients you need for a great laptop computer. It may lack some niceties such as Draft-N wireless and it'll never be a gaming machine, but for entertainment and general use this is a great performer that will fill you with pride whenever you take it out of your bag.