Heat and Noise
The dv7t has one exhaust/cooling vent on the back and one on the left side that extends to the bottom. Our review unit tested above average during our heat tests, but had one extremely hot sweet spot on the bottom with a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This concerned me greatly, especially since my old dv7 had a huge heat issue - it would heat up to near breaking point, especially across the entire bottom panel, about 15-20 minutes into a fullscreen HD movie. This newer unit does much better comparatively, though, and did above average in all the areas but that one ... but HP might still need to take another look at its overall cooling system. The laptop runs very quiet; virtually no noise can be heard even under great exertion.
True multimedia and gaming notebooks will usually simply not be able to deliver good battery life with the standard included battery because of the high-end specifications and power-hungry parts. With Windows 7 set on its balanced power profile, screen brightness turned down 70%, wireless active, and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds, the HP Pavilion dv7t was able to deliver 3 hours and 10 minutes of mobile life with its standard 6-cell Li-ion battery (55 Wh). This is pretty low; but there is always the option of purchasing the optional 9-cell Li-ion battery. HP claims the 9-cell battery will deliver up to 9.5 hours of battery life, but this may vary greatly depending on things like screen brightness settings and computational activities.
Please keep in mind that in the comparison chart below the Dell Inspiron 15R was using an optional 9-cell battery.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
The HP Pavilion dv7t Quad-Core Edition multimedia notebook provides excellent processor, storage, graphics and gaming performance--scoring high on both all of the synthetic benchmark tests and the real-world tests. The combination of the Intel Quad Core i7-2630QM CPU, coupled with the 8GB DDR3 memory and the AMD 1GB GDDR5 Radeon HD 6770M graphics all work well together to impress. The audio quality should also held as great, with more than enough speakers and subwoofers placed all around the laptop in all the right spots (for both "up and out" sound and surround sound).
The dv7t, however, is not perfect. The touchpad was difficult to use and didn't have a scrollbar, the glossy screen had only a slightly above average contrast rating, and with all those high-end specs the battery only lasted 3 hours and 10 minutes when put to the test. Also, there was a heat issue with one spot of the bottom panel reaching 105 degrees Fahrenheit. While these are all things to be taken into consideration, many will not find these things to necessarily be deal-breakers: it's still an awesome setup of a laptop.
The HP Pavilion dv7t Quad Edition is available now through HP and select retailers for a starting price of $1,099. Some options and configurations will make that price go higher.
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