HP Pavilion dv7-6051ea review
17.3 in 1,600x900 display, 3.4kg, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M, 6.00GB RAM, 750GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
With its brushed metal-effect chassis and smooth curves, the dv7 is one of the best looking mid-range laptops HP has produced in a long time, but it has function as well as form. The five Beats Audio speakers, Blu-ray player and 17.3in screen could make it the ideal choice for multimedia playback.
It doesn’t have a full HD resolution, but the 1,600x900 display is big enough to make the Windows desktop feel very spacious. Contrast was reasonable, as long as we sat directly in front of the screen; with plenty of screen tilt, it’s frustrating that viewing angles are so poor. Colours weren’t particularly vibrant, even with the glossy screen coating, but the backlight was at least bright enough to help reduce screen glare from overhead lighting.
The much-lauded speakers were impressive for a laptop. They're loud, making enough noise to fill a medium-sized room, but the small subwoofer couldn’t provide much bass. They was no distortion even at full volume, so you could easily watch catch-up TV without having to reach for your headphones or connect external speakers.
We appreciated HP’s decision to revamp the touchpad; previous laptops had an awful touch-sensitive pad that rarely worked, but the dedicated buttons used here are a huge improvement. The touchpad felt very responsive, and even lights up with the press of a shortcut key. The QWERTY keyboard has also been improved slightly, but the function keys still activate multimedia shortcuts by default which can be annoying. It was incredibly easy to type on thanks to the large, isolated keys that let us get up to full speed in no time.