HP dv2000t and dv1000 Comparison

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HP dv2000t and dv1000 Comparison


Recently I upgraded laptops. My old laptop is an HP Pavilion dv1000, and I upgraded to HP’s new DV2000t. I got a great deal on the new one and found a way to help someone out with the old one. I wasn’t sure whether to go with the HP or one of Apple’s new MacBooks, but in the end my long-running relationship in good standing with HP, coupled with the fact that I could get a whole lot more machine for a lot less money, made my decision for me. (Plus, 12 months no interest/no payments is pretty appealing.)



Here are the specs of both machines:

HP dv1000

  • Windows XP Professional
  • Intel Centrino processor (1.7 GHz)
  • 14.0″ WXGA BrightView Widescreen (1280×768)
  • Intel integrated graphics
  • 1.5GB DDR PC-2700 SDRAM
  • 60 GB hard drive
  • DVD/CD-RW combo drive
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network w/Bluetooth
  • 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
  • HP Mobile Remote Control
HP dv2000t
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Intel Core Duo processor T2600 (2.16 GHz)
  • 14.1″ WXGA BrightView Widescreen (1280×800)
  • 128MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7200
  • 2.0GB DDR2 SDRAM (2x1024MB)
  • 80 GB 5400 RPM hard drive
  • HP IMPRINT Finish + Microphone + Webcam
  • Super Multi 8X DVD+/-R/RW w/Double Layer Support
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network w/Bluetooth
  • 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
  • HP Mobile Remote Control

Overview

The purpose of this article is to provide a simple side-by-side comparison of these two machines. While I have worked in IT-related positions for over 5 years, I am in no way an expert reviewer. This is not a review, per se, but a comparison of two laptop models. I thought comparing these two particular models would be fitting given the fact that the DV2000 is HP’s new upgrade to the DV1000. If you’re looking for a good review of the DV2000, I suggest you visit the dv2000t review posted on this site or the review posted on Cause and Defect.

Keep in mind, however, that the comparisons can only go so far. In terms of performance, there really is not much of a comparison to make. The DV2000t, equipped with the latest dual-core Centrino Duo offering from Intel, runs laps around the Centrino-based 1.7 GHz DV1000. Memory differences (DDR2 vs. DDR, plus amounts), as well as differing graphics options (somewhat discrete vNidia vs. fully integrated Intel), also play a factor in the lopsided performance. Granted, the DV1000 has been an excellent machine and runs Windows XP and multimedia functions wonderfully well, but it is no match for the DV2000t when it comes to editing digital video/audio or any kind of heavy multitasking.

    For example, converting a 20 minute episode of The Simpsons from .wmv format to .mp4 format using Xilisoft iPod Video Converter usually takes anywhere from 25-35 minutes on the DV1000, and it would essentially bog down any other tasks I might want to run on my machine. I used to have to pause my encoding process just to open Firefox. But on the DV2000t I not only performed the exact same conversion in 12 minutes, but I managed to convert two files simultaneously in that amount of time, all while opening and closing other programs at my leisure without more than a hint of delay. I have not owned this new laptop long enough to make any truly definitive statements of the Intel Core Duo’s supremacy over other mobile processor offerings, but I can say for sure that when it comes to digital editing and multitasking, my DV2000t outperforms my DV1000 without breaking a sweat.

    But I don’t want to spend a long time talking about performance. There is no comparison in performance between these 2 processors that is relevant. However, HP now offers the same processor options for the DV1000t as I have in my DV2000t. Therefore, you can buy a DV1000t with almost the exact same internal components as the DV2000t (except for the T2600 processor and the nVidia graphic set). My comparison, which focuses mostly on design, becomes entirely relevant to those deciding whether or not they should buy the DV2000t or the DV1000t.

    Basic Dimensions and Feel

    At first glance it is easy to notice that these two models are almost identical is their basic dimensions. The DV1000 measures in at 13.15″ (L) x 9.24″ (W) x 1.18″ (min H)/1.52″ (max H) with the 6-cell battery, and the DV2000t at 13.15″ (L) x 9.33″ (W) x 1″ (min H)/1.54″ (max H) with the 6-cell battery. The slight difference in dimensions allows the DV2000t to offer a .1″ larger screen size, boosting its native resolution to 1280×800 from 1280×768 on the DV1000.


