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HP Pavilion dv7 Beats Edition review

Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score



  • Very impressive battery life
  • Stylish and relatively sleek
  • Stays cool and quiet under load
  • Decent screen


  • Slow hard drive
  • No keyboard backlighting
  • Glossy screen finish
  • Screen is not Full HD
  • Can get better specs for the money

Review Price £949.00

Key Features: Brushed aluminium chassis

Manufacturer: HP

HP has been on a winding road with its laptops recently, with models like the Pavilion dm4-3000ea Beats Edition disappointing us while at the same time the Pavilion dm4-2101 set new standards by lasting over nine hours on a charge. Now we’re looking at the HP Pavilion dv7 Beats Edition, a 17in laptop that will hopefully tread the middle ground between the power and style of the former while managing some of the performance and value of the latter.

A premium, stylish machine dressed in brushed aluminium, the HP Pavilion dv7-6b51ea Beats Edition sports some powerful bits under the hood too. Our particular model sports a quad-core Core i7 processor and AMD Radeon HD 6490 graphics card, backed by 8GB of RAM and a whopping 1TB hard drive. A Blu-ray drive and of course Dr. Dre-certified Beats speakers affirm this Pavilion’s status as a multimedia powerhouse.

Despite its desktop-replacing size and internals, the Pavilion dv7 Beats Edition is relatively slim-looking and very attractive. Rather than the usual Beats red and black, this time around we’re treated to a gorgeously minimalist brushed aluminium body, with only the glossy black plastic screen bezel to detract from its luxury. This is also the sole part that picks up fingerprints in any noticeable way.

The lid sports the usual white-backlit HP logo we find on most of its premium machines, and this is matched on the laptop’s inside by a white LED surrounding the touchpad and several small indicators for power, charging and drive activity. It’s not quite as pretty as a 17in Macbook Pro, but it definitely comes close, and we prefer its more rounded edges.

Build quality is pretty good too, though there is a hint of creak here and there. Overall though, the HP Pavilion dv7 Beats Edition feels as premium as it looks. Don’t be deceived by its sleek lines and tapering edges, however: the dv7 Beats Edition is a proper desktop replacement laptop with a profile that’s 3.6cm high and weighing in at over 3.4kg.

Connectivity matches what we’ve come to expect from a high-end consumer laptop. On the left we have the (ever more redundant) VGA connector and HDMI 1.4 for video, a Gigabit Ethernet port, twin USB 3.0 ports and three audio jacks for analogue surround sound.

The front houses a memory card reader while the right side hosts two USB 2.0 ports and the tray-loading Blu-ray drive. Wireless is handled by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi N, with an HD webcam taking care of video-calling duties.

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David Horn

March 25, 2012, 6:10 pm

Not really on to compare it to the 17 inch Macbook Pro and then complain about not being good value for money - the equivalent Macbook is nearly £1,500 more without the 1TB hard disk and meaty graphics card.

Matthew walker

January 7, 2013, 10:48 am

Would just like to say that although the dv7 is good for a while, it quickly deteriorates, mine after 6 months is now extremely loud the fan has been cleaned numerous times yet it is still very loud. As well as this the dv7 has a serious issue with the screen not turning on, which today has become even worse with it not turning on at all. The battery life also becomes rather shocking, even worse than my previous acer, which I got rid off for this reason, battery only lasts 45 minutes max, and that merely using word processor not the Internet. Overall I terrible laptop, and I would definitely recommend not buying it

FreeSpirited Wolves

March 7, 2013, 11:42 pm

I would just like to say that I've had the dv7 for 2 and a half years, and the older it gets, the worse it is. Let's just say that mine has been cleaned 4 times so far and it still runs terribly. It is so bad that I have been through numerous cooling fans, and 3 cans of cleaning air. Funny thing is that 11 months after I purchased it, the sides next to the fan started chipping off. Overall, this is an okay laptop for a few months, but if you actually plan to keep it for a few years and to watch videos and listen to music then don't buy it.


