It's not difficult to see how HP has become the world's biggest notebook and PC name, since it generally manufactures high quality, good-looking products that perform well. Today we're looking at what might well turn out to be another, the Pavilion dv7-1000ea.
Equipped with a Blu-ray drive and an eminently affordable price, it certainly is starting well and regular readers might feel a twinge of recognition here, either at the name or, more likely, at the picture. No, it's not Déjà vu, but the dv7-1000ea's smaller sibling that Andy reviewed a while back, which goes under the no less intimidating name of the HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea.
While its naming scheme is the one area where HP could work on, the main difference between the two models is hinted at by the number five in the one, and seven in the other. Whereas the dv5 was a 15.4in notebook, the dv7 is, as you might have guessed, its 17in twin. And when I say twin I mean it; apart from the increase in size and a higher-capacity eight-cell battery compared to the dv5's six-cell model, not much has changed in terms of either looks or specifications.
Going for its looks and chassis first (we're shallow that way), like with the dv5 it's a very attractive beasty. It can basically be divided up into two parts, with the entire lid being black, while the bottom half is silver.
The piano black lid might be a fingerprint magnet, but is easy on the eye despite the barely visible conservative grey grid pattern. Fortunately, a cleaning cloth is provided to keep the notebook in pristine condition. There is a relatively small HP logo in one corner, which becomes backlit in white when the notebook is turned on and it looks very nice.
Indeed, the lighting all over in this notebook is both subtle and useful. White LEDs, as seen on recent Toshiba notebooks (including the Toshiba Qosmio G50-115) are the flavour of the day, turning to orange in their 'negative' state. Apart from the logo, tiny hard drive, power and battery indicators are visible with the lid closed. There's another indicator for num-lock and one above the touchpad, which turns orange when you switch the pad off.
Just below the screen is a silver strip containing the multimedia controls and power button, all backlit in white with the exception of the wireless radio indicator, which is blue. Excluding the power button they're also touch sensitive and each is well-separated and quite responsive, the only potential bugbear being the volume slider where adjustments can be slightly inaccurate.
Getting onto the rest of the notebook's lower half, below the multimedia controls there is an expanse of perforated metal covering the speakers and part of the lower chassis. The rest of it is silver plastic, carrying on the squared pattern from the lid. The patterned finish of the wrist-rests means fingerprints only show up from certain angles, unlike the lid where they are easily visible. Around it all runs classy chrome coloured trim and this is continued around the keyboard and the touchpad buttons, too.