HP Pavilion dv1066EA review
Our first look at HP’s 2.5kg Pavilion dv1000 series showed that it’s a clever design for personal entertainment. Attractive styling gives it character, and the 14in widescreen display strikes a good balance between portability and personal DVD viewing. With an ‘instant-on’ Linux partition you don’t have to wait for Windows to boot either; it’s ready to play songs and DVDs after a 12-second startup.
Performance is up on the 1.5GHz Banias Pentium M we previously tested, with a 1.6GHz Dothan CPU in our retail model (but storage drops to 60GB). That kicks the 2D speed up 17 points from 1.29 to 1.46 overall, with particular improvement in the word processing/spreadsheet tests. You don’t get something for nothing though, and battery life dropped 9 minutes with a heavy load to 1 hour, 27 minutes, and by over an hour under light use to 3 hours, 43 minutes. The extra grunt is impressive but perhaps unnecessary for entertainment, and it’s worth considering the 1.4GHz/40GB dv1049EA (£766 exc VAT at www.pcworld.co.uk).
The plastic body creaks more than we’d like, and we’d hoped a production unit would inspire more confidence. The real compromise is around the screen: to keep weight down, HP has skimped on protection, because there’s precious little of it behind the display. That’s a shame given it’s suitability for travel in other respects.
In spite of that, the dv1066EA’s usability makes it impossible to dislike. It’s ideal if you want a portable entertainer for the home or an occasional travelling partner.