I'm back with some update on my notebook. I am still quite satisfied with it, except for the SXGA+ screen.
The reasons why I'm unsatisfied with it are really specific. When properly enlarged (dpi, browsing), the screen is a joy to use because you have so much screen estate and yet it's readable. If I was only a "user", it would be OK. But I use the computer for designing and I need to see exactly what most people will view, so SXGA+ is not quite adequate. XGA pixels are much bigger, so it is far easier to work on such a screen when you need to have an eye for detail and also see how everyone will view the webpage. What is properly laid out on a XGA will work fine on a tweaked SXGA+, but not the other way round.
My second problem with the screen is that it is pathetic when not used at native resolution. It appears that the "screen downgrade" problem occurs with all SXGA+ screens, so it is not an issue with my unit... but I still view it as a known "defect", even though it is normal. At any resolution lower than SXGA+, at 800x600 for example, the display is horrible, jagged *and* blurry (imagine!) and far worse on my SXGA+ than on a XGA. That's a little disappointing.
I still didn't find any solution to the DVD issue but to be frank, I didn't work on it a lot. However
, I updated the ATI drivers (turns out that HP's site is poorly laid out and latest drivers weren't in the nc8000 category, but in the... Pavillon one, ah well), and that apparently fixed poor overlay playback. Real videos, DivX, and all other videos seem to play fine now. So I doubt my graphic card is damaged, I believe it is a DVD playback issue. They bundled a lousy WinDVD package (4.0!), which could be the problem. Not sure, but I'll let you know if I find something new.
For the rest, this laptop is a joy to use. There are two points that are bugging me:
- No front Play/Stop/etc. buttons; I'm really starting to miss them now.
- A little noisy. The fan is on most of the time, and even though it isn't loud, it's distracting. The fan comes in too often I believe since pulsated air is cool and processor temperature is 41°C. Not sure why the fan decides to kick on so often.