capsule review

HP Pavilion dv5000t

At a Glance
  • HP Pavilion DV5000t

    PCWorld Rating

HP Pavilion dv5000t
Photograph: Chris Manners

Good desktop replacement notebooks usually aren't good travel notebooks. But HP's Pavilion dv5000t has both the desktop chops--including a superb screen and keyboard--and the battery life, in spades. As a bonus, our test unit's 12-cell battery provides a comfortable ergonomic slant no matter where you are.

The dv5000t's 15.4-inch, 1280 by 800 screen strikes a good balance between viewability and portability. And with this notebook's battery life, you'll want to step out. The 12-cell battery included with our test unit (which adds $39 to the price) lasted a phenomenal 7 hours, 7 minutes on one charge, a new record. The extra-tall rear-mounted battery, despite being a bit bulky and contributing to a 7.4-pound minimum weight, acts as a typing foot and lends the keyboard a welcome tilt similar to that of a full-size desktop keyboard.

The dv5000t is a workhorse. Our test unit, which included a 2-GHz Core Duo T2500 processor and 1GB of memory, earned a hot WorldBench 5 score of 98, putting it on a par with similarly equipped notebooks such as Dell's Inspiron E1705 and Gateway M685-E, both of which received marks of 97. It finished the multitasking portion of the test in 7.6 minutes, about a minute sooner than the average dual-core notebook.

A well-designed entertainment notebook, too, the dv5000t boasts quick-play buttons that let you play video clips, DVD movies, or music CDs without having to turn on the notebook first. Our test unit came with the Windows Media Center Edition operating system (priced $30 higher than XP Home), a 100GB drive, an ExpressCard slot, and a TV tuner ($130 extra). Though they didn't produce the best sound I've ever heard from an HP Pavilion, the dv5000t's Altec Lansing speakers emit strong enough audio for you to enjoy a movie without headphones. The dv5000t's graphic card options top out at nVidia's GeForce Go 7400 with 128MB of RAM--good for general entertainment but not optimal for gaming.

Still, these are quibbles about a comfortable notebook that boasts an excellent consumer notebook keyboard. It has a sensible layout and a good feel, though the mouse buttons crowd the front edge. Color-coded keys double as media buttons for users who choose not to spring for the thin $15 remote control. The Wi-Fi switch and its status light are situated above the keyboard, and you can find side connections at a glance thanks to identifying icons stamped on the surface area just below and to the right of the keyboard.

Not surprisingly in view of its features, the dv5000t is not budget fare. Its $1984 price (as of May 18, 2006) made our test unit the most expensive all-purpose notebook in its cohort. The price did not include the alluring HP xb2000 Notebook Expansion Base, which has a screen stand, a port replicator, stereo speakers, and a bay for a second hard drive all rolled into one. Ordered with the 250GB hard drive kit, the base brings the dv5000t's total possible storage to a desktop-worthy 350GB for an extra $499.

If you're thinking of ditching your home PC for a notebook that you can pack up and take along, the dv5000 is one to consider seriously. From desktop comfort to long battery life, this machine has what it takes.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Long battery life and a great screen make this speedy notebook a good desktop replacement.

    Pros

    • Blazing speed
    • Phenomenal battery life

    Cons

    • No significant drawbacks
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