The Bottom Line
- Fast Performance From Core i7 Processor
- 6GB Of DDR3 Memory
- Blu-Ray Compatible Drive
- Display Can't Handle 1080p Video
- Mediocre Graphics Processor
- Intel Core i7-720QM Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 6GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Blu-ray Reader and Dual-Layer DVD Burner Combo Drive With LightScribe
- 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 230M Graphics With 1GB Memory
- v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth
- Four USB 2.0, eSATA, FireWire, VGA, HDMI, ExpressCard/54, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.2" x 10.9" x 1.7" @ 7.7 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, HP MediaSmart, Cyberlink DVD Suite, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - HP Pavilion dv7-3180us 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC
Jan 25 2010 - HP's Pavilion dv7-3180us receives a major processor upgrade with the new Intel Core i7-720QM quad core processor. Not on does this offer four cores over the more traditional two, but it also has dynamic overclocking when fewer cores are in use to ensure optimal performance. This combined with the 6GB of DDR3 memory allow for the system to power through the most difficult computing tasks including desktop video editing and transcoding.
Storage features also receive an upgrade in the Pavilion dv7-3180us. The system now comes equipped with a 500GB hard drive that provides plenty of space. Unlike many other companies moving to 7200rpm desktop spin rate drives, HP has elected to use a more traditional 5400rpm drive to conserve power. It lowers performance somewhat but many probably won't notice much difference. Also included with the system is a Blu-ray compatible optical drive that allows for the systems to playback Blu-ray movies. This drive can also burn labels directly to LightScribe compatible media.
While the system has the ability to playback Blu-ray movies, it won't be able to take full advantage of the format. The 17.3-inch display panel features a 1600x900 resolution display that falls short of the full 1080p requirement. Those hoping to watch the movies in full HD will need to use an external monitor or HDTV through the HDMI connector.
Graphics on the Pavilion dv7-3180us are handled by a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 230M graphics processor. Gamers will be a bit disappointed with this processor as it is much better suited to casual PC gaming. Even with the 1GB of video memory, the system is only able to push older titles up to the full panel resolution. Most games will likely need to run at a lower 1440x900 or even 1280x1024 resolution if they want high detail levels.
Battery life on the Pavilion dv7-3180us is slightly above average. Blu-ray movie playback is a bit more power intensive and yields over two hours with DVD playback netting around two and a half. More traditional laptop usage will add about another hour to the overall running time.
Overall, the Pavilion dv7-3180us is a solid general performance system with Blu-ray playback capabilities. It certainly ins't going to be a system for gamers but it does make a decent HD video platform. With a price tag of just below $1500, it would have been nice to have a higher resolution display.