Our Score


Review Price £949.00

The Pavilion dv7 Beats Edition’s chiclet keyboard features an excellent layout with full-size number pad. The matt keys feel nice under the finger and offer a good amount of travel paired with crisp action. As usual, HP is beaten only by Lenovo when it comes to the best portable typing experience going; the Lenovo ThinkPad W701ds is still the closest a laptop has ever come to matching the superb IBM mechanical keyboards of yore. Our only complaint is the lack of backlighting, which should really come standard on a large laptop costing nearly £1,000.

HP Pavilion dm7 Beats Edition 14

As with the Pavilion dm4-3000ea Beats Edition before it, the touchpad features distinct physical buttons but still offers a large usable surface. It’s smooth to the touch and very responsive, and the well-positioned buttons give a distinctive click.

No backlighting for the keyboard makes typing in the dark a bother

One of the most important elements on any multimedia laptop is its screen, and this Beats Edition offers a good 17.3in effort with a 1,600 x 900 resolution. While lower than the 1,920 x 1,080 (Full HD) resolution we might have expected at the price, it should still be plenty for most and is a step up from the 1,366 x 769 pixels found on many 17in laptops.

Though the panel used is TN, vertical viewing angles at least are excellent. Unfortunately it doesn’t display the Samsung Series 9’s surprisingly good horizontal ones, so you’ll still need to angle the hinge right to get the most out of it. Once you do, however, watching with a few friends won’t be an issue.

Colours are bright and punchy while blacks are deep and reasonably detailed; only the subtlest dark shades posed an issue for the screen. Backlighting was nicely even with only the subtlest bit of bleed from the upper sides of the display, something you shouldn’t notice in the majority of movies or games. The glossy finish enhances perceived contrast and saturation, but does cause annoying reflections.

So the Pavilion dv7 Beats Edition’s screen is pretty good for entertainment, but does its audio match up? Thankfully, the dv7 sounds better than the Pavilion dm4-3000ea Beats Edition, which was good but not good enough to justify the Beats hype. This Beats laptop packs a bit more punch, with decent bass from the integrated subwoofer and a respectable maximum volume.

Don’t try switching off the Beats processing though (achieved by pressing ‘Fn’ plus ‘b’), as the resultant shallow sound will leave you with a tinny taste. In fact we have to wonder why the option to disable it is there at all… It’s also worth noting that the Pavilion dv7 Beats Edition doesn’t come with Beats headphones, as so many of its similarly branded cousins do.

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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!!

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