HP Pavilion dv7-6002sa £599
29th Jun 2011 | 08:30
A hulking media machine that excels in sound and vision
In terms of features, the HP Pavilion DV7-6002sa is a winner. Bulging with loads of fantastic extras, this laptop offers a lot to the creative professional, although performance lags behind its rivals.
If you have top-secret files and don't want unauthorised persons accessing them, the fingerprint scanner is a good feature. You can use it to log on to the laptop and even gain access to online accounts.
Your data is also protected if you drop this device, as the hard drive locks to lower the risk of damage.
Most laptops can burn DVDs, so you can create films from your home movies or simply burn treasured photos on to disc. However, the HP can also burn labels on to discs using LightScribe technology.
A 750GB hard drive offers excellent storage, easily enough for most multimedia collections.
The 17.3-inch screen is the biggest here and boasts strong viewing angles, producing vibrant images. The HP also has the best sound system here, using its patented Beats Technology to output incredible sound, while the HD webcam allows you to shoot high-definition video.
The HP is powered by an AMD Phenom II chip. It lags behind the best in our benchmarking tests, but still provides enough power to run all of your applications at once.
The HP also uses basic integrated graphics, meaning the processor handles image rendering instead of a dedicated graphics card. Multimedia performance therefore isn't as strong as the Acer, Asus and Lenovo. You can still watch HD video and edit your home movies, but if you're hoping to play games in your downtime, try one of the others.
Battery life: 191 minutes
Mobilemark 2007: 202
3DMark 2003: 11,833
This is also a laptop best left at home, with a bulky build that tops 3.1kg. Portability is further hampered by the three-hour battery life. Regular travellers will prefer the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch or Toshiba Satellite L755-15R.
Still, it's a reassuringly tough build with no annoying flex. The dark, brushed-metal finish looks good and hides scuff marks well.
A firm isolation-style keyboard is perfect for touch-typing, with the keys well separated, and the touchpad has a subtle glow around its edges which adds extra style.
While the Pavilion DV7's performance is beaten by other laptops at this price point, there's no denying it's an excellent media machine. If you want to get creative at home, the vibrant screen and powerful audio system, along with the excellent range of features, make this a laptop worth a look.
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