HP Pavilion dv3-2055ea - 13.3in Laptop - HP Pavilion dv3-2055ea

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


While it might not be immediately apparent from the photos, the dv3-2055ea is actually finished in a very dark brown - HP calls it Espresso, but we're calling it brown. This, as is the modern habit, is coated in a glossy varnish, so fingerprint issues apply here, though the brown finish doesn't make them as obvious as a black one.

Another typical trait of HP laptops is their artsy imprint designs and the dv3 doesn't disappoint. As ever they definitely bring a little individuality to the table, though we must admit the novelty has worn off a little - if only because we've seen it so often. Indeed, this view could be applied to the machine as a whole since the HP design language is very consistent across its whole range. However, this is our inner jaded journalist talking really; overall, the dv3 is a classy and attractive machine. It's also well put together. We encountered no creaking in the body panels and while the system does generate a little noise under stress, it remains pretty cool.

It's also a machine that benefits from an outstanding keyboard. Its keys have a wonderful crisp and even action, with just the right amount of travel and a pleasing lack of flex. We can find no issue with the layout, either. Keys are large and easy to use and HP has made good use of the space available, squeezing in Page Up and Down keys to the right of the Return key.

Alas, the touchpad isn't quite so faultless. It works well enough, its mirror-like finish is very smooth, it's nicely proportioned and the buttons are firm and responsive, it's just the positioning that's gone wrong. That's because HP has put it slap-bang in the middle, so it obstructs typing when active. Now, HP has a toggle button to deactivate the pad, but why not just put it in the right place in the first place? After all, HP's other laptops don't have this problem and they all have toggle buttons, too.

Happily, in the greater scheme of things, this is a fairly minor complaint, especially when you begin to enjoy the excellent speakers. They're branded Altec Lansing and regardless of whether this is meaningful or not, the end result is impressive. They produce nice mid-range clarity, a hint of bass and can reach good volumes. This makes them good for casual music listening, perhaps even the occasional TV episode.

This audio prowess is a good illustration of what you get for the extra £100 or so you might spend over the Samsung Q320, whose similar spec belies some truly atrocious speakers. Another example of where the extra cash goes is the smart touch controls, which comprise a mute button, a volume slider and a wireless radio toggle. Strangely, given HP's past habits, you don't get playback touch controls, though these are mapped to the F8 to F12 keys. Throw in the fingerprint reader and the provided remote and there are enough reasons to justify the extra cost.


June 18, 2009, 2:58 pm

Nice bit of kit - I'll never buy HP again though after being one of the thousands of DV2000 series owners affected by the Nvidia solder problem (Laptops all started dying after approx 1.5 years). HP have lost a lot of loyal customers over the handling of that issue and i reckon regardless of how pimped their offerings are out of the box, in my opinion HP now have a questionable customer support record which should be taken into account when buying.


June 18, 2009, 4:18 pm

Looks ridiculous.


June 18, 2009, 4:21 pm

their last 13 inch (dv3500, which i have away at repairs) had horrid creaking issues over the right palm rest. and the viewing angles on the LED screen were... poor.


June 18, 2009, 7:26 pm


I will never go for HP again either. Horrible customers service!!! Seems they do not want loyal customers. I keep to Lenovo and Samsung from now on...


June 18, 2009, 7:46 pm

I find it interesting that so many people are complaining about HPs' customer service. I used to work for them in fact, and I can sympathize! It was pretty bad, but let's not kid ourselves, they're all the same in the end.


June 19, 2009, 3:17 am

i dont know about the overall issues mentioned above since i dont own one myself (thinkpad x31 if your wondering) but i was fixing a friends hp (dv5)the other day and the damn thing lights up like the blackpool iluminations


June 20, 2009, 7:54 pm


Thanks for great reviews! We are looking at HP dv3 2055 and Samsung Q320 for my teenage son. He wants to do some occasional gaming but not necessarily the very latest ones. Both have the same graphics card but the HP have 512mb of dedicated memory. Will that make any difference in performance when playing?


June 22, 2009, 6:09 pm

i actualy saw one of these "espresso" color machines in the store. Think glare on the screen is irritating? wait till you have to sit at a silly angle in order to be able to see the letters on the keys.... Who ever thought of this one is more a fashiondesigner than a laptop user


October 11, 2009, 6:45 pm

Quality review, after looking around at the equivalent rigs (Acer Timelines and Aspires) I'm looking at getting the dv3-2130ea. From what I can tell the only difference is no fingerprint reader for £40 cheaper. Anyone know otherwise?

gareth jones

March 9, 2010, 9:35 pm

I had a samsung cinema home kit £1K!! and completed one of their updates which then made half my Blurays not work.. as it was just over a year they said I had to fit the bill!! after THEIR updates... so think it is not just HP that are poor at long term customer service

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