Summary

Our Score

8/10

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

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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