HP Pavilion dv7 6052EA Laptop Hands on Review
I have had the pleasure of spending just over a fortnight with the 17.3-inch HP Pavilion dv7-6052ea – not the snappiest of names I agree but how does this multi-media machine handle the tasks in hand?
The ‘dark umber metal’ finish, as it is called, reminded me of a cross between some top-level hi-fi equipment and the wood-grain of the panelling in a swish gentlemans club. All in a good way 🙂
Around the edges of this machine you’ll find VGA and HDMI outputs, an Ethernet jack, an eSATA/USB port, a multi-format card reader, two 3.5mm sockets for headphones and another for a mic; there’s also and a pair of USB 2.0 ports as well as a couple of USB 3.0 ports! There’s a Blu-ray reader/DVD-writer which is kitted out with Lightscribe tech so that you can use the drive to print labels onto your CD/DVD (when using the correct discs) which is kinda cool.
Under the hood is an Intel Core i7 HM6 quad core processor running at 2GHz with a 6MB cache with 6GB DDR3 memory hooked up to a Radeon HD 6490M GPU with 1GB DDR5 dedicated graphics memory. This all adds up to some great performance.
As the dv7 6052ea is kitted out for media it needs some decent storage space – so you’ll be glad to know that it comes equipped with a 1TB hard-drive (5400 rpm) so that should keep you happy for a while.
The Pavilion dv7 lands with the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Professional as its OS of choice.
The lovely finish, especially on the lid of the HP Pavilion dv7, was prone to attracting fingerprints just as the Envy Beats edition I tested did. This soon had me keeping a duster near by.
The HP chiclet keyboard is decent – big and comfy enough so that typing for extended periods appeared relatively painless.
The trackpad is absolutely massive, which is great, and it’s satisfyingly sensitive – sometimes it was a little too sensitive as there were plenty of occasions where I accidentally adjusted the cursor when just trying to click.
The display is a strong point. Pleasingly bright, this 17.3-inch display has a maximum resolution of 1,600×900 pixels. OK, so it’s not Full HD but it’s bright and colours seem vivid with good contrast.
Blu-ray movie play-back proved to be extremely smooth on this machine and blasting my way through zombies, crashing hideously in a variety of sports cars and taking on WW II enemies all in the name of testing the 6052EA’s gaming capabilities left me pretty satisfied. It might not be able to match a dedicated gamer from folk like Alienware but it will handle the latest titles so you can still get your game on.
What was really impressive was the audio. The dv7 packs a subwoofer which adds richness to the sound and the Beats audio tech doesn’t seem to be as aggressive as it did on the HP Envy lappy I tested – this means that you get a nice dynamic range from the speakers with little distortion.
The machine’s battery life isn’t the best (a couple of hours tops using the graphic switching power management) but then as it’s not exactly an ultra-portable I reckon that it is safe to assume that the dv7 will spend most of its time sat on a desk rather than on trains, planes and coffee shops.
The HP Pavilion dv7 is a fine beast and offers good performance across the board as well as looking great.
This is obviously a premium laptop and it feels like one. The thing is, it’s also priced like one – expect to hand over around £900 in exchange for this machine.
You get good audio and the 6052EA will handle your media as well as keeping it stored on its roomy 1TB drive.
If you have the cash and are looking for an all-round laptop that can double as an entertainment system which will play Blu-ray as well as your other discs all packaged in a very swish body that feels as well built as it looks then I’d say you should at least consider the HP Pavilion dv7 6052EA.