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Posted: 22/04/2008 8:04 AM
I've wanted my own laptop at home for some time, bringing the work one home with its painfully slow Pentium M (oldest one) processor was just sheer murder. After a bit of searching around I finally decided upon HP's dv2308tx entertainment pc laptop. The specifications of my laptop are 14.1in widescreen (glossy) running at 1280x800 resolution, 3GB DDR-II memory (expanded from 1GB), 120GB SATA-II 5,400rpm hard disk, GeForce Go 7200, DVD+DL burner, Windows Vista Home Premium, Expresscard 54/34 expansion slot, 3 USB 2.0, memory card reader, AGB Wireless, 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo processor.
What attracted me to purchasing this machine was firstly HP's reputation as a top tier PC maker, secondly the style of the computer with its black glossy screen (with feint wavy lines across), combined with the metallic base. Additionally the hinge mechanism of the laptop looked sturdy and less likely to break during my projected 2-3 year time of ownership. Atop this was the fact that the laptop used the Core 2 Duo processor, the only processor I was considering. The price of the laptop at $1650 was equally attractive.
Having used this laptop as my primary pc for the past 7 months I'd have to say the things which scream out as lacking are: 1) Hard Drive space is not greatly sufficient at 120GB (with 5.6GB system restore partition), 2) Memory at 1GB shipping is insufficient for Windows Vista which really needs a minimum of 2GB to be used comfortably, 3) Screen resolution is at the lower end f useable, working in web design the greater the resolution the better, 4) Keyboard has a tendency to be non-responsive at times not registering keys that have been pressed, 5) Crapware that gets preinstalled, I'm so glad to hear PC makers like DELL were offered to get rid of this rubbish, 6) non-HD optical drive, 7) only AGB wireless, would have been good to ship with Draft-N.
What do I really like? 1) Keyboard is good size and comfortable to type upon, the media keys at top are useful, 2) Style always gets the girls attention at work - ALWAYS a plus, 3) In-built web cam is good quality (if never really used by me), 4) Wireless works well and easily turned off via slide switch at front, 5) Audio - Altec Lansing speakers produce great sound (for a laptop), 6) Headphone & microphone connectors at front of laptop, 7) Memory card reader is useful (unfortunately my Canon camera's SDHC card isn't supported), 8) Clamshell design without latch avoids something breaking.
The laptop is of sturdy, quality construction with no fault to be found. The performance of the laptop is quite good with the 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo processor, and 3D graphics are passable but not a shine on desktop equivalent. The USB ports are located 1 on the left and 2 on the right behind the DVD drive, I do find it a bit strange that the right hand ones have a USB logo printed above them on the case adjacent the keyboard, but the one on the left does not. I as yet have not needed to use all at once, so the 3 ports provided are sufficient. Firewire is also provided between USB and expesscard slot on the left, again not an oft used port but useful to have. The expresscard's inclusion is good and somewhat future proofing the laptop, but it is disappointing that the availability of items to plug into this remains quite poor.
As the laptop shipped with Vista preinstalled I experienced no driver problems at all, and the recent installation of Vista SP1 went flawlessly, although I think I went grey waiting for it to finish installing. I think HP need to get rid of their HP check software as it and Windows Update clash with things like video drivers leaving one wondering which is newer.
I've been quite happy with my laptop since purchasing it, no regrets whatsoever.
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