HP dv5000t Review (pics, specs)

by mhx Reads (97,331)


HP dv5000t (view large image)

The HP dv5000t is a desktop replacement style notebook that has the potential to play just about any PC game on the market.  Following are the specs for the dv5000t under review.

My HP Pavilion dv5000t customizable Notebook PC specs:

  • Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition with SP2
  • Intel(R) Core(TM) Duo processor T2400 (1.83 GHz)
  • 15.4″ WXGA Widescreen Matte (1280×800)
  • 128MB NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) Go 7400
  • 256MB DDR2 SDRAM (1x256MB)
  • 40 GB 5400 RPM Serial ATA Hard Drive
  • LightScribe 8x DVD+/-RW&CD-RW Combo w/Double Layer
  • Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network w/Bluetooth
  • 12 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
  • Memory Upgraded to 2GB 533Mhz OCZ cas 4 memory.

I purchased this laptop to replace my ultraportable Sony VAIO TX650 and my desktop computer so that I could save space on my desk at home.  I plan on turning my desktop into a file server. The VAIO TX650 was a great notebook, but I only travel 2-3 times a year, so I wasn’t really utilizing it for its intended purpose and it just didn’t have the video, CPU and graphics I was looking to use.  I had done some research at the end of 2005 as to what desktop replacement style notebook I would get, and had my eyes on the HP dv4000, but then the dv5000t was released and I decided it was for me.

Where and How Purchased:

I purchased the dv5000t from HP.com. The price was $1,525.23 after the $100 instant rebate HP was offering. There was also a $50 mail-in rebate at the time that I still need to send in. The unit arrived a lot earlier than expected. My shipping date was estimated as March 24th, but it actually shipped out on the 22nd and arrived at my door on the 27th.  I was happy due to the fact I’d been cheap and gone with ground shipping, but it still arrived in 3-days! What a deal.

Build & Design:

The design isn’t boring or plain like some notebooks, it stands out and looks good. The corners are rounded and the case is made of sturdy plastic. The case does make a few squeaks if you try to flex it.


Top of HP dv5000t lid (view large image)

The dv5000t does seem heavy to me, but this is mostly due to the fact I’m coming from using the VAIO TX650. What else you can really expect from a 15.4″ widescreen notebook?  It’s bound to be somewhat heavy. When I carry this notebook to my office or to a friends house I carry it in a Targus backpack. I think it’s easier to carry any laptop in a backpack as opposed to a normal briefcase style bag.

The extended life battery has a large overhang of nearly 1-inch. It makes the notebook sit at an angle on any flat surface, which can be good for ergonomics and typing.  However, the extended battery feels a little weird when used in your lap when your say on the sofa watching TV and multi-tasking by using a notebook.


Notice the slope of the dv5000t due to the extended life battery sticking out of the back (view large image)


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One negative note, the silver paint used on the back of the LCD easily scratches, it might be a good idea to get a sleeve to protect the notebook when being carried.

The LCD protection and build seems to be solid. The hinges aren’t loose, but rather are quite firm. If you try to pull the LCD open with one hand it will pick the entire notebook up off the desk. I tried flexing the screen a little bit, but it seems solid to me.  I lifted the LCD up into the position for normal use and tried to wobble it to see how firm the hinges were in the open position, the screen moved a little bit, there was a slight bounce of about 4 times before it will stopped moving — this bounce is more or less just “play” before the hinges kick in to bring the screen to rest.

A side note, the covers for both memory and the hard drive are located on the bottom of the laptop. They feel like they are going to break when you take them off and put them back on. Just a really poor design there.  At least these slots are easy to access though, no need to remove the keyboard to install memory or anything like that.

Screen:

The screen is eye friendly to me.  I mainly use 19-inch CRT monitors most of my day. My Sony TX650 had the XBrite style glossy screen, I was tired of this because you could never see your screen if there was sunlight or any bright light in the room.   For this reason I chose to get HP dv5000t with a matte screen (not TruBrite).  So, it is a 15.4″ WXGA widescreen matte (1280×800). This LCD does not have any leaks or uneven backlight. The only thing I did notice upon the notebooks arrival is that whoever built my dv5000t in China left me some finger prints on the LCD. I had to use my LCD cleaning kit to clean it out of the box!  But it cleaned off nicely.  A note to HP: make your employees wear gloves or wipe off the LCDs before you ship them!

And thankfully, my screen has no dead pixels.

Speakers:

The speakers are plenty loud enough, they sound crisp and clean, unless you turn the volume up all the way up that is. The brand of speakers used is Altec Lansing. The sound compared to my old VAIO TX650 is really good. If you want a ton of bass though, get yourself some external speakers.

Processor and Performance:

The dv5000t I have came with an Intel T2400 Core Duo 1.83GHz processor, this processor is smoke’n fast relative to my experiences. I came from using a 1.2GHz low voltage Pentium M processor in my TX650 and my desktop has a first generation AMD 64-bit 3200.  This system is not only faster than my desktop and my old laptop, it boots faster too, it came with a 5400RPM Fujitsu 40GB.  I have been thinking that upgrading to a 7200RPM drive is going to be worth it.  I will get an 80GB or 100GB Hitachi 7200 RPM SATA drive soon. When I first booted up the system with only 256MB RAM installed it crawled. I shut it down and popped in my 2GB of OCZ and it was smoke’n, I saved like big $$ doing it this way. The memory I self-installed can be purchased from NewEgg.com. I mostly use this laptop to surf the web, check email, use office applications, photoshop, Dreamweaver, winamp, Unreal 2004, and Quake 4. Overall the laptop seems very snappy.

