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

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

So far, then, we've established that this is a very well-featured laptop which, thanks to the massive hard drive, would be ideal if you're after a machine that would effectively be your only PC. With 500GB to play with only the most dedicated of hoarders would run out of space for music, video and photos.

It's not as if the dv3 is just feature-rich, either. It's also a very good, though no quite outstanding, performer. Looking at the PCMark Vantage results it compares well to the Samsung Q320, though the Samsung is perhaps five per cent faster in some instances. One can only surmise this is due to HP installing more 'bloatware' than Samsung, though the HP isn't over laden with useless tat.

It's also worth noting the difference between the HP and the Acer Aspire Timeline 4810T, which uses a 1.4GHz ultra-low voltage CPU. In the Productivity segment, for example, it's around 30 per cent faster, which is a fairly sizeable difference in processing performance.

Of course, where battery life is concerned things are a little different, though even here the dv3 puts in a very good showing, beating the Samsung in all the tests. In the Productivity segment it managed an impressive four hours and 10 minutes, 40 minutes more than the Q320. This trend is continued in the Reader and DVD tests, with results of four hours 43 minutes and just under three hours respectively.

This means, with frugal use, you could get up to five hours of normal usage and perhaps three and a half of video playback - more than enough for even a long film. These are extremely impressive results, though the 55Watt-hour battery of the dv3 still can't match the incredible seven-hour plus results of the 4810T. If you're after the maximum battery life possible for this money it is still the best bet, but the dv3 is arguably a better all-round machine for a consumer.

This is mostly due to its flexibility. Its nVidia graphics won't power through the latest games titles, not without significant compromise, but it can do a decent job. In Trackmania Nations, for instance, we managed 44.4fps at Medium settings, while adding four samples of anti-aliasing still retained a playable 34.2fps. This is a little faster than the Q320 due to the HP's larger complement of graphics memory: 512MB versus 256MB. Suffice to say the Acer, with its Intel integrated graphics, can't come close and it also struggles with Full HD video, something the HP can handle comfortably.

Verdict

This 13.3in machine delivers on many levels. It's packed full of useful features, particularly that capacious 500GB hard drive, while the design is attractive - if a little showy. This is backed up by decent raw performance and excellent battery life. It's not quite the perfect bargain, but for £750 you couldn't ask for a great deal more.

Ninjakettle

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.

morsch

June 18, 2009, 4:18 pm

Looks ridiculous.

ilovethemonkeyhead

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.

Duffman!!!

June 18, 2009, 7:26 pm

@Ninjakettle





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...

Ohmz

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.

ffrankmccaffery

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

Per

June 20, 2009, 7:54 pm

@Andy


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?

panterarosso

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

Phlebas

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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