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Jewish World Review
Feb. 24, 2006
/ 26 Shevat, 5766
HP's wonder notebook
If spending the better part of $2,500 for a notebook running Windows seems
a bit daunting, as mentioned here a month back, how about forking out 11
percent less and getting even more in return?
The HP Pavilion dv8000z , which sells for $2,233.99 in the
configuration I tested (before a $50 rebate), is a remarkable machine. You
might tote this around work or school, but at roughly 7.5 pounds, this is
really a desktop replacement system.
After powering up this 64-bit Windows powerhouse, driven by an AMD Turion
64 processor and 2 Gbytes of RAM, many will most likely notice what HP
calls a "17-inch WXGA+High-Definition Ultra BrightView Widescreen
display." Unpacked, this is a big display screen that is so well lit, it
can play high-definition videos with stunning clarity.
While viewing HDTV requires a digital tuner, currently not supplied for
the dv8000z, viewing HD videos do not. There are a couple of clips from
National Geographic videos preloaded on the machine, and playing them
gives a very good taste of the kind of performance this computer can give.
Analog video looks equally stunning. As an HP official explained, this is
the kind of machine a student could take to college, set up in a dorm
room, and use as both a computer and multimedia entertainment center.
In this configuration, which includes 250 Mbytes of hard disk storage, I'd
probably want to add the HP docking station, around $300, which makes for
better placement and viewing of the computer at home. It's not mandatory,
but a nice extra. The internal stereo speakers are quite adequate, but I'd
add external ones -- the JBL "Creature" series, list $99.99, though often
available for less, are an excellent choice.
The real beauty of the dv8000z is that it's a full-featured, hard working
computer that many will find more than suitable for their needs. It goes
back to the display, which is large and well lighted. In a word processor,
I can see things far more clearly because of the "dual lamp" technology HP
uses on the display. The same holds for image viewing and editing -- this
is the kind of portable I wouldn't mind editing photos with, since viewing
them is so delightful.
Even the bean-counters among us will find something else to like: along
with the full-sized keyboard, HP provides a built-in numeric keypad, along
with extra page up/page down keys, to make navigating spreadsheets,
entering data and controlling some games even easier. You can do that in a
17-inch portable and many makers add this while some, such as Dell and
Finally, a 64-bit processor isn't anything to sneeze at: when the next
generation of Microsoft Windows arrives in 64-bit splendor, you'll be
ready for it and the associated applications, which one imagines should
run faster than their 32-bit predecessors. I can also add that the Beta of
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 performed flawlessly here.
It's a matter of individual choice, of course. However, looking at the
screen, hearing the sound and seeing the power built into this computer,
though, it'd be hard not to choose the dv8000z as the best of all desktop
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JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.
© 2006, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com