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.