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    One major difference between the two laptops is the general durability of the two. Ever since I first pulled the DV1000 out of the box a year and half ago I noticed that the laptop felt almost flimsy. I’m not suggesting that it is cheaply made, but there are definitely noticeable “creaks” that come from any stress put on the frame of the laptop, especially if you pick it up when the lid is open. In addition, when the lid is closed there is a considerable gap between the lid and the body even when fully closed, and there is play in the latches. The laptop simply does not stay firmly closed. Instead the lid jiggles, and I have read countless reviews that stated the same. In contrast, the DV2000 stays firmly shut with no gap or wiggle. In the picture below you will notice the gap in the DV1000 (top) as opposed to the snug closed position of the DV2000 (bottom), and while the DV2000 appears to have a gap too, it still fits snugly because of the rubber pads that buffer the space between the two surfaces. The Dv2000 overall feels very solidly built with no creaks and it shuts smoothly and solidly.


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    And of course there is the infamous “imprint” finish on the DV2000. I will admit, the finish is very smooth and very beautiful, but boy does it show fingerprints. I knew this before I bought it, but man you cannot imagine how bad it is until you actually lay your grubby fingers on it. HP was considerate enough to include a lint-free cloth in the box that came with the laptop so that I can wipe this thing down. But I found that this tends to only spread the grease around instead of getting it off. Maybe I just have really greasy fingers, but whatever the case I find myself avoiding touching it like I did when I first got my iPod Nano. Let’s just hope that the DV2000 is more scratch-resistant than the Nano…Yikes!

    Closed Position

    Front:

    From the front you will notice that the two laptops differ pretty significantly in their design. The DV2000t (top) moves the microphone in and dual headphone out (1 digital) ports to the center of the frame. This was possible due to the fact that HP ditched the latching mechanism altogether for keeping the laptop closed. This latchless design seems to be the trend now, and originally I wondered how the laptop would ever stay closed. After only a few days with it, I already like the fact that the laptop closes firmly and snugly. The only possible drawbacks I notice with it are, a.) how long before whatever holds the lid down begins to wear out; and b.) you must use two hands to open the lid. On the DV1000, you just need to press in the button and the laptop lid can be opened with one hand. Not so with the DV2000. You have to use one hand to grab the lid and the other to hold the bottom of the laptop down. This is a minor inconvenience in my mind, but it is something to note nonetheless.


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    Another major and obvious difference in the design of the front of these two laptops is that HP moved the speakers from the front (DV1000) to on top above the media controls on the Dv2000. Many object saying that this makes listening to music with the lid closed impossible, but I don’t really care about that because, honestly, in a year and half I never once listened to music on my DV1000 with the lid closed. There is a noticeable difference in sound, however. The sound coming from the speakers located on top of the DV2000 sort of “reflexes” off of the monitor creating almost an echoing type of sound, maybe almost even hollow sounding. This isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just different. Actually, I think that the speakers in the DV2000 are superior to those in the DV1000, being louder and clearer. The DV2000 comes with Altec Lancing speakers as opposed to the harman/kardon-equipped DV1000. The two offer fairly different types of sound, but in the end, I don’t know if I prefer the sound or the placement of one over the other. I have been pleased with both.

    HP also moved the wireless radio on/off toggle to the front of the DV2000 from its location above the keyboard in line with the media buttons on the DV1000. On the DV1000, it was an actual button that you pushed in to activate or deactivate the wireless radio, but on the DV2000 it is a switch that you move left to disable and right to enable. I like the DV2000 option better because I have not been a fan of the DV1000’s media buttons (more on this later), plus the switch has a nice firm “click” to it.


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    Another difference on the fronts to note is the arrangement of the status lights. On the DV2000, they are smaller, a lighter color of blue, shaped more narrowly, and moved to the front left side, whereas the lights on the DV1000 are located just left of the latch release, are bigger, and almost have a purplish tint to them. I like the color, shape, and location on the DV2000 better myself. Overall they are brighter and more elegant looking than the dull purple of the lights on the DV1000.


