First impressions of the HP Pavilion dv2 and AMD's "not-for-netbooks" Neo

First impressions of the HP Pavilion dv2 and AMD's "not-for-netbooks" Neo

Summary: HP's latest ultraportable, the Pavilion dv2, is now available.Announced at CES in January, the dv2 is notable because it is part of AMD's strategy to counter Intel Atom-based netbooks with ultraportables that are closer in price to netbooks, but offer features more like full-fledged notebooks.

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HP's latest ultraportable, the Pavilion dv2, is now available.

Announced at CES in January, the dv2 is notable because it is part of AMD's strategy to counter Intel Atom-based netbooks with ultraportables that are closer in price to netbooks, but offer features more like full-fledged notebooks. To get there, AMD came up with a new single-core Athlon Neo chip, manufactured using AMD's current 65nm process technology, paired with ATI Mobility Radeon discrete graphics. The dv2 is the first laptop to use this new platform, which should offer better performance than netbooks at the expense of battery life.

The Pavilion dv2-1030us starts at $749 with a 12.1-inch LED display (1280 x 800), 1.60GHz AMD Athlon Neo MV-40, 4GB of memory, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3410 graphics with 512MB, 320GB hard drive, external LightScribe SuperMulti DVD burner and Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP1. It ranges from 0.9 to 1.3 inches thick, and weighs 3.8 pounds with the standard 6-cell battery.

Although no major sites have posted full reviews of the dv2, several have published their first impressions of the little laptop, and they are mostly positive. Laptop Magazine also posted some early test results which suggest that--as expected--the dv2 has much better performance than netbooks such as the Via Nano-based Samsung NC20, but falls far short of Intel Core 2 Duo-based ultraportables, which generally cost $1,200 or more.

Netbooks are currently one of the only bright spots in the PC industry, so it will be interesting to see whether AMD's "not-a-netbook" approach resonates with consumers. HP is hedging its bets--it is also pushing two nice Atom-based netbooks, the Mini 1000 for consumers and Mini 2140 for businesses, along with several higher-priced, Core 2 Duo ultraportables.

Meanwhile, PC Magazine has just posted a full review of the Pavilion dv3z, a 13-inch model that lacks the novelty of its smaller sibling, but may be a more practical choice for most consumers looking for a relatively low-cost thin-and-light. The dv3z starts at $649.99 with a 13.3-inch LED display (1280 x 800), 2.0GHz AMD Athlon X2 QL-62 dual-core processor, 2GB of memory, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics, 160Gb hard drive, internal SuperMulti DVD burner and Vista Home Premium 32-bit with SP1. PC Magazine tested a configuration with a faster processor, twice the memory, a 320GB hard drive and a larger battery that still came in under $1,000. The performance doesn't come close to the 13-inch Apple MacBook, which starts at $999, but "if your workloads are as light as this system," the dv3z offers an unusual combination of features and portability for the price.

Last month, Computer Shopper and Laptop Magazine posted reviews of the Pavilion dv3z.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Laptops, Processors

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4 comments
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  • Glossy Finish is Tacky

    I like the form factor, but can't stand the glossy finish on laptops. Makes them look cheap and tacky. I'll pass on this.
    jpr75_z
  • RE: First impressions of the HP Pavilion dv2 and AMD's

    If HP will allow the dv2 to be loaded with Ubuntu w/o voiding the warranty, I'd be interested. Meanwhile, I'm typing on my HP Mini Mi running Hardy Heron and not HP's highly modified Ubuntu.
    aspergerian
  • Battery life is horrible

    3.5 hours with a 9-cell battery is pretty weak.
    georgeou
  • RE: First impressions of the HP Pavilion dv2 and AMD's

    Great!!! Not perfect, but Great!!! Way better than the so-called "netbooks". It's a laptop in a 12" sizewhich does and has as much as many 15"+ laptops of 1200 dollars and less. But with a twist that makes it so much better. I use it for both personal and academic uses. It performs as well if not better than other laptops of the thousand dollar and below range. Its keyboard is full-size and comfortable and the quality of feel when you are typing is above the average laptops for said price range. It is quality from the durable dayglossy exterior (fingerprints? Same prob with any other laptop, so not a biggie for me.); 'fit & finish' also wonderful; mine came with the 6-cell and its battery life is average, but, not enough for me to quibble about; for the price why would I waste my time, money, eye-sight, and frustrations with a "Netbook", when I can use the dv2 as a notebook at school, use my Photoshop for proyects, etc...and not have to deal with a lesser "netbook". Users whom limit themselves to email and roaming the internet are wasting, yes, wasting money, even if its just a few hundred dollars, for something that takes forever to load because they are limited to usually just ONE GB Ram, a tiny HD; and trying to type an email they need to keep short because of the sheer difficulty of typing on a tiny and very uncomfortable keyboard and tiny screen! Did they buy "eagle eyes" to see the tiny type?! I have the best I can get of both worlds without having to sacrifice too much of either with the HP dv2. Its size and weight are just right for me than the heft of a larger one that weighs my shoulder and arm down when I am carrying it about all day. The screen takes some getting used to, I do prefer the beautiful screen of my other Sony Vaio 15" laptop, but the pluses of its touchscreen helps me overcome my 'oh well' when I am watching a movie on it. My personal opinion...its worth the approximately 930 dollars I paid for it, didn't have to even pay tax lol. Everywhere I go ppl just stare with incredulity and lots of envy when they see what I can do with it. Besides envying me the small footprint that affords me the nice little niche in the coffee shop with the just right sunlight coming thru the great window, sitting in the really comfortable fave chair because I don't need to try to share a small table/window 'shelf' with space-hogging laptops, nor being elbowed by others whom can't fit their laptops well on the surfaces available. Unless you are lucky to wait out someone for a space at the large table with ppl whom have their drinks and food and personal stuff all around your precious laptop. How do you like dem apples? I made a great buy exactly when I needed to do so at a reasonable price and got a BIG smile on my face to boot. I call that a good buy.
    Chemeia