15.4 in 1,280×800 display, 2.7kg, 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350, 3.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium
HP’s dv5-1000ea is a smaller version of the dv7-1000ea that won a Best Buy award two months ago.
It has a smaller 15.4in screen, and doesn’t have a Blu-ray drive, but it looks identical, with a smart, glossy black lid and a beautiful dark-grey case with a chrome finish along the edges.
A row of touch-sensitive buttons sits below the screen to provide volume and control media playback. Sandwiched between this and the keyboard is a metal grille that houses a pair of Altec Lansing speakers. These are surprisingly clear, but even at their maximum level, the volume isn’t really loud enough for watching movies in a medium-size room.
Unlike the Dell 1525 or the Toshiba A300D, the HP has a resolution of 1,280×800. The 15.4in display is bright, but the glossy finish is highly reflective. Colours are realistic and vibrant though, and it’s one of the better screens this month.
The keyboard is firmer than the dv7-1000ea’s, and the keys don’t wobble as much. They’re large and have good travel, although we found them to be a bit slippery. The touch pad is shiny, which will make it harder for your fingers to slide over it in humid conditions, but the buttons are large and easy to push. A Media Center remote control is included, and can be stowed in the ExpressCard slot.
With 3GB of RAM and a GeForce 9200M GS graphics card, the HP beat the other 15.4in laptops in our PCMark benchmarks. However, it isn’t powerful enough to satisfy gamers, scoring 7.2fps in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark. It’s good to see four USB ports, a 320GB hard disk and support for Draft-N WiFi, though.
The dv5-1000ea is a good all-rounder, and looks great too. However, the Inspiron is £116 cheaper, and most people won’t notice the performance deficit. Factor in the higher-resolution screen, and the 1525 is better value.
|Intel Core 2 Duo P7350
|Processor clock speed
|Memory slots free
|IDT HD Audio
|Power consumption standby
|Power consumption idle
|Power consumption active
|Nvidia GeForce 9200M GS
|Total storage capacity
|Optical drive model
|Optical drive type
Ports and Expansion
|Total Firewire ports
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PC Card slots
|Supported memory cards
|SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
|eSATA (shared with USB socket), 2x minijack audio output, minijack microphone input
|Windows Vista Home Premium
|Operating system restore option
|Cyberlink DVD Suite
|Carry cases from £11, Docking Station £79, Extended Warranty (3yrs) from £107, Mice from £15, Power adaptor from £45
|one year collect and return