Benchmarks:

For benchmarks I did some good old “out of the box testing” right after FedEx dropped my new toy off to me. I also did benchmarks after I reinstalled my own copy of Windows XP Pro. My goal was to increase the benchmark results, for which I did slightly, nothing too major though.

Super Pi:

2M Calculations = 1m 17s (w/ HP Bloatware Out of the box)
2M Calculations = 1m 23s (After formatting and reinstallin Windows XP Pro)

Notebook Time to Calculate Pi to 2 Million Digits
HP dv5000t (1.83GHz Core Duo) 1m 17s
Dell Latitude D610 (Intel Pentium M 750 1.83GHz) 1m 41s
Dell Inspiron e1505 (2.0GHz Core Duo) 1m 16s
Fujitsu LifeBook N3510 (1.73 GHz Alviso Pentium M) 1m 48s
Dell Inspiron 6000D (1.6 GHz Alviso Pentium M) 1m 52s
Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo) 1m 18s
Sony VAIO S360 (1.7 GHz Dothan Pentium M) 1m 57s
Gateway 7510GX (AMD Mobile Athlon 64 3700+ Processor, 2.4 GHz) 1m 31s
Sony VAIO S380 (1.83 GHz Alviso Pentium M) 1m 42s

3DMark05 score:

1992 (w/ HP Bloatware Out of the box)
2065 (After Format and reinstall of winxp pro)


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3DMark03 score:

4039 (w/ HP Bloatware Out of the box)
4079 (After Format and reinstall of winxp pro)


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HD Tach report


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HDTune benchmarks

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Keyboard and Touchpad:


HP dv5000t keyboard and touchpad (view large image)

A full sized keyboard is certainly nice to have. The keys have a very nice feel to them, but the keyboard seems to flex if you push down with a little pressure. The mouse buttons have a good “click” to them that I like, the buttons don’t wobble and feel cheap like they did on my old Dell Inspiron 700m.  However, the buttons at the top; the power, volume, DVD, and mute, do feel cheap to me. When you push them you push them down you push down the entire bezel around them and it has a small amount of flex.  On the plus side, the buttons do light up and are easy to find in the dark.  So overall I like the keyboard and touchpad, but I think the system needs a button to turn off the touchpad. I keep bumping the touchpad while I type — but maybe this is just me getting used to my new notebook.

Input and Output Ports:

The HP dv5000t comes with the following ports:

  • Ethernet port for LAN
  • Modem port
  • 3 USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 Firewire port
  • 1 S-video
  • 1 monitor out port
  • 1 expansion port
  • 2 PCMCIA slots


Front side view of dv5000t with chapstick for thickness comparison (view large image)


HP dv5000t right side view (view large image)


HP dv5000t upside down so you can see the 12-cell battery sticking up (view large image)


HP dv5000t back side view (view large image)


Underside of dv5000t (view large image)

Battery:

I got the 12-cell extended life battery for the dv5000t that claims about 6 hours of battery ife. While I don’t have any solid data yet on this notebooks battery life as I have never taken it down to empty charge, I can say I started using the battery at 7.30pm one night and used the system at mid-level brightness for 2 hrs while doing heavy power usage things such as installing Quake 4 and also typing this review at the same time.  By 9:46 p.m. the the battery was at about 48% charge left, so it seems this battery would have no problems getting well over 4 hours of usage.

Operating System and Software:

My system came with Windows XP Home with SP2. It also came with a ton of bloatware (unwanted software) installed.  I knew before I even got the dv5000t would end up cleaning the system and putting a clean copy of xp pro on it. I think that notebook makers these days are being cheap by making end users making their own recovery DVD’s. After you boot the system and register your copy of winxp, it prompts you to make your recovery DVDs or cds. The only cd that came in the box was an AOL install cd, sigh. I didn’t test any of the HP software.

Customer Support:

HP customer service has always been below standard from everything I’ve heard.  Personally, I don’t really think you could ever expect to get highly personable service and support from a large corporation like HP.  I bothered HP’s online support a few times before my notebook came. They proved to be rather slow and not very knowledgeable of their products. The support and drivers on HP.com are lacking the drivers you need to reinstall Windows XP.  I didn’t pay for any extra support, I only got the standard 1year warranty.  If you choose to reinstall your own copy of Windows XP then beware for the task ahead of you. You need to make your own XP install CD using NLITE. You also need to backup the c:swsetup folder to a DVD.  HP.com doesn’t provide you with anything!  You also need UAA drivers, which is nowhere to be found on any of the recovery DVDs orin  swsetup folder.

Conclusion:

Cons:

  • Overall the notebook is heavy
  • Huge 12cell battery.
  • Graphics card choices could be better, why o why not a geforce 7800!
  • HP should offer a Higher Resolution LCD
  • Missing a much needed button to turn the touchpad off
  • No driver cd or restore DVDs included.

Pros:

  • Very nice wide screen, I am glad I got the matte LCD this time around.
  • Better then expected sound quality
  • Good fast CPU
  • Upgradeable memory and HD
  • Plays Quake4 newest patch 1.1 w/ duo core enabled on Q4, at 60FPS at 1280×800 in low graphic settings with ease. Even at medium its pretty stable and close to 53fps.

Overall I give this notebook an 8.5 out of 10. I think this notebook is a good buy if you’re looking for something with a 15.4-inch widescreen with lots of CPU power. The biggest selling point is the value for the money. At around $1,500, you have a good desktop replacement that plays pretty much every game on the market! It would be a 10 out of 10 if they gave it a Geforce Go 7800 GTX graphics card. If you can deal with not having the best graphics card on the market for a notebook, this is a good choice for you.

Pricing and Availability

The HP dv5000t is available via HP.com, prices vary based on configuration


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