Finally there’s an S-Video connector on the right side. At the front of the laptop you’ll find two headphone sockets, ideal if more than one person is watching a movie, especially if you are travelling on a train or a plane and you don’t want to disturb the people around you, while a microphone connector is also present.
The screen that HP has chosen for the dv1000 is, as previously mentioned, a rather unusual 14in widescreen display with a native resolution of 1,280 x 768 pixels. It does however feel a lot bigger than 14in, especially in Windows and it is a good size for watching DVDs. But sadly the display is fairly grainy when you’re watching DVDs on it, especially during dark sequences and the viewing angle is limited vertically, which means that you have to adjust the screen very precisely to get the best possible picture. Although hp initially told us that the dv1000 would ship with its BrightView display, it seems that plans changed. This is a bizarre decision considering that the dv1000 is marketed as a mobile media PC. You can specify a BrightView screen as a cost option in the USA, but unfortunately this isn’t being offered to UK customers. This is a real shame, especially since the cost is only $50 in the US, and I feel that most target customers would be willing to swallow that cost for a brighter and more vivid display.
The keyboard is first rate, but this is something that I have come to expect from hp laptops. The design of the cursor keys is unusual with rounded buttons, but the rest of the keys are pretty much where you would expect to find them. There are two additional buttons just to the right of the cursor keys which are labelled Back and OK, which are again used for controlling the various multimedia applications. The touchpad works well and sports one feature that I really like – an on/off switch that allows you to turn off the touchpad for when you’re doing a lot of typing. This simple feature means that you never have to worry about inadvertently hitting the touchpad when striking the Spacebar and repositioning your cursor by mistake.
The dv1000 features integrated Harman/Kardon speakers which is no bad thing, as the sound produced by the dv1000 is generally crisp and clear, although as you would expect from a notebook, there is a distinct lack of bass. It’s a shame that hp didn’t incorporate a subwoofer, as this would have made the dv1000 even more of a mobile media PC than it already it. Another noticeable omission is the lack of S/PDIF output for the sound, so if you were to use the dv1000 as your entertainment centre, you’d be stuck with stereo sound even if you hooked it up to your amplifier.
Before Christmas hp will introduce the xb2000 expansion base for the dv1000 which adds support for an internal hard drive (this is a cost option), more ports, better speakers and wireless keyboard and mouse. There is no pricing confirmed for the xb2000 yet, but hp estimates that it will cost around £200 including VAT. But the really clever thing with the expansion base is that it can be tilted to almost any angle so you can still use the laptop display, rather than having to resort to an external monitor