Notebooks Guide

HP Pavilion dv3 (4001xx, Intel Core i7-820QM) review

HP Pavilion dv3 (Intel Core i7-820QM) - Silver With Envy

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Overall rating 8.5/10
Sleek and sexy design
Decent performance
Short battery life

Inside a Pavilion

Inside a Pavilion

Now that we’ve covered the nice looking exterior, it’s time to take a look at the insides, and we’re definitely impressed. While the previous keyboard layout was pretty good, HP has taken the Envy’s isolated design and implemented it on the Pavilion dv3. It makes for a great typing experience, especially if you have long fingernails, and the keys had a nice feedback without being loud, allowing you to type quietly.

Other design changes include the removal of the capacitive media controls; like the Envy notebooks, everything is now remapped back to the function keys and function as control buttons unless the function key is pressed. This is against the trend of what’s normally done for notebooks, though similar to what Apple has been doing for the MacBooks.

Heading further down, you’ll note that the trackpad too has gotten the same Envy treatment, and instead of having separate buttons, they are now part of the trackpad. The change of material in the overall design also means that the shiny slippery trackpad that we disliked is now gone. While the new trackpad does have improved multi-touch features, there’s just one thing we don’t quite like about it.

If you’ve played around with the trackpad, you’ll realize that the whole trackpad’s actually one button, but in order for the click to register, you have to push the trackpad down at the right spot to make a left or right click. Since the entire trackpad can be clicked, it just doesn’t make sense to restrict the clicking action to certain spots. Of course, you can still tap to click, but being able to physically push down would make it a more satisfying experience.

Lastly, the HP Pavilion dv3 comes packing Altec Lansing speakers with Dolby Advanced Audio technology, and our experience with the unit’s audio was pretty solid with its loud volume and decent bass. It’s definitely much better than what you’ll find on other notebooks of the same size, and those looking for multimedia notebooks with an ear for sound will do well to take heed.