March 24, 2013, 4:13 pm

Build quality is poor. If palm of left hand rests too heavily on computer while typing the cursor jumps around the page....time to repair document. In 14 months has crashed twice, requiring reloading everything. All the HP software, or whatever it is, slows things down, adds no value and is intrusive. Never an HP again.


April 12, 2013, 11:23 pm

Very very poor laptop in all honesty. The cooling fan has been the main issue which has been replaced twice and even with an external cooling 'pad' (connected via USB) the laptop still overheats. Not quite sure what the deal is with the beats audio but the sound quality is dreadful, sounds like the sound is coming through a tin can.

Deryn Cullen

May 13, 2013, 11:50 am

Couldn't agree more. The internal audio is the worst I've heard on a laptop and has caused numerous conflicts when working with video and sound editing software. I use an external audio interface, but had a lot of trouble persuading my digital audio workstation to accept the external interface as the default device. I too have purchased an external cooling pad with 3 hard-working fans to deal with the overheating issue, and the machine still overheats when performing CPU-intensive tasks. Also comes with a below average graphics card and no update support for the drivers. I have wasted a great deal of time and money on this machine.

Roger Ashton

May 16, 2013, 6:37 am

I bought this lappy for school. I was running vm servers and win7 for a while. It did seem to get hot quick, so I wiped it clean and installed ubuntu with the apache server. I watch everything on it because it has replaced my cable box, it is my web server, database and development environment and everything else I need for a home based business.. I paid 1200 for it a few months after it came out and I am happy with the performance after the linux conversion.


August 5, 2013, 2:41 am

a great laptop, since HP coolsense looks after my fan speed and and stops overheating completely, also, with the beats audio i didn't know what you had to actually go into control panel to turn them on that's why there's been a few complaints on previous comments on the speakers being tinny and low scale, but since i had them turned on they are immaculate, crisp and keeping their great standard along with my dr dre beats headphones they make quite the pair, the processor is probably the best around and keeps my system fast and glitch free just what i need for college, the screen is perfect for blu-ray downloads of films and dvd's i couldn't ask for better... i could sit here all day and talk about all the good points :) but the only let down is the battery, its very appalling, i would expect that to be better for the price but i guess it would get run down quite easily because of the amount of things it has to keep powered up so its expected... and saying all this I've had my HP pavilion DV-7 for a year and 7 months now and its working like a dream :) i love it! i would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!

Brian Cruz

August 23, 2013, 5:12 pm

My dv7 just crashed and I've only had it for a year. it overheats all the time. I'm assuming it was hardware failure due to the long and intense heat. I had bought a 3 fan cooler for it but it still overheats. I've wasted so much money into this computer and I wished I had never bought it and just got a stand alone with a monitor to begin with. I think I'm switching to acer because it's all i can afford at the moment. hooray for 12 inch screens...


September 10, 2013, 7:00 pm

To turn on beats its the windows key + the B key


November 13, 2013, 4:06 pm

Just bought one from a friend. He complained that it ran slow and hot. I managed to fix the problems by updating and downloading the additional drivers from the HP website. especially the BIOS update. As far as the speakers are concerned, if you have the right audio driver and the beats audio turned on, I have yet to hear better sound from a laptop to date.


May 22, 2014, 3:06 pm

No back-lit keyboard turned out to be very very inconvenient, the fan is really loud and my friends Lenovo which was a third of the price completely destroyed the so called "brilliant" beats audio. Granted the laptop is reasonably quick and I like the finger print scanner but I will be getting rid of it and wont be looking for another HP any time soon. Also the screen is impossible to see if you want to use it outside and its even hard to see just inside on sunny day. The worst and most annoying part though is the terrible battery life, it makes it about an hour and a half if you're lucky and that's under normal use nothing strenuous. DONT BUY IT is the moral of the story!!

LoriAnn Patchen

November 16, 2015, 9:54 pm

So you mean there is still hope for this laptop? I'm going to try your method ..could you please include which drivers and updates I should DL from HP website, along with the BIOS update? These performance issues occur during Facebook game play as soon as I open the link..the fan kicks on high speed immediately, runs hot, slow and then drops back to normal within seconds of closing the app. Thanks for sharing some insight on solutions.

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