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    Right:

    Both the DV1000 (bottom) and DV2000 (top) place the optical drive on the right side of the laptop. But the changes to the right side as a whole mark an improvement in the DV2000 over its predecessor. First off, you’ll notice that from the side you see that the DV2000 is thicker in the back of the machine and tapers down as it moves towards the front. This gives the laptop an even more aggressive posture than the DV1000, but really adds nothing functionally.


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    HP moved the optical drive in the DV2000 more towards the front compared to the dead center of the DV1000, and they positioned both available USB 2.0 ports directly next to each other. Depending on what you want to use your USB ports for determines whether or not this is a welcome change. I personally prefer them to be side-by-side since I have an external hard drive that I use as a backup device and I can plug both connectors in at one time without stretching the cable to plug them both in like I used to have to do with the DV1000. But be warned, if you want to plug in an external USB mouse and thumb drive simultaneously you might have a problem getting them both to fit depending on how narrow your thumb drive is. There isn’t a lot of room to work with, so unless you have a thin thumb drive you’re going to have to plug it in elsewhere.

    HP continued its redesign with the right side of the DV2000 by moving the 5-1 media card reader to the left side of the machine along with the firewire port. By moving these items and sliding the optical drive toward the front, this allowed HP to cram 2 USB ports, the modem port, and the power plug all to the back of the right side. This is a change from the DV1000 that had the modem port on the left side and power plug in the back (more on that in a moment), as well as the S-video port, which was moved to the DV2000’s left side as well. All this switching around may have been more to make the internal components to fit than for more practical/functional reasons. But in the end, having your power cable right next to where most people will plug in an external USB mouse causes the right side of the laptop to become somewhat “crowded” if you’re not careful.

    Back:

    The only major difference in the back of these two laptops is that HP moved the power cable from the back of the DV1000 (bottom) to the right side of the DV2000 (top). This was a welcome change to me for two reasons: 1) this makes access to the power port much, much easier, and 2) this allows you to be able to rock the laptop backwards without crimping the power cord. There may come a time when you need to lift the laptop’s front end for one reason or another, and with the DV2000 you can do this without the cord getting in the way. Other than that, you can see that both laptops’ ventilation holes are positioned the same, and the DV1000’s wireless radio light is positioned in the middle of the hinge and is visible from both front and back.


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    Left:

    The left sides of these laptops show the other half of the rearranged design. The DV2000 (top) has the S-video and VGA ports side by side, and then the expansion port 3, ethernet port, USB 2.0, firewire, ExpressCard/54 slot, and beneath it the 5-1 media card reader. HP moved the security cable slot from the front of the left side of the DV1000 to the rear of the left side of the DV2000, and it comes out of the lid instead of the body. The only drawbacks of the left side of the DV2000 is that the media card reader and the ExpressCard/54 slot are so close together it can be difficult removing an attached express card or HP remote while having some form of removable media plugged in the media card reader.


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    I took a picture of the remotes that I purchased with these laptops. The DV1000 remote is on the left and the DV2000 on the right. The Dv2000 remote loses the print and camera buttons in order to replace them with an extra Quickplay button and extra up and down arrow buttons. I haven’t used either remote enough to say which is better than the other. This accessory is more of a novelty item and doesn’t really add much to the system.


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    Opened Position

    Inside the opened laptops reveals that the changes between the DV1000 and DV2000 continue. You may have already noticed the difference in the hinges between the two machines from the picture up above. But take a closer look at the differing designs in the picture below. The DV1000 (left) has a more traditional hinge while the DV2000 (right) features a hinge that sits down into the body of the laptop just a bit. This is a strange design, especially when viewed from straight on. You can see that the base of the lid where it meets the hinge is thicker than the rest of the lid. Elegant? I guess. Although the rounded area where the speakers are located above the keyboard and media button (see in pictures later) almost points the trajectory of the sound coming from the speakers towards the screen instead of straight up, thus resulting in the reflex/echo type sound mentioned earlier.


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    The differences in hinges also make a difference in the laptop’s overall height. Because where the DV2000’s lid meets the body is more of a “partial ball-and-socket” configuration, it (left) is actually overall a little bit shorter in stature than the Dv1000 (right) when in the opened position, as you can see below.


