My VIA en15000g desktop is fine for Web Surfing, writing documents and editing a picture or two, but sometimes it does get a little frustrating. So I got myself a new laptop. The HP Pavilion dv2899ea (Artist Edition) is a nice little laptop that departs from the usual design of the plain plastic case, and replaces it with a case that is decorated with some fancy artwork. It comes with side bag with similar design imprints to help you lug it around, and at 2.5KG you shouldn’t have much of a problem carrying it with you.
As for specs, it does come with a lot of punch, A 2.5GHz Core 2 duo T9300 CPU with 4GB RAM and an nVidia GeForce 8400M GS with 128MB RAM to be precise. This makes it more than adequate to run Vista with its glossy Aero interface. It is also capable of running DirectX 10 games. The Hard drive is a spacious 320GB Toshiba drive. In actual terms that translates to a drive with 298GB useable space. Around 12GB of that is used up by the Vista recovery The bad news is, there is a lot of HP bloatware taking up space, as well as a couple of gigabytes taken up by the space-hogging winsxs directory. But you are left with over 250GB, which is still plenty of space, and of course you can clear up more space as well as make your computer qucker by getting rid of the HP bloatware.
It has a 14.1″ wide screen display with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels. My gripe with the screen is that it is one of the glossy types. HP call it BrightView, Sony call it X-Black and so on. Some people do love them, I’m just not one of them. They’re never as ant-reflective as they claim to be. I prefer the matte anti-reflective screens that give you a relatively consistent brightness from all parts of the screen irrespective of the lighting condition of the room. That said, it is still a good screen with a decent enough viewing angle and vivid colours.
It has a variety of connections including Ethernet, Modem, (only) two USB 2.0, one four pin 1394(i-link/Firewire), an HDMI, VGA and s-video. It also includes a propriatary expansion port. It has an express card slot, and a memory card reader that can read SD/MMC, XD and MS Pro cards. Its wireless connections include an infra red port, bluetooth and 802.11g/draft-n WLAN connections. It also has the usual microphone and for some reason two headphone sockets. The built-n Altec Lansing speakers are quite good which retain a decent clarity at loud enough volumes. If you want to use it as a movie player for your TV via HDMI or s-video, you can use the handy remote control that you can tuck away in the express card slot when not in use. It also has a row of multimedia buttons to help play your media. When the notebook is switched off, pressing one of the quickplay buttons will start it up and automatically launch the HP Quickplay software.
It comes preloaded with Windows Vista Home Premium edition (32-bit) with a system recovery partion on the hard drive. Another thing I hate about computers the come with Windows is that they stopped giving you recovery discs, merely giving you an option to create a set. I mean, how much do they save with that practice? However, when you do get a computer with Vista, it is a good idea to create your recovery discs, even though it takes a while. If something goes wrong with your hard drive, there is no guarantee that the system recovery partition on it will work. With the recovery CDs you’ll have a nice safety net.
It does not come with any useful software. It only includes a 60 day trial version of Norton Internet Security Suite, and the aforementioned HP bloatware. In my opinion, you should immediately get rid of the following software to make the laptop more responsive and free up some space:
- AOL Toolbar
- Cyberlink YouCam
- EA Link
- HP Customer Experience Enhancements (What a fckn patronising name!!!)
- HP Easy Setup – Frontend
- HP Help and Support
- Live Update (Symantec Corporation)
- Meet Your Computer
- Microsoft Office Powerpoint Viewer (unless you need to do powerpoint presentations but don’t have powerpoint)
- Microsoft Works
- My HP Games
- Norton Internet Security (60 Day Trial)
- QuickPlay Sling Player (unless of course you have a slingbox setup)
- The Sims Life Stories – 3 Chapter Trial
- Viewpoint Media Player
All in all, the Pavilion dv2899 is a good all round laptop computer. It is suitable for the typical Web/Office work as well as multimedia and some gaming. It is also light enough for you to carry around, and it is quite a stylish bit of kit too.