HP Pavilion dv2-1030ea - 12.1in Thin & Light Notebook - HP Pavilion dv2-1030ea

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Of course, one of the dividing factors between a 12.1in notebook like the dv2 and a netbook is the usability of the machine. Fine, netbooks have made great strides in this respect, particularly HP's own Compaq Mini 700, but there's a certain comfort gained from a larger chassis that a netbook can't achieve. Here the dv2 really begins to excel.

For starters there's the keyboard. It's nice and large (92 per cent full-size) and the layout is pretty much spot on. There's a large UK style Return key, while the cursor keys don't encroach upon the territory of the right-Shift key. Unlike some notebooks the dv2 doesn't feature dedicated media keys, but these are secondary functions on the F1-F12 keys, comprising brightness, volume and playback controls. It's also worth noting the power slider switch, as well as the hardware wireless radio button, are housed on the right edge of the machine instead of above the keyboard.

As for the keys themselves, what they lack in depth, they more than make up for with a crisp and positive action that aids fast error-free typing. This is a notebook at which you can happily type long documents, forum posts, blog updates or comments on without feeling like your hands are about to turn into miniature crabs.

Perhaps more pertinent than the keyboard, though, is the touchpad. Even our favourite netbook, the Samsung NC10, suffers from the minuscule touchpad ailment, as do the HP Compaq Mini 700, Acer Aspire One D150 and Lenovo IdeaPad S10e…most netbooks really. There are no such problems with the dv2. Finished in a glossy faux-chrome to match the trim, the touchpad has a wide aspect ratio and large, easy to use buttons. As is always the case with HP there's also a button above the touchpad that deactivates it; useful if you're using an external mouse or tend to jog the cursor when typing.

These two aspects, combined with the higher resolution screen, make the dv2 a very nice machine to use. However, this optimism is sullied somewhat by two issues: heat and noise. Even when idle the dv2's fan spins at a fervent rate - loud enough that it's audible in a quiet room. And, when you start stressing the system more, the fan moves up a gear, generating enough noise to prove very distracting - especially if you're trying to watch a video late at night. This is matched by a fair amount of heat and though the dv2 never gets uncomfortably hot, it's warm enough that you notice.

ilovethemonkeyhead

April 17, 2009, 3:23 pm

i think you should add "left 4 dead" to the laptop gaming benchmarks.

Brian ONeill

April 17, 2009, 6:09 pm

Does look nice, but at this price you would be better going for the dell xps 1330.





It seems the perfect lightweight 12 inch laptop is yet to be build. The dell 12 has potential, but it will probaully be a year before they get it right, with a nice ssd, led screen and and a good chipset.

rav

April 17, 2009, 6:28 pm

don't really get the point of this. it's not cheap like an apire one and it's way too underpowered for 𧼐. i got my 13 inch HP DV3 for 𧼚 and that's centrino 2 with a P8400 and 3GB of RAM and only an inch bigger. this just seems like the kind of netbook that Apple would make although maybe for a 𧴜 more.

jingyeow

April 17, 2009, 7:16 pm

I think the term you're looking for is sub-notebook? That's what they are usually classed as in publications.

Andy Vandervell

April 17, 2009, 7:35 pm

@darkspark88: It seems the most logical term, but then netbooks were called "sub-notebooks", so there's grounds for confusion there. Fundamentally, all this is an ultra-portable notebook with a single-core rather than a dual-core processor. Does that make it below (sub) a notebook? I don't know. This is still a notebook form-factor after all.

Edammer

April 17, 2009, 7:44 pm

"One area where the dv2 easily surpasses a netbook, however, is in its connectivity - purely for the fact it has an HDMI output"





I just bought a Dell Mini 10 and that has HDMI.

Andy Vandervell

April 17, 2009, 8:26 pm

True, but the Mini 10 is the exception rather than the rule.

Lance Uppercut

April 17, 2009, 8:51 pm

What about Neatbook?





And I want royalties if it takes off . . .

ilovethemonkeyhead

April 18, 2009, 12:02 am

@ ravmania - are you happy with your hp dv3 (3***?), because i'm not, really. great performance, in my opinion, couldn't really ask for more from a lappy this size. but rather poor battery life, fingerprint magnet, glossy keyboard (who thought a glossy keyboard was a good idea?), rubbish glossy screen and pretty shoddy build quality. plus i paid a tenner more from my local store. plus the "faux chrome" scratches too easily to reveal a sickening beige unpainted plastic.

rav

April 18, 2009, 3:36 pm

@ilovethemonkeyhead


I've got a DV3507ea. Mine's the brown one and fingerprints aren't really an issue. The keyboard is a bit annoying sometimes as you can't see what the letter on the key is from some angles. Definitely a flaw but one I can live with. Glossy screens are annoying but then that's pretty much most laptops these days. At least it's an LED screen though and it looks great when watching some HD video. It is a bit delicate I must admit. I haven't scratched the chrome but there is some flex when you squeeze the machine. Overall I'm very happy with it though. For the price there wasn't another 13 incher around that compared spec wise. And the brown one does look great with the imprint finish. Just gotta be gentle with it.

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