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HP Pavilion dv7-2045ea review

An impressive range of features, but let down slightly by limited performance

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1600 x 900
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Good build quality
  • Connectivity
  • DVD drive
  • 3D graphics performance

Against

  • General performance
  • Old 802.11g Wi-Fi

HP has a strong range of consumer laptops in its Pavilion series, and the dv7-2045ea is a well-built, entertainment-focused entry.

However, its fantastic range of features is sadly undermined by a lacklustre specification which can't match the best at this price.

At 3.4kg and with a 17.3-inch screen, this is the heaviest and one of the bulkiest machines we have tested in a while. While portability is limited, the 220-minute battery life is second only to the Sony VAIO VPC-Y21S1E/SI, and the large dimensions allow for a well-sized keyboard and dedicated numeric keypad.

This is one of the best keyboards we have used for touch-typing, thanks to the scale and intuitive layout, and despite the plastic feel of the keys. The mirrored touchpad adds to the laptop's style, along with a unique patterned design across the chassis' shiny lid and interior.

The screen is bright and vibrant thanks to its Super-TFT coating, although it is quite reflective as a result. The widescreen aspect ratio is perfect for watching films, something HP has carefully considered with the inclusion of an infrared remote which allows you to control Windows Media Centre software at a distance, for the playback of movies and other media.

A responsive touch-sensitive media bar above the keyboard is also included for controlling music, movies and photos. Other features are just as impressive, including the only DVD drive to provide LightScribe support.

HP pavilion dv7 2045ea

The range of ports is comprehensive, with VGA and HDMI outputs in addition to mini FireWire and eSATA ports for fast data communication. An ExpressCard port and four USB ports let you add peripherals.

The only negatives are the 802.11g Wi-Fi – as most modern laptops here support the faster 802.11n standard – and the use of the older Windows Vista OS instead of Windows 7.

Poor performer

Performance is sadly less impressive. With an AMD Turion X2 processor in place, this laptop only beats the cheaper Mesh Discovery 16-RV in terms of power and lags significantly behind the Hi-Grade Notino W760C, Acer Aspire 5745PG-354G32Mn and Toshiba Satellite L670-12J.

Functionality is limited to running office applications and watching movies, and we expected a lot more of a laptop at this price point.

HP has included a dedicated ATi Radeon HD 4350 graphics card which packs in more 3D power than everything but the Acer Aspire 5745PG-354G32Mn, but the basic processor means that modern games and intensive design packages still suffer from lag.

A mixed specification and outdated OS are compensated in part by the excellent features and quality build of the Pavilion dv7-2045ea, but anyone looking for a high performance machine should look to the Intel Core laptops.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelMobility Radeon HD 4530
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilitySemi-shared
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
eSATAYes
FireWire/i.LINKYes
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Product FamilyPavilion dv7-2000
Processor ModelZM-84
Operating SystemWindows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Home Premium with SP1
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed2.30 GHz
Processor TypeTurion X2 Ultra
Screen Size43.9 cm (17.3")
Number of Cells8-cell
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)3.52 kg
Cache2 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Labeling TechnologyLightScribe
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 512 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyBrightView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Height43.2 mm
Width412.6 mm
Depth277 mm
Screen ModeWSXGA
Product Seriesdv7-2000
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product Modeldv7-2045ea
Product NamePavilion dv7-2045ea Entertainment Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LinePavilion
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNP823EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

The new HP Pavilion dv7-2045ea Entertainment Notebook, with 16:9 aspect ratio widescreen panel offers you a new screen size that is ideal for both computing and entertainment modes. Use the ample horizontal space for widget and toolbars and enjoy a great movie experience in their original format.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Pavilion dv7-2045ea Entertainment Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • HP Mobile Remote Control
Bus Speed3600 MHz