capsule review

HP Pavilion dv9000t

At a Glance
  • HP Pavilion dv9000t

    PCWorld Rating

The dv9000t is HP's new entertainment laptop with a 17-inch high-definition screen and a combo HD DVD player/double-layer DVD burner. With the dv9000t, you can stash hundreds of photos and MP3s on up to 240GB of storage provided by dual hard drives. You can also enjoy music and crisp movie dialogue from good stereo speakers, or listen privately with a friend using the dual headphones port. Online, you can personalize chatting with the optional integrated Webcam.

Pricing for the dv9000 line is very flexible, starting at $879 for the dv9000z with an AMD processor and a single hard drive, and topping out at around $2700 for an Intel-based dv9000t with all the trimmings. Our $2530 (as of 11/6/06) dv9000t review unit featured a 2-GHz Core 2 Duo T7200 processor, 2GB of RAM, XP Media Center Edition, dual 100GB hard drives, a 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7600 graphics card, and the HD DVD drive.

The dv9000t shares several especially nice design features with its dv6000 and dv2000 siblings. These including hidden hinges and a gorgeous glossy piano-black finish with a subtle wave pattern. With the notebook turned off, a swipe of the finger across a backlit touch-sensitive media and volume-control panel located above the keyboard launches the HP QuickPlay menu for direct access to your movie, music, video, and slide-show collections. Using the Windows Media Center operating system, the dv9000t can pause and record live TV programs.

The dv9000t is not heavy for a 17-inch-screen laptop, coming in at just 8 pounds (not including the power adapter), so you can take it with you. The standard 8-cell battery lasted only 2.6 hours in our tests, though, so consider opting for the high-capacity version.

Our review unit also included the TV tuner kit needed to connect the dv9000t to an analog cable box or a set-top box. HP believes in the strict separation of notebook and TV tuner, to make upgrades to future technology easier, so catching Grey's Anatomy on this notebook (or any other Pavilion) requires three extra pieces of hardware: the HP ExpressCard Analog TV Tuner, its coaxial adapter cable, and a USB receiver for the Windows remote control.

The dv9000t is a powerful notebook capable of comfortably handling any type of work, from photo editing to heavy number crunching. Its WorldBench 5 score of 117 edged out the 109 score earned by its chief competitor, the Toshiba Qosmio.

The dv9000t would make an excellent desktop replacement: It includes a touchpad-equipped keyboard that's so well laid out, I hardly noticed that the right Shift key is no bigger than a regular alphanumeric key. The Shift key was no doubt shrunk to accommodate the separate numerical keypad, a nice extra rarely found on laptops. And unlike with most notebooks, the mouse buttons are very responsive, depressing deeply into the case.

If you do decide to chuck your old desktop for the dv9000t, consider treating yourself to the HP xb3000 Notebook Expansion Base for docking. A screen stand on steroids, the Base includes port replication for cable management, internal housing for a third hard drive, and built-in premium speakers. A wireless keyboard and mouse come with it.

Carla Thornton

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    The dv9000t is a powerful notebook capable of handling any type of work comfortably.


    • Has a designer look
    • Includes dual hard drives and a Webcam


    • So-so battery life
Shop Tech Products at Amazon