Many people are upseted by the small size of netbooks , but also they need something smaller than a laptop , the solution is " HP Pavilion dv2" , a 12 inch screen wit some new performance .
The 12-inch HP Pavilion dv2 is designed to bridge (and exploit) the gap between netbooks and standard laptops. Its $750 price is true to that credo, though full-fledged budget laptops have been edging down into that space.
The dv2 is lightweight, it's thin, and it's billed by HP as a non-netbook--the first laptop to run AMD's Neo processor. (The Neo is somewhat more powerful than the ubiquitous Intel Atom netbook processor, though still markedly inferior to even an Intel Core 2 Duo processor.) It has a 92%-sized keyboard and lacks a built-in optical drive, though it ships with an external drive. The dv2 does have discrete graphics and 4GB of RAM. Does it have enough going for it to pass muster?
As I mentioned when I blogged about the HP dv3z, I'm looking for a small-and-light laptop to take with me on a vacation to China in July. I'll be there for 11 days as part of a tour, visiting Beijing, Xi'an, Hangzhou, and Shanghai, culminating with a total eclipse of the Sun on July 22. I expect to take a lot of pictures and hope to post some to Flickr and Facebook while I'm there, and I am a bit of a perfectionist where photos I post are concerned. So I want a laptop that will be adept at handling Photoshop, able to process photos quickly and with a decent-size screen (at least 12 inches). Portability, battery life, and keyboard functionality are also important factors, as is price.
As is the case with the dv3, the dv2's design is handsome, but the lid and palm rests are a fingerprint magnet. It's quite portable at 3.8 pounds, though the external dual-layer DVD burner will add heft should you bring it along with you.
I found typing on the 92% keyboard difficult, particularly at first. When I first tried typing on the dv2, I was seated in a poorly lit public space. I think the problem was less the size of the board, as I've had better experiences with similar-size netbook keyboards, than the keys themselves--they're relatively large and square, but with little space between each key. This made it easy enough to accidentally slip to adjacent keys, which I frequently did at first. I had better results with it later on, but was never fully comfortable with it. My fingers are on the large size, though not dramatically so.
One concession HP made in creating such a compact laptop is that it has no built-in optical drive, though it does come with an external DVD burner. To my chagrin, I discovered that Windows Media would not play either of the two DVDs that I tried with it, telling me that I was in the wrong part of the world of the world to view them (despite the fact that both were made for sale in the good ol' US of A). I didn't realize that the DRM stricture extended to the location where the movie is set, as the two I tried were Lost in Translation (Japan) and Local Hero (Scotland)!
But seriously, I'm sure it was simply that the review unit HP sent us was intended for a different part of the world, and presumably the units actually for sale are correctly sorted by location. Not to be deterred, I viewed a bit of a test copy of Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay that we have on an external hard drive, and it showed up well in all its crude, outrageous glory on the dv2's 12-inch screen with its ample 1,280 by 800 resolution.
I loaded a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS4 on the dv2. (I couldn't use my own Photoshop CS2, as the dv2 runs the 64-bit version of Windows Vista Home Premium.) I found it very responsive, even with large (up to 15 megapixels, or about 9MB) image files, completing most operations (cropping, resizing, auto adjustments of brightness, contrast, etc.) in well under a second, except some filter operations that took a few seconds. This is more than adequate for the relatively modest adjustments I'd be likely to be making to photos while on the road. The dv2's base heated up somewhat, but not uncomfortably so, after a bit of use, even at light tasks.
The dv2 is decent enough for a low-powered, small laptop. Its power and screen size were more than adequate for my working with photos. The keyboard, though, was the deal-breaker for me. In practice, maybe I'd get used to it, but it could end up as a continuing source of frustration. The dv2 won't be coming with me to China. With other small-and-light laptops being rolled out, my search goes on. Next up: our new Editors' Choice budget laptop, the Acer Aspire 3935.
hbailla, Friday, May 1, 2009