Wednesday, January 25, 2012

HP Pavilion dv9500t

We always liked the Pavilion dv9000 series, and today HP's desktop replacement is among the first available systems to feature Intel's refreshed Centrino Duo mobile platform (codename Santa Rosa). With the new processor comes a new model name--Pavilion dv9500t--and a few smaller changes, such as the addition of a fingerprint reader and a different Webcam. The early version of the Pavilion dv9500t we reviewed also included a discrete graphics card and an HD DVD drive--two options that won't be available for about a month. Without those high-end components, the HP Pavilion dv9500t costs a very reasonable $1,615, making it one of the most inexpensive entertainment-oriented desktop replacements on the market. Though high-definition fanatics and casual gamers will want to wait (and save their pennies) for the higher-end components to become available, we think the HP Pavilion dv9500t as it exists today is a good choice for home users who want their laptop to double as a mobile entertainment system.

The dv9500t is the same size as its predecessor, and it remains smaller than both the Dell XPS M1710 and the Gateway NX860XL. Still, the dv9500t weighs nine pounds with its AC adapter, making it too heavy to carry with you every day.
While we prefer matte screens on more business-oriented systems, we're fans of the Pavilion dv9500t's glossy display, which features a crisp 1,440x900 native resolution. The screen produced rich colors and sharp details, and there's plenty of screen real estate for traditional computer work as well. Like all Pavilion laptops, the dv9500t includes a row of light-touch buttons above the keyboard that launch the media player and provide volume and playback controls; a somewhat annoying, high-pitched beep lets you know when you've pressed a button (the beep can be disabled in the system BIOS). Altec Lansing stereo speakers, located above those controls, deliver decent sound, though we prefer the depth and clarity of the sound produced by the speakers on the Toshiba Qosmio G35. And while the pricier Qosmio G35 includes an integrated TV tuner, the Pavilion dv9500t lacks built-in TV capabilities, though HP sells an ExpressCard tuner module for $130.

1 comment:

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