The Bottom Linelt;p>Jul 13 2012 - HP's Pavilion dv7 continues the trend of the consumer laptop to offer some general computing performance at a much more affordable price than their Envy laptops. In addition to this, the high capacity battery provides it with some of the best running times available in this size of laptop. They even provide it with plenty of storage space and one more USB 3.0 port than many competitors. The downside is that it relies on integrated graphics and a display panel that can't do 1080p video. This severely hampers one of the primary reasons that people would look to get a 17-inch laptop over more compact 14 to 15-inch models that offer similar performance.
- Long Battery Life
- Good General Performance
- Large Hard Drive
- Integrated Graphics Still Lack 3D Performance
- Display Resolution Doesn't Support 1080p Video
- Large Amount of Preloaded Software
- Intel Core i7-3610QM Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 4000 Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, One USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Fingerprint Scanner, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.4" x 10.8" x 1.4" @ 7.3 lbs
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Review - HP Pavilion dv7-7030us
Jul 13 2012 - The HP Pavilion dv7 is the primary consumer oriented 17-inch laptop from the company. It shares many of the same design layout as the more expensive Envy but it not as nice materials or workmanship. The most obvious difference between the two is the black color with silver trim compare to the much more silver oriented Envy. There are other subtle differences as well including two physical buttons instead of the integrated touchpad.
Like the new Envy 17, HP has upgraded the platform to the new Ivy Bridge processors for the dv7-7030us. It packs the same Intel Core i7-3610QM that the more expensive Envy also uses. This is great for anyone looking for some serious performance including demanding tasks such as desktop video editing. Unlike the base Envy 17, the Pavilion dv7-7030us comes with 8GB of memory. This allows for it to have a smoother experience with memory intensive applications and multitasking. It still uses the slower 1333MHz memory unlike some competitors such as Dell with its updated Inspiron 17R.
The emphasis for storage capacity continues with the Pavilion dv7 series. While the past version featured a large 750GB hard drive, the sizes of drives has increased. As a result, the drive has been upgraded to 1TB of storage which is larger than average for this class of system. The downside is that the larger capacity drive spins at the slower 5400rpm rate compared to many 17-inch laptops that now use the 7200rpm desktop spin rates. The number of USB 3.0 ports for high speed external storage has also been increased from two to three which is one more than most of the new Ivy Bridge systems come equipped with. A standard dual layer DVD burner is included for playback and recording of CD and DVD media which is below the Blu-ray equipped drive found on the Envy.
The big area where HP saves money on the Pavilion dv7 series compared to the Envy is the graphics. It still uses a 17.3-inch display panel but it has a lower 1600x900 resolution compared to the 1080p panel used in the Envy. In addition, the color, brightness and viewing angles are not nearly as good as the Envy display. This puts it more in line with much of the similarly priced 17-inch laptops have. The big downside here is the lack of a dedicated graphics processor and the reliance on the Intel HD Graphics 4000 that is built into the Core i7 processor. While the 3D performance has improved, it still is restricted to just the basic resolution and detail levels which is an improvement over the past HD Graphics 3000. Overall, it still isn't very good for dealing with 3D gaming. On the other hand, the updated graphics engine does show a marked improvement in the Quick Sync performance that allows for accelerated media encoding with compatible applications.
HP packs the dv7-7030us with a very large 100WHr capacity battery pack which is larger than the one even included with the Envy 17. This is the main reason that it is slightly thicker at the hinge than the premium version. In video playback testing, this provided the laptop with over six hours of running time. This is an hour better than what was achieved by the Envy and is one of the best currently available since the Apple MacBook Pro 17 with its 95WHr battery has been discontinued.
Priced between $900 and $1000, the HP Pavilion dv7-7030us is still a relatively affordable 17-inch laptop for the general performance it provides. The two most similar systems would be the Acer Aspire V3 and the Dell Inspiron 17R. The Acer system shares the same rough price tag and drops some memory, storage space and a USB 3.0 port for dedicated NVIDIA graphics. The Dell on the other hand is a bit more affordable and gives an extra USB 3.0 port but sacrifices the processor, storage space and memory.