I’m a few days into my Mac vacation and so far I’ve only broke the rules once… I used my Mac / Photoshop to work up the images in this article. Gimp is nice, but I’ve been unable to figure out how to save jpgs at lower resolutions while having them still look crisp. Other than that little discretion, I’ve been true to the experiment and am using the HP Pavilion dv2 notebook as my main computer while I’m here at home.
In the last two days, I’ve noticed two things. First, I love the size of this device and second, this laptop is hot – but not in a good way.
I’ve had the opportunity to review two different netbooks so far. First it was the MSI Wind and then we did a team review of the HP mini 1000. The netbook form factor is great for travel. It fits easily into a gear bag and typically weighs less than 3 pounds. Perfect for portability.
The HP Pavilion dv2 has great portability too. It’s larger than a netbook (the image above is the HP mini 1000 sitting on top of the dv2), but I think I’m actually liking this intermediate size considerably more.
The dv2 with the 6 cell high capacity battery weighs in at close to 4lbs on my digital scale…
While the HP mini 1000 netbook is 2.5lbs. Yes, the dv2 weighs more, but I what I like better about it, is the large 12.1 inch display that has a max resolution of 1280 x 800 and the larger keyboard. It’s much more comfortable to use for any extended period of time or for use as a main computer.
The display does have a glossy screen, which may be a problem for some people. I’ve been finding that I’ve had some issues with it reflecting my 3 bulb ceiling lap. To remedy the situation, I have the screen angle open to the maximum angle and have also propped up the front with a package of chewing gum The chewing gum package wedge would not have been needed if the screen could open just a little farther. I had a similar complaint with the HP mini 1000′s max screen angle…
I have had no issues with the keyboard on the dv2. It’s nice and spacious, with a layout that does not cause me to press the wrong keys. The keyboard itself is very quiet and the keys are slick feeling and flat on top.
The mirrored finish touch pad works well, including the scroll bar on the Right side. The only ‘problem’ that the touch pad has, is that it shows fingerprints and smears. Other than that, the surface is very slick, making it easy to move your cursor quickly. I like that I can hold my finger tip at the top or bottom of the scroll bar to have it automatically continue scrolling down the page.
I’ve not had any usability issues yet with this computer. Granted, I’ve been doing almost all my work in the browser (I installed Firefox). So far the only applications that I’ve installed are GIMP, Tweetdeck, Blu, Firefox and Miranda. GIMP has worked fine except for the fact that I don’t have the settings configured correctly for saving jpgs. I tried the Blu twitter client, but it would not log me in (I need to try it again), so I went with Tweetdeck, which I have used on my Macs. For the browser, I had to go with Firefox because I have certain plugins that I like to use. For instant messaging, I ended up just using meebo, since I use it during the day at work and am very comfortable with it.
The main complaint that I have so far with the dv2 is that it runs way too hot for my liking.
The fan runs continuously. It even runs when the notebook is idling. The fan blows hot air out the vents on the Left front side of the device. I used an IR thermometer to check the temps. The highest I’ve seen so far is 119 degrees. I’ve just been checking it periodically all day today and it’s averaging around 112 – 114 degrees. I have found that the fan will increase in speed when I watch a video through YouTube or open a couple tabs in Firefox that are both loading pages.
The continous fan annoys me because I have a thing for noise and have been spoiled by my Macbook Pro, which is virtually silent. Even the fan on my iMac is quieter than the fan on the dv2. I’m curious how warm this laptop would run with Windows 7, XP or Ubuntu…
Ok, that’s it for today. I have plans to do a bunch of couch surfing this weekend to see if the dv2′s 6 cell hi-cap battery really does last for 4.5hrs. I also want to hook the dv2 up to my 65″ RPTV via HDMI and check out a Blu-ray DVD.