HP Pavilion DV7T Review

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The HP Pavilion DV7T is a part of the recently refreshed line of notebooks. This particular notebook replaces the doomed HP Pavilion DV9000T series. Along with the Blu-Ray drive, dedicated Nvidia graphics card this notebook features the new Intel Centrino 2 mobile technology. Intel Centrino 2 along with its predecessor Intel Centrino has revolutionized the way we use the notebook in our modern world. Hang on tight while we examine this notebook from all sides!

The HP Pavilion is set at a reasonable base price of $1,079. It comes stock with a very decent Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 processor clocked at 2.0 GHz. Unlike the processor included with the DV9000T series, this one has a 1066Mhz Front Side Bus and a minimum of 3MB Level 2 Cache. All of those changes play a vital role in the significant improvement from the DV7T's predecessor. This notebook also comes stock with 2 Gigabytes of PC2-6400 (800 MHz) RAM, but can be upgraded to 4 gigabytes. According to several websites, this notebook can hold up to 8 Gigabytes of PC2-6400 RAM. However, a 64 bit operating system is required to take advantage of 4 Gigabytes or more of RAM.

The DV7T featured in this review contain the following components:

HP Pavilion Entertainment dv7t customizable Notebook PC

* – Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
* – Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo Processor T9600 (2.80GHz)
* – 17.0" WSXGA+ High-Definition HP BrightView Display (1680 x 1050)
* – 4GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
* – 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT
* – 320GB 7200RPM SATA Dual Hard Drive (160GB x 2) with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
* – Webcam + Fingerprint Reader + Microphones
* – Intel(R) WiFi Link 5100AGN
* – LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support
* – 8 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
* - Dimensions 15.59" (W) x 11.22" (D) x 1.31" (min H)/1.66" (max H)
* - Weight 7.64lbs
* - 90 Watt AC Adapter

Input Devices: Touch pad, Keyboard, etc

The touch pad on this notebook is very impressive being both responsive and amazingly designed. As the theme with the new line of notebooks, this touch pad features a chrome like surface that makes this notebook unique. It has a nice vertical scroll bar that allows for quick browsing. Both left and right mouse buttons are firm versus the spongy feel from the DV9700. There is an on/off switch for this touch pad, however in the DV7 it lights up white.

The keyboard was a part of the extreme makeover from HP that transformed it to match the metallic theme in the new line of notebooks. Aside from the color change, the only different thing is the texture of the actual keys. They are very smooth whereas the DV9700 keyboard seemed rough.

The QuickPlay button region on the notebook has undergone a big transition from modern to futuristic with the new magic chrome that conceals the QuickPlay buttons when the notebook is not powered on. In addition, the QuickPlay field which is touch sensitive is now home to the WiFi on/off button.

I/O Ports

There are a few significant changes to the DV7T including the addition of a new port and the discontinuing of a few as well. Added to the new notebook line is the eSATA port combined with an USB port. Discontinued are the S-Video out and the 56K Modem ports, although the 56K port can be added when purchasing.

Here is a list of the included ports:

ExpressCard/54 Slot (also supports ExpressCard/34)
4 Universal Serial Bus (4th shared with eSATA port)
IEEE 1394 Firewire
1 Consumer IR (Remote Receiver)
HDMI 1.3 connector
Microphone in
2 Headphones out
1 Expansion Port 3 Connector
1 RJ -45 (LAN)
5-in-1 digital media card reader (SD-MS/Pro-MMC-XD)

Front: (left to right) Microphone in, Headphone out, Headphone out

Right: (left to right) USB, USB, Optical Drive, TV Tuner adaptor, 56K Modem

Left: (left to right) VGA, Expansion Port, Ethernet, HDMI, eSATA/USB, USB, Firewire, ExpressCard slot, 5-in-1 media card reader

Battery placement, Subwoofer, Memory, Network Wireless card, Hard Drives


The WSXGA 17" 1680x1050 screen is noticeably brighter than the display of the same type on the DV9700. The display is crisp and the color is perfect. The backlighting is even and the viewing angles are somewhat better than the DV9700T display.

Sound Quality

Amazingly enough, the integrated Altec Lansing speakers sounds much better in the DV7 versus the DV9700. The DV7 does feature a subwoofer which really does enhance the listening pleasure. The sound is very clear and can be amplified to a very high level. It makes watching movies on the computer exciting again.


Surprisingly enough the notebook runs very cool and is almost inaudible. I mean don't get me wrong you can still hear the disk writing once in a while. I am amazed at the heat distribution on this notebook. The DV9700 has always acted as a lap warmer which just makes me even happier that I own the new DV7T. Using the DV7T on both my desk and lap was a breeze. There was a little warmth while using it on my lap, but on the desk it felt as cool as if it wasn’t even on.

DV7T (left), DV9700T (right)

Battery Performance

All I can say is WOW. The standard 8 cell battery lasted me about 3 hours and 16 minutes before shutting off. During that time I was using AIM, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Photo Gallery, MS Word and Media Player (listening to music). You wouldn't think 3 hours would be capable out of a 17 inch beast such as the DV7T, but it is simply amazing.


The DV7 is structurally sound as all HP notebooks are and will continue to be. The new DV7 is somewhat identical to the DV9700 by sharing a designer LCD frame although not the same design. When you first take the DV7 out of the box it is like a solid piece of art. It looks visually appealing but at the same time is rugged and durable. The Mesh design is simply extravagant.

Unlike the DV9700, the DV7 sports a Mac Book type hinge. It's a beautiful touch that was incorporated and I don't think there is another type of hinge that would do this notebook justice. There is one thing that this notebook is missing and that's the latch that keeps the notebook shut. HP built a very sturdy hinge that does just that. It's firm and applies pressure to keep the notebook shut and secure.

The overall design is different and can only be explained through pictures. Below are pictures that contain both the DV7 and the DV9700.

DV7 (left), DV9700 (right)

DV7 (left), DV9700 (right)

DV7 (left), DV9700 (right)

DV7 (left), DV9700 (right)

DV7 (top), DV9700 (bottom)

DV7 (top), DV9700 (bottom)

DV7 (top), DV9700 (bottom)

DV7 (top), DV9700 (bottom)

DV7 (top), DV9700 (bottom)

DV7 (top), DV9700 (bottom)

CPU Performance

The base processor (P7350) in the DV7T series notebook is more than powerful enough to conquer all tasks. Included in this review notebook is the Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 running at 2.8 GHz with a 1066 MHz FSB. I compared the processor in this notebook to the T9500 processor in the DV9700T and produced the following SuperPI benchmarks:

SuperPI 2 million calculations:

DV9700T (T9500 2.6 GHz): 40 seconds
DV7T (T9600 2.8 GHz): 36 seconds

There’s a slight difference according to SuperPI. However, when I perform CPU intensive tasks the DV7T is always the victor!

All in all, the DV7T is a great notebook in more ways than one. It not only looks great but performs well. The design and structure of the notebook is appealing yet sturdy enough to handle a pretty tough beating. Being considered a desktop replacement, I think it passes with flying colors.

This notebook isn’t as heavy as it would appear. Being very similar to the DV5T, I think this notebook is more suited for gamers, graphic designers, 3D architects, and other people who need a notebook with a LOT of space and a BIG screen.

And now the scale of pros and cons:


Nicely designed
Handles heat very well
Has a fairly decent battery life
VERY quiet
Blazing fast
Good sound quality


A Cop’s favorite piece of evidence (fingerprints)
No S-Video port
Buggy QuickPlay buttons