Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Hewlett-Packard Australia Pavilion Entertainment PC dv2533tx_01
- HDMI, Altec Lansing speakers, LightScribe
- Battery life is average
If you plan to use what HP has put into this machine then it's a good value choice. However, if you're after a power notebook, or don't plan to utilise all the added features then there are other paths you'll want to take.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
Although the HP Pavilion Entertainment PC dv2533tx is from the latest range of HP notebooks, this particular model offers little more than previous iterations have at a slightly more competitive price point. For a value notebook, the dv2533tx is a nice choice. It's not only very stylish, but also has a set of quality speakers, an HDMI port and a LightScribe DVD re-writer among its perks.
Viewed on its own, the dv2533tx is a well built, stylish and competitive unit, which offers some great media features at a reasonable price. The Intel T5450 processor is a low end CPU running at 1.66GHz and only has a 667MHz front side bus (FSB), unlike the latest mid-top end Centrino Duo CPUs which offer an 800MHz FSB. Only 1GB of DDR2 RAM is installed, but we wouldn't expect more for under $2000. Purely performance-wise, units such as the Dell Inspiron 1420 offer almost the same core components and very similar performance, if not better in some respects. The dv2533tx, on the other hand, offers a stronger build quality and a few subjectively useful features, at a small premium.
It's impossible to put a value on these features. Instead, you should decide how much you think you can use them. Included is a LightScribe DVD re-writer, which allows you to burn labels onto special discs using the DVD drive, a 160GB hard drive for greater media storage space, an HDMI port to output DVDs to a TV, and a dedicated NVIDIA 8400M GS graphics card. If you're planning to plug your Pavilion dv2533tx into a large TV, having an HDMI port and a dedicated graphics card to decode video may be invaluable for smooth playback of movies. Similarly, if you make a lot of DVDs filled with photos and music and want to make creative disc labels, LightScribe offers you the freedom to do so. However, if you don't need these features, they end up being nothing more than a costly and unnecessary addition.
A media card reader supporting SD, MMC, xD, MS and MS-Pro cards makes it simple to copy your digital photos straight to the hard drive and the 1.3 megapixel webcam with dual microphones makes video chat easy. The Altec Lansing speakers offer crisp and loud audio, although if you're after some solid bass you'll be disappointed. Dual earphone jacks mean you can plug in your favourite headphones for added audio quality, and bring a friend along for the ride. A set of media controls on the top of the keyboard allow you to easily mute and adjust the volume, skip track, play/pause and stop playback of music or DVDs.
Among these controls you'll also find access to HPs QuickPlay software. QuickPlay acts something like Windows Media Center but is far less comprehensive and since the dv2533tx runs Windows Vista Home Premium, you have access to Windows Media Center anyway. Watching DVDs on the HP is fine for a quick movie on the road or sitting in bed, but the screen isn't as bright as it could be and contrast is average. It also has a fairly narrow viewing angle, but this is to be expected considering the price.
In our benchmarks we saw nothing remarkable, but weren't expecting much either. In WorldBench 6 it scored 61, a low score, but high enough to know this dv2533tx will run the usual swath of applications and tasks, such as email, Web browsing, word processing and will easily organise your photos and music.
In our MP3 encoding tests, converting 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps files took 104 seconds in iTunes, and 146 seconds using Cdex, neither are overly impressive but are typical of the components inside. In our DVD rundown battery test we were a little disappointed by the Pavilion's capabilities. Although there has been some improvement from the previous generation, the dv2533tx only lasted 82 minutes which is a reasonable time, but not as competitive against many current notebooks.
As well as the aforementioned ports, an Express Card slot, a meagre two USB 2.0 ports and a mini FireWire port are installed. HDMI isn't the only video output option, as VGA and S-Video are also available. A replicator port also allows you to connect an extension dongle for added connectivity. Networking is taken care of by a 56k modem, 10/100 LAN and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g.
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