From an empirical presence, the DV2000T is obviously going to be far smaller than the m1710 (we're comparing a 14" screened economy laptop to a 17" high-end gaming laptop). Surprisingly, in spite of its smaller screen, it isn't much thinner than the m1710 due to it's slight angling of the keyboard that lifts the rear approximately 1/4" above the centerline. I'm not sure what HP was attempting to get from this look, perhaps to give off the impression that it is a high performance laptop, or to make it more appealing to people before they realise what's under the keyboard, but for an "entry-level" laptop it just seems somewhat out of place. If HP uses the body for higher-level 14" laptops (I'm not entirely sure), then they are giving too much performance to the exterior and potentially setting up their clientele for disappointment when they see what's under the keyboard, and the faux carbon-fiber like palmrests.
Speaking of keyboard and palmrests (and the like), the DV2000t shows it was most certainly built to a pricepoint. Both my younger sisters (14, 12, and 11) and myself have noticed a great deal of flex in the palmrests, and the keys fail to give that assurance that they are not going to drop out from below you while being used. Now granted, any computer, including high-end computers will bend if you apply sufficient pressure to the handrests and keyboards, but to sit and leisurely be typing and be able to SEE a slight formation of a happyface in the handrests is not a good sign, especially considering that heavy traffic from 3 pre-adolescent females will be its daily usage. Upon contacting HP to the problem of an excessively flimsy user area, I was told that it is a somewhat common problem and that it partially comes down to inherent size, the way its being used, as well as HP having to satisfy a pricepoint for consumers, so I guess I cannot entirely hold this one against them.
Where I can hold HP accountable is for 2 areas: CPU choice and GPU choice. First let's focus on the CPU. Choosing a TL-56 at 1.8GHz with a mere 512kb of L2 cache is a throwback to the original celeron and dothan CPUs of intel from 2003, only except with dual-core. Although using very low-end CPUs are commonly used with inexpensive laptops to minimize the cost to consumers, there comes a point where the processor used is so slow that even the simplest of tasks take a great deal of time to be processed. In this case, it's not entirely the fault of the Hard Drive, which in this instance is a 160GB 5400rpm hard drive; and for the price range, perfectly acceptable at that. Back to the CPU, it's one thing if one were to try running ProTools LE on this computer, then it would be understandable to see consisten CPU slowdowns, however to see the task manager read 100% when performing tasks as simple as windows update for vista. Programs as typical as IE7 display "the computer is busy, would you like to wait" boxes, "this program is not responding" boxes, etc., all of which are signs of a CPU that's simply being pushed too hard by an omnipresent OS.
Speaking of pushed too hard, whoever decided that a GeForce Go 6150 would be enough to run a Vista-Premium Machine should be shot on the spot. Even after reducing the "Vista-ishness" of the computer to "Vista classic" and setting up the computer display properties for "best performance", it was not uncommon for many flash games on miniclip and even things as cocmmonplace as a clean DVD will skip. Now for the flash sites, I can say with the increasing complexity of flash games that the 6150 may be pushed too hard, but I cannot see how a clean DVD would be causing the screen to stutter out individual frames from time to time. Perhaps this is also something in Vista, but I'll wait till SP1 is installed before I make final judgment as to whether it's simply the immaturity of Vista, or whether the GPU is a legitimate stinker. In fact, it is here where Windows Vista's VEI (Vista Experience Index) scores lowest --- a 1.9. A 1.9 rated machine should NOT be forced to run Vista, let alone try to run the "Premium" elements of it. For this reason I'm considering putting XP into it in the hopes that the performance will pick up a bit and stuttering will be curtailed.
2GB of memory is supplied here, of which up to 256MB is allocated to the GPU. This is an integrated card, so it has no onboard memory. What this means is that with Vista on board, and with the GPU being a more than slight RAM parasite, the realistic amount of memory left to the user hangs at approximately 800MB after superfetch and other "Vista amenities" get their share at startup. Even after turning off un-necessary services using BlackViper's guide to tweaking and using various performance tweaks to provide a more classic view, I was only able to free up to 1.1GB, although CPU use did drop slightly. 2GB is most definitely not the sweet spot of true vista, and even with vista stripped to a more Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 appearance, it is still quite the memory hog, requiring a large (4GB in this case) paging file in order to be able to use the computer without having to resort to more drastic, hardware-based measures that could cause Vista to have a stroke.
If there is one thing though, that the DV2000T does do well, it's perform basic tasks. Granted with Vista running, starting up things takes a lot longer than necessary, but once a basic task is up and running (ie: MS works, AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Icy Towers), performance although leisurely is not as drastically hampered as during startup or under heavy load. This computer shines as a basic home computer, start up, type, surf basic sites, chat, use the onboard solitaire / chess / etc. games, and (don't laugh) a testing ground for perfomance tweaks since every little boost seems so much bigger on this machine. While this may seem minimally exceptional in light of what havoc I've written, it's not entirely the machine's fault. If XP was offered in place of vista, I'm sure this machine would be quite competent at slightly more complex tasks, and even handling older games. Perhaps that what this computer needs to give it the appropriate boost and fair chance it needs.
Parts to upgrade:
2GB to 4GB RAM
TL-56 to TL-58, preferably TL-60
Windows Vista to Windows XP