HP Pavilion dv5000z
At a Glance
HP Pavilion dv5000z (2.2-GHz Turion 64 ML-40 processor, 15.4in widescreen with 1280 by 800 resolution and BrightView technology, 1GB DDR333 SDRAM, 120GB hard disk, Windows Media Center Edition 2005, ATI Radeon Xpress 200M graphics)
This well-priced and very portable Media Center notebook benefits from thoughtful design plus very good performance.
The 7.4-pound Pavilion dv5000z is the most portable and most attractively priced Media Center notebook we've seen from HP. It performed well in our tests, earning a WorldBench 5 score of 86. The dv5000z is more compact than HP's 17-inch, wide-screen dv8000 series, which is AMD-based, too. Our test unit came with a 2.2-GHz Turion 64 ML-40 processor, though you can customize and get the lower-cost Turion 64 or Sempron mobile CPU. The $1593 model we tested had attractive options: 1GB of memory, a 120GB 4200-rpm hard drive, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a dual-layer DVD
The dv5000z has essentially the same chassis as HP's Intel-based dv4000 notebooks, with a sleek but understated silver/black-with-flashes-of-blue motif. The ports are sensibly located and clearly labeled, and the keyboard was comfortable to type on. Other welcome touches include Altec Lansing speakers (though these lack an underside subwoofer), and QuickPlay buttons to bypass Windows and play music or DVDs in seconds.
HP has ditched the dv4000's dedicated graphics for an integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200M controller with 128MB of discrete video memory; you can also use up to 128MB of system memory. The 15.4-inch wide-screen display, with its BrightView coating, produced vivid colors, although the occasional sight of my reflection was distracting. The top resolution of 1280 by 800 supports high definition, but the bundled ExpressCard TV tuner is analog-only.
If you're on a budget and want a multimedia desktop replacement that delivers solid performance, you could do a lot worse than the dv5000z.