well, here is my experence with the dv9000 series that might help you a bit in your decision. I have been looking to buy an NX9420 for about a week now and just had some questions. One was the BrightView and the other was something silly and that is a Lightscribe DVD.
I want mine for zero game playing and 100% work. Business apps and application developement as well as some graphics design. So my needs are pretty vanilla yet not really. Though I do like to watch a movie now and then for a break.
Anyway, I just could not pull the trigger and buy one. I want the non-BrightView display. So, today i went out and about shopping and happened to go to CostCo and they had a display model dv9033cl marked way down. It has BrightView but I bought it anyway. I figure if I do not like it I have 6-mos to return the thing for a full refund.
Here is what I see as reasons the dv9033cl is going back next week. First and formost is the dumbass'd keyboard layout. I love the full sized keyboard and what has to be the best feeling keybard ever in a laptop. BUT, some bo-tard engineer decided it is a good thing to make the right-hand shift-key the same size as a regular key. I have been working with it for almost 6-hours now and I can tell you that given the amount of times I will need to hit the right-shift key while coding, the sckewed layout due to the small key will hurt my productivity. I will always miss that key but more so, I will miss hitting the period and comma and backslash keys due the lack of feel. remember this feel has been developed from coding for over two decades and well, I just ain't gonna change. It is bad enough to live with a skinny enter/return key...but never a small sized shift key that throws the whole layout of that section of the keyboard outta whack.
Even the inverted-t layout of the arrow keys lacks the familar feel because they put that danged shift key right beside it...so there is no positive feedback when hunting for the keys in that part of the keybaord.
Next is a fairly important thing for me. They located the mic, speaker out's right in front edge of the case. They are directly belown the trackpad. So whenever something is connected the cables stick out and I find my thumb tends to rest on them or get tangled in them. Not only is this very uncomfortable as I tend to rest my thumb there when using the trackpad. Over time this might also cause a strain on the connectors themselves which are likely pretty fragile or at least not designed for years of pressure from resting the weight of a hand on them when something is connected.
I know those sound like minor issues. But sometimes it is the small things that make a person regret a purchase the most.
On the other hand the NX9420 has the speaker/mic connectors on the side where gawds intended them to be. In front they have a multi-format stick reader. PLUS the keys on the NX9420 are NORMAL. Meaning the right-shift-key is long kind. And the arrow keys are offset enough to allow the correct feel for orientation as you type.
I am still needing to test this beast under my normal use conditions. Such as visiting Starbucks and/or working out by the pool. If the display does not give me a headache then I will definately get a BrightView Display. Which will make my life MUCH easier...
Otherwise this display is AWESOME and I cannot beleive how cool the system runs. from what I have read the NX9420 runs even COOLER. And if I read anyone else complaining about how "heavy" these are...cripes it is a good 2-3lbs LIGHTER then my Inspiron 8500.
I have to say that I am very pleased with this laptop even though I am going to return it for the keyboard really and I want an WSXGA+ display not the WXGA this one has...a it more real estate will make these perfect. So consider that when you setup your budget for your new goodie!
If you are on a budget (and what student isn't) I if you choose stuff wisely you will be very happy with the dv9000 series for sure...it has me a convert from Dell..then again Dell has gone so far into the toilet anymore it's not worth mentioning...
Oh, if you are paying cash (not financing) get the minimum RAM then buy from somewhere else to build up to 2gb. And get the biggest, fastest HDD your budget allows. And remember the extended warranty! You want to protect your investment...spend the $300 or whatever to get at least 3-yrs onsite next business day. Make them come to you. I did that with my Dells for years and it does save time and is worth the small bit extra over RTD warranties.
Consider the 12-cell battery too...you can find it around the web for about $165...nice to get 6+ hours of unteathered freedom...HP claims adding that battery will boost the system to 10-11hrs that's niiiiice....
Sorry for rambling but it sounds like this is a big purchase for you so I thought I would share what I learned today. As for gaming...heck if I know...hehehehe...alst game I played on a PC was DOOM when it was NEW...
best of luk finding the sytme your want!!!
Oh, don't forget to check the re-furbs on the HP site too...good stuff to be found there.