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    Given the fact that the upper edge of the bezel framing the DV2000’s screen is thicker than the one around the DV1000’s screen, it causes the DV2000’s screen to sit even lower than the DV1000’s. Look at the base of both screens in the picture below and you can really see how much lower the screen on the DV2000 (left) is than the screen on the DV1000 (right).


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    Another change HP made was to remove the little rubber switch the turned the monitor off and sent Windows into standby when the lid is closed located near the power switch on the DV1000. The switch has been moved internally for the DV2000 which is a good idea considering there is now less opportunity to damage it or for you to accidentally trigger it, thus sending Windows into standby and interrupting everything you’re doing.

    One major annoyance of mine with the new design of the DV2000 is the angle of it’s lower front edge. To create the handsome clamshell edges that kind of remind me of the Motorola PEBL, HP had to fundamentally alter the angle of the lower front edge as it angles from the bottom up. As you can see in the picture below, the DV2000 (left) angles from back to front as it moves from bottom to top, thus creating a sharp angle at the front point. This is the exact opposite of the DV1000’s (right) angle caused by the movement from front to back as it moves from bottom to top. The resulting angle on the DV2000 is actually quite annoying as it can make typing and using the touchpad uncomfortable after an extended period of time. The hard angle causes your wrist to feel like the laptop is digging into it. The DV1000 is much more comfortable to use over long periods of time than the DV2000 for this very reason. Perhaps it is just going to take some getting used to this new angle.

    Keyboard Layout

    The differences in the keyboards are minimal, but there are a few worth noting.


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    First off, the keyboard keys on the DV1000 are firmer and have a more definite “click” to them than the softer, quieter DV2000 keys. You have to decide for yourself which you prefer of the two.

    Both keyboards feature keys that are shaped pretty much the same, except for on the keys placed along the outer edges, namely the esc, ctrl, right arrow, and delete keys on the DV2000 as they have curved corners. Overall the DV2000 keyboard is a tad smaller than the DV1000’s due to the fact that HP moved up the arrow keys located on the bottom right-hand corner. To compensate for bringing the arrow keys up, the right shift key is only about 60% the size of the left shift key, which to me is another annoyance when compared to the DV1000. On the DV1000, the arrow keys are set lower, resulting in an overall larger keyboard and sufficient room for the additional “back” and “ok” buttons noticeably missing from the DV2000. Now that I don’t have that back button I notice how much I actually used it. When browsing with the DV2000 I have to resort back to using either the back button of my mouse (if it’s even plugged in), the back arrow of the browser, the backspace key, or alt + back arrow, none of which are as easy and convenient as the dedicated back button on the DV1000.

    Perhaps the biggest keyboard-related difference is the change in media buttons across the top of the keyboard on these machines. HP did a nice thing when they included these handy buttons that provide quick access to Quickplay, media player controls, and volume. The DV1000 implemented this feature with standard-type buttons, but the DV2000 took a major departure and went to an unconventional “touch-sensitive” type of button that you don’t push in like a normal button but instead use like you do the static touchpad. Not only are the buttons touch-sensitive, but they are much smaller and feature the bluer light than the larger, purplish buttons of the DV1000. You’re probably wondering which type of button is more functional, and to be honest, the jury is still out on this one. While the older conventional buttons have a definite click that you can feel, for some reason I never felt like they were very responsive on the DV1000, especially the volume buttons. I swear, sometimes it felt like I had to click 5 times before 1 of them changed the volume up or down. The touch-sensitive volume slider on the DV2000 is not much of an improvement. There is an annoying delay to the adjustment between when your finger swipes the slider and when the volume actually changes, which often results in overshooting your target volume. So it appears that HP has replaced one problem (hitting the volume button 5 times to get it to change once on the DV1000) with another (accidentally adjusting the volume too far on the DV2000). In the end, I probably prefer the touch-sensitive buttons on the DV2000 because they are smaller and more discrete (thus freeing up more room on the surface) and make no noise to use (which comes in handy when you want to be quiet, like in class).


