HP Pavilion dv7t Review

by Amber Riippa Reads (88,596)
Editor's Rating
7.86

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Software & Support
    • 8
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 7
    • Usability
    • 9
    • Design
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 8
    • Features
    • 8
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 7.86
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Excellent performance
    • Fantastic audio quality
    • Good port selection
    • Excellent build quality with an appealing design

     

  • Cons

    • Underdeveloped touchpad
    • Heat issue in one spot
    • Low(ish) battery life

Quick Take

The HP Pavilion dv7t is a powerful multimedia notebook with a good combination of processor, storage, and graphics performance.


The 17-inch HP Pavilion dv7t is the new quad-core lineup of multimedia notebooks by HP. In our review of the dv7t series, we will see if HP has improved the known complaints about the prior dv7/dv7t. We will take a look at its build quality, performance, heat and temperature, battery life, and more. We will also test our review notebook for its gaming ability. Keep reading our full review below to find out if this is the right multimedia notebook for you!

Our HP Pavilion dv7t features the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-2630QM quad-core CPU (2.0 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) w/Turbo Boost up to 2.9 GHz
  • 17.3″ diagonal HD+ HP BrightView (glossy) LED Display (1600 x 900)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 8GB DDR3 memory
  • 660GB total, dual hard drive system (160GB SSD + 500GB at 7200RPM)
  • 1GB GDDR5 Radeon HD 6770M graphics
  • Blu-ray player and SuperMulti DVD burner
  • Gigabit Ethernet and Intel 802.11b/g/n wireless
  • TrueVision HD webcam
  • 6-cell Li-ion battery (55 Wh) and 120W power adapter
  • Dimensions: 16.3″ x 10.8″ x 1.2″
  • Weight: 6.72 with standard battery
  • MSRP as configured: $1,605

The base MSRP for the HP Pavilion dv7t is $1,099 but that price will vary depending on how you customize the notebook. The bigger choices are the operating system (Windows 7 Home Premium is included; Professional is $99 more; and Ultimate is $139 more), the Intel i7 quad-core processor (Intel Core i7-2630QM is included, i7-2720QM is $150 more, and i7-2820QM is $350 more), and the graphics card (the 1GB GDDR5 Radeon HD 6490M graphics card is included, the Radeon HD 6770M is $25 more, and the Radeon HD 6770M with 2GB of dedicated memory is $75 more). Other features, parts, and accessories can be added for extra.

Build and Design
The new HP Pavilion dv7t consists of umber-colored glossy plastic materials with a hard metallic finish. HP has been known to go mostly for style over functionality in its build quality in the 17-inch entertainment notebook realm, but this time around the outer build quality seems to have improved greatly from the last 17-inch dv7t.

As far as design goes, the notebook has a dark brown color (labeled as “umber”) and the all-over brushed metallic gives the notebook a nice textured look. The frame around the display consists of glossy plastics, a stylistic move by HP. The model name is featured in the upper-righthand corner of the display, and “beats audio” is written in the upper lefthand corner (Beats Audio is HP’s new audio-enhancing software). The overall finished result of the design strikes me as sophisticated and trendy; it’s a design almost anyone would enjoy. It also comes in a “steel gray” color for $25 extra.

The brushed metallic finish has greatly progressed the build quality from last time; now the exterior frame of the notebook feels stronger and the overall build quality really is excellent. The chassis is made of tough aluminum across the top and plastic underneath, and does not bend inward much when pressure is applied in the center of the keyboard. The palmrests do not flinch at all when pressure is applied and the side follows suit, but the top of the chassis does bend a little. The aluminum finish helps the palmrests and the rest of the chassis stay nice and cool even when the notebook is exerted. The speakers are located across almost the entire top of the chassis and below the touchpad, and also at the bottom of the notebook for a surround sound effect. The touchpad is ringed by a light blue backlight. The only complaint I have is the less-than-sturdy aluminum hinges: they bend when you press down on them. They do, however, seem as though they will be long-lasting and will withstand many years of being used.

Since the notebook has a monster-sized 17.3-inch diagonal display and a 6.72-pound weight, this is probably not made for weak laps, (or laps in general) or for heavy traveling…but it will do nicely to be placed on a desk or to be carried around the house.

Ports and Features
The dv7t has an above average port selection when compared to most other consumer entertainment notebooks. The series has jumped onto the SuperSpeed bandwagon and features two USB 3.0 ports (along with two USB 2.0), HDMI 1.4 and VGA, and a multi-format card reader. There are no DisplayPort or ExpressCard ports. All descriptions are from left to right.


Front: SD/MMC port


Back: Exhaust vent


Left: Exhaust vent, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet, USB 3.0 (x2), microphone jack, audio jacks (x2)


Right: Activity lights, USB 2.0 (x2), optical drive, A/C power, lock slot


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