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Stylish entertainment centre comes cheap

Stylish entertainment centre comes cheap

One of the more stylish looking notebooks we've seen yet, the HP Pavilion dv2000 is designed as a mobile entertainment centre. It integrates media keys, an imaginative stow-away remote control and good media connectivity, like a 5-in-1 media card reader, for an all-round media centre experience. HP's media software, called QuickPlay, handles all facets of media viewing and can also play media (mp3, DVD, avi, wmv) without having to boot to Windows. The thin 14.1-inch (1280 x 800) screen doesn't look exceptional, especially on vertical angles and suffers from distortion when flexed. However, it does incorporate a 1.3-megapixel webcam in the top bezel with a built-in (though slightly ineffectual) light.

Apart from the screen the unit has a nice and sturdy build. An advanced lamination coating, traditionally used in luxury car interiors, gives this notebook a nice finish and the blue-lit media controls look stylish without being too garish.

Altec Lansing speakers provide good sound though they would benefit from some bass. The keys are a comfortable size and the track-pad is easy to use. It even has a quick disable button if you wish to turn it off.

We ran WorldBench 5 with a result of 76 and 3DMark2001 SE getting a result of 5102. These scores were what we expected for a machine with a budget T2050 1.60GHz Intel dual-core CPU inside, 1GB of 533MHz RAM and an Intel 945GM Express graphics chip. Our main concern was the short battery life. Running MobileMark 2002's most basic usage test (reader test) it only lasted for 109 minutes, which will be considerably shorter if pushed by a DVD or heavy multitasking.

Verdict: Though it's not the fastest notebook you can buy and its battery life was disappointing, the media centre functionality and the price of this unit makes it a worthy purchase.


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