First of all i'm not a gamer or a traveler. I'm a computer/network sales guy with lots of MP3 players and a penchant for laptops. Before this model was officially released I was reading as much as I could on the prototype and saw some early pictures of the "Dragon". I was extremely obsessed. I was looking to replace both my HP ZD7000 laptop and my Dell XPS Gen 2 desktop. I wanted something that ran Vista Ultimate, was great for multimedia, had a TV tuner, and finally, the new HP imprint design. I just wanted to spend some money and get a PC that would do anything I could think of. I opted for a laptop because my home office is in the basement and at times working at the kitchen table is more ideal.
Luckily I ordered this from one of the distributors I work with so I had it within a day of ordering it.
Unboxing this beast was a treat. It was very well packaged in a gigantic HP box. Inside was a small box with things like battery, power cord, remote, etc. Underneath that revealed the laptop itself. I was amazed by the actual weight of this thing. I mean I read this thing was heavy, 15.5lbs but I guess you don't really realize it until you pick it up. I unwrapped it, plugged it in, and plugged in the network. First things first before I started playing. I had to create the recovery media and do the updates.
The media recovery was sooo painfully slow. It only took 3 DVDs but it took literally hours to complete because it had to compile the data, burn it, and then verify the disc. After that was done I completed all the updates including the Dreamscene backgrounds which was one of the main reasons I wanted the Ultimate version of Vista.
Finally after getting this all done it was time to play. I first tested the speakers. I have over 16,000 songs in mp3 and wmv format so I loaded those on and was amazed at the sound of the speakers. Granted they aren't as good as that of a home stereo but the most impressive laptops speakers i've heard, and the subwoofer makes all the difference.
I then turned on a Dreamscene background and was absolutely AMAZED at the screen. This is a sight to truly behold. Everything is clear and crisp. I've played a few DVDs on it. At the time of purchase it included the now defunct HD DVD drive. I have yet to play any of those on this laptop but regular DVDs were very impressive.
I love the dedicated media control buttons at the top of the keyboard. They include all the standards: Volume, Bass and Treble, Play, Pause, etc.. But one of the coolest features is a Theater button which allows you to turn off the blue media control buttons so they don't distract you from what your watching.
I really like the textured touchpad. It responds very very well.
This laptop comes with a HD TV Tuner installed and includes an over the air antenna. The antenna works like it should, nothing spectacular, but hooking directly into cable was great. The Media Center portion of the OS was easy to setup and before I knew it, I was recording Family Guy episodes directly to my HD. The nicest part of having the tuner built in, is the fact that there is a Media Center remote that snaps right onto the keyboard deck of the laptops. The remote works very well and is much larger than the regular Media Center remotes you see with the DV6000 HP models.
My biggest complaint of this notebook is the keyboard. Although it's a nice size keyboard with number pad, it is very cramped. I am very particular about keyboards and this one throws me off some of the time. I am pretty fast typer but it seems to slow me down. The more typing I do on it the better but it does take some getting used to.
The gloss imprint does pick up fingerprints very easily but luckily HP includes a cloth to wipe them right off which comes in handy.
What makes this PC truly unique is the dual hinge. Not only does it open like a regular clamshell but you can also bring the screen towards you or away so you can truly customize your experience and avoid having to lean over in your chair to see the screen.
Finally it has a 1.3MP camera. I don't really use it but it's nice to have in case I am working from home and need to remotely attend a meeting.
I've had this laptop 6 months and have had no real problems. I did lose the ability to turn the media controls on and off and what HP support had me do did not work. But after reloading using HPs recovery center and applying all the drivers and updates I happily regained access to them. Because they were not working I could not turn on the wireless/bluetooth antenna which was a huge problem.
I do recommend maxing out the MB to 4GB of RAM. With memory prices being so low now would be the best time. There was a noticeable performance boost when I did the upgrade and of course after I did the reload I noticed it even more.
On a scale of 1-10 I definitely give this laptop a 9.7.
I will do my best to post some pics to this review as soon as I find my camera.
I hope you enjoyed my review. It was the first PC review I ever wrote. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.