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    Touchpad

    The touchpad on the DV2000 is not much of an upgrade over the one on the DV1000. Yes, it is larger, and the scroll zone is an extreme improvement in terms of accuracy and sensitivity. However, the surface of the touchpad itself is much, much different than that on the DV1000. It is kind of sticky, and it is extremely smooth. I actually enjoyed the slight coarseness to the DV1000 touchpad. The new surface on the DV2000 has a really “cheap plastic” feel to it. And the mouse buttons are a disaster. The DV1000’s buttons were shaped just right and had a nice solid click to them. But the DV2000’s buttons have that same “cheap plastic” feel and they feel loose. As far as usability in Windows, the DV2000 has problems from time to time, with the pointer jumping across the screen too far or relocating somewhere in the middle of a finger stroke. I had to really tweak the mouse settings to even make it useable, and even then I couldn’t get it to be as easy and precise as the one on the DV1000. HP really screwed up the touch pad on the DV2000. The only improvement with the DV2000 other than the size is the relocation of the touchpad on/off toggle button, which is now moved down and incorporated into the touchpad border. It fits in seamlessly there, although it is still irritatingly difficult to push due to its size, just as it is with the DV1000. Check out the picture below (DV1000 left, DV2000 right).


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    Screen

    Although I didn’t ever expect any differences in the LCD screen between the two laptops other than the few pixels gained by the .1″ larger screen on the DV2000, I do believe that the screen on the DV2000 is a tad bit brighter. I didn’t really notice the difference until I took the picture you see below. You can tell that as both machines boot into Windows — with the screens angled exactly the same, and set to the brightest setting — the DV2000 (left) is somewhat brighter and has a darker black than the DV1000 (right). This discrepancy might be due to the fact that the DV1000 is older and the colors may not be as vibrant, but I think it is because HP applied the reflective coating in a different way on the DV2000 than on the DV1000. You can tell in the picture below, as well as in person, that the DV2000 is even more reflective than the already reflective DV1000. For those of you who have had this type of screen surface before, you know that the reflective coating used to make them look so good effectively renders them useless outdoors or when a light source of some kind is directly behind where you are sitting. This problem is even worse with the DV2000, which is only fair since it is the tradeoff for having a screen with more vibrant colors.

    I have read in several places of a user’s annoyance with the DV2000’s maximum angle that it’s lid can open backward. The comments are true. The screen on the DV1000 can tilt much further back then the screen on the DV2000. This doesn’t cause much of a problem if the laptop is placed evenly on a desktop surface, but try and use the laptop as, say, a literal “lap-top” and you might have some issues. Furthermore, viewing the laptop placed on a table while standing up can also be somewhat challenging. But pointing back to my comment earlier about the new placement of the power cord on the right side instead of on the back, at least you can tilt the whole DV2000 backward if you need to without any problems. I don’t know whether or not HP meant to do that, and I sure as heck don’t know why they designed the DV2000 to only open as far as it does. The DV1000 opens much further, although I have yet to come across a time when I desperately needed the extra angle.

    Closing Thoughts

    CNET.com’s review of the new HP Pavilion DV2000 series was really bogus. I usually rely on their reviews pretty heavily because I think that for the most part they’re right. But they got their assessment of the DV2000 all wrong. That is because they lab tested the DV2000z, which is the AMD version of the series. Their rating of 5.3 was based on “Mediocre performance and battery life; keys are noisy; lacks Windows XP Media Center Edition option.” Well, for starters the mediocre performance and battery life are due to AMD’s chipset which has yet to equal their mobile Intel dual-core rival in these departments. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am an AMD fan, and I would have gone that route if things were different. But as of right now, with Windows XP at least, the Intel chipset is clearly the winner. That alone would compensate for their 7.5 rating they gave in their review of the DV1000t. The rating suffered for the DV1000t for similar reasons as the DV2000z with their complaint over a lack of Windows Media Center. Honestly, who cares? These are both great laptops when properly configured, even without Windows Media Center.

    In the end I give the edge to the DV2000 in my own biased opinion. Yes, it costs a little more than the DV1000t, but you can get more in your configuration of it, and I like the overall design better. It sure as heck looks good too, with its piano black imprint finish and rounded-edge clamshell design. The location of its available ports, as well as improved media buttons, makes using the machine a little more enjoyable and efficient. The minor upgrade to the laptop’s speakers along with a brighter (albeit more reflective) screen makes your movie watching experience that much more engaging. I love my upgrade and will only slightly miss my old DV1000, although I certainly will miss it.

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