HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea 15.4in Blu-ray Notebook - HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

If the dv5 is attractive and well put together, one thing it isn't is very portable. At 2.92kg it's treading awfully close to the 3kg mark when many other 15.4in laptops are closer to 2.7 or 2.8kg. Neither is it particularly slim, measuring a notional 34.9mm at its thinnest to a comparatively chunky 41.9mm at its thickest - a figure that's accurate for 90 per cent of the chassis. Seeing as this is more of an entertainment station for the home this isn't a cataclysmic problem, but it does make taking it out and about from time to time a little more challenging.

This can be explained away somewhat, mind, when you take a look at the innards of the dv5-1011ea. Its starting point, a Centrino 2 spec Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 running at 2.0 GHz with 3M2 L2 Cache, is actually quite modest. It's one of the medium voltage chips, with power consumption of 25W as opposed to the 35W norm, but it's more than capable for most needs and keeps things running smoothly. This is supported by 4GB of 800MHz rated RAM, too, so you're hardly limited there and for storage you get a reasonable but not massive 250GB drive.

Delving a little deeper reveals this should be a capable gaming machine as well. An nVidia 9600M GT with 512MB of dedicated memory provides the graphics grunt and it's about as powerful as you're going to get outside of proper high end gaming laptops. It happily chomped through Trackman Nations Forever at 33.9fps, with detail set to high, four samples of filtering and two samples of anti-aliasing running at 1,280 x 800.

Networking options are as thorough as you can get, with Intel's latest Draft-N capable Wi-Fi Link 5100 module, Gigabit Ethernet and a modem as well. There isn't, however, Bluetooth - a surprising and presumably cost related omission. Still, if this puts a small downer on things then the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive quickly improves matters. It can only read Blu-ray discs, not write them, but few notebooks can offer this and DVD capacity is more than sufficient right now.

Naturally there's an HDMI port for connection to a TV or LCD Monitor and all round connectivity is excellent. There are three individual USB ports and a fourth is handily added through the combined USB and eSATA port. These are joined by a four-pin FireWire port, the ubiquitous memory card reader and a 54mm ExpressCard slot. As with all HP Pavilion laptops you also get a handy travel remote that can be stowed in the ExpressCard slot. Finally, on the front, are dual headphone jacks, one of which doubles as an S/PDIF output, a microphone input and an infrared receiver for the remote.

ilovethemonkeyhead

September 11, 2008, 2:31 pm

i would be interested to know how this laptop (and graphics card) will perform against devil may cry 4 - my new favourite game :D





i've used this before, and i thought the keyboard was horribly slippery and the touch pad offered a lot of resistance, making it a little tough to use. however the price is very tempting, when compared to the acer equivalent

TheMonkeyHead

September 11, 2008, 2:42 pm

I love you too x

gdawg304

September 11, 2008, 4:51 pm

I've checked out their website for the dv5-1000 line....all 1280x800





Are HP allergic to the idea of offering things like WXGA+ or higher resolutions with WLED backlit screens? I know it's just a personal thing but 1280 x 800 is just a lil bit too chunky on a 15.4" screen....

Andy Vandervell

September 11, 2008, 5:29 pm

I know what you mean, though unfortunately the mainstream argument against can easily surmised by anyone who has complained they can't read the text.





Mainly, though, it's a cost issue and if you're like HP and sell off-the-shelf then opting for something that adds a significant cost is tricky thing to do, especially if it prices them out of the market.





Moreover, I'd argue that though such things are undoubtedly desirable, they're not necessarily demanded for in large enough quantities to make it viable.





FYI, mind, we've got the Dell Studio 15 in at the moment and of course it does offer such options. It's on the continuing advantages it has.

Fraxos

September 11, 2008, 6:13 pm

The really frustrating bit is that unlike the US, we, in the UK, have no option to customise HP laptops. In the US you can customise the dv5t with WSXGA+.

gdawg304

September 12, 2008, 4:40 am

@Andy - re the Studio 15 - this has an option for a 1440 x 900 WLED screen, but the 'premium' XPS M1530 doesn't have this option - though it does in the US and has for some months. This has been on Dell's Ideastorm for some time, Dell won't comment on if/when it'll be an option - so it's bizarre that they're offering the option on the cheaper range laptop! The M1530 was looking like my number 1 choice till I found out the UK isn't being offered the better LED screen - call me picky, but if I got one, I'd always be looking at it and feeling short-changed!





You're right though - for "Joe Average" these sorts of things don't matter. But for tech-snobs and geeks - it's a big issue!

Glenn 1

October 5, 2008, 4:52 am

Andy, the official HP site says that the weight of the dv5-1011ea is 2.65kgs. Is that correct (as you mention that it is 2.95kgs)? The other thing is have HP discontinued this notebook already not even two months after its launch (Amazon, Play.com and dabs say that this is the case). That would be sad as it looks a great laptop...

Andy Vandervell

October 5, 2008, 2:29 pm

Are you sure? It's still on HP's website....http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/...





As for the weigh, HP only quotes a "starting weight" that's without certain components. It is 2.95, I weighed it. :)

ilovethemonkeyhead

October 10, 2008, 2:50 am

just a point, do the laptop graphics use gddr2 or the faster gddr3 memory?

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