HP Pavilion dv2-1030ea – 12.1in Thin & Light Notebook Review - HP Pavilion dv2-1030ea Review

Since we’ve just touched upon the various versions of the dv2, we may as well complete the picture. Our version, the second of three, will retail for £599 and features the same AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 processor that all the models do. This runs at 1.6GHz and sports 512KB L2 cache. This is joined by discrete ATI Mobility Radeon 3410 graphics with 512MB dedicated memory, a capacious 320GB 5,400rpm hard drive and 2GB RAM – just as well given the system comes loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium.

Below this model there’s the dv2-1010ea. This will retail for £499 and this comes with 1GB RAM, a 160GB hard drive and integrated ATI Radeon X1250 graphics. It also comes loaded with Vista Home Basic, instead of Home Premium, due presumably to the RAM complement. One can’t help but feel, however, that this drop down in specification is more severe than the £100 price difference suggests. Given HP has opted for Vista, 2GB RAM should be the minimum.

Finally, for those with deeper pockets, there’s the dv2-1035ea. This will retail for £699 and offers 4GB RAM and a whopping 500GB capacity hard drive which, like all the other models, features free-fall protection that locks the drive heads should a fall be detected. Apart from this it shares all the same features as the models below it. This means Wireless-G Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, 10/100 Ethernet and an integrated webcam, which could only be improved upon with the addition of Draft-N Wi-Fi – something that can be found in some netbooks.

One area where the dv2 easily surpasses a netbook, however, is in its connectivity – purely for the fact it has an HDMI output. This can be found on the left alongside an Ethernet port, VGA out, and two USB ports. On the right, meanwhile, there’s a memory card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, one further USB port, the power input and a lock slot.

It continues its superiority when it comes to the screen which, as touched upon earlier, is a 1,280 x 800 resolution effort. It’s also LED backlit, aiding thinness as well as providing a welcome boost to the overall brightness. All told, we were very impressed by the display. Despite a little banding in colour gradients, it produces rich and pleasing colours, decent black levels and very good viewing angles. Our only perennial complaint is the glossy finish to the screen, which does become an issue in environments with strong light sources.

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