Design - built very sturdy. No cracking when lid opens and closes. The media control panel is backlit and lays flush with the chassis above the keyboard, and responds to the lightest touch. Two things are wrong with the overall design, however. The cooling fan vent is located on the back of the machine, which warms my left leg at all times. HP should have placed this vent to the left of the "esc" button, blowing out the side of the machine, steering clear of legs and laps. The other flaw is in the keyboard itself. The down and right arrow buttons make a lot of noise. I had this problem in my last notebook. The DVD player is under that part of the keyboard, so I believe it is a design flaw. Aside from that, it has a high-gloss verve imprint finish that you can see in the pictures, so it looks really cool.
Quality - it feels good computing on this laptop. I'm still getting used to it. The counter-sunk scrolling mouse-pad and buttons are extremely nice, and easy to use. This is the most quiet laptop I have ever used. The webcam takes better photos and movies than most desktop webcams. The High-Definition soundcard is noticeably better working with my home theater using Windows Media Center. It also comes with a remote control, which is handy if you play movies or music on your computer, but requires Vista Ultimate for the Media Center button to work on the remote. (?) Very odd.
Performance - this is an extremely fast laptop that runs a 64-bit Vista OS. After I read a lot about 64-bit computers, I realized that the 4GB of DDR2 Ram I have was recommended to keep this system running at an optimal level. I wouldn't suggest this computer to any serious gamers, as the "gaming graphics" subscore is 3.0 in the Windows Experience Index. All the other numbers are phenomenal, but this number determined the index of the laptop, based on the lowest subscore. The battery life is the worst part of this machine. Maybe 3 hours can be squeezed out, and 3 1/2 if all the media lights are out and the LCD brightness is fully dimmed. On a fun note, I've had Windows Media Player, Winamp, CyberLink YouCam, and 10 youtube videos playing at once! I don't remember if it was on battery power however *cringe*.
If you're looking for a computer that's capable of speed 2x faster than standard 32-bit computers, this is what you are looking for. This was rolled-out at Best Buy for $799.00, but days later, is $899.00. Glad I bought when I did.
The widescreen display is not glare resistant, and not as bright as I am accustomed. If you are going to be using a notebook outside frequently, I don't suggest this one. Also, HP has disabled the "waveout mix", (stereo mix) feature from recording properties, so anyone interested in music creation who doesn't want to spend a lot of money on a PCIMI card should try Linux or Apple, as many of the windows-based manufacturers are disabling this feature due to heat from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).