Hewlett-Packard Australia Pavilion Thrive Special Edition Entertainment Notebook PC dv6724TX
- Blu-ray player, HDMI port, twin headphone ports, Altec Lansing speakers, good viewing angle on the screen
- Not a Blu-ray burner, doesn't have a high-resolution screen
Admittedly there's little to this Pavilion that we haven't seen from the range before, but as the saying goes, if it ain't broke don't fix it. The Blu-ray player is clearly a great bonus, as is the HDMI output. If you're after a notebook to handle your entertainment, this is a good option.
Price$ 2,099.00 (AUD)
One of the latest notebooks in HP's Pavilion line-up, the Thrive Special Edition Entertainment Notebook PC dv6724TX takes a touch of the old and adds it to the new, offering a stylish new design with a new copper coloured screen, a Blu-ray player and an HDMI port for quick and easy digital output.
This notebook is no slouch in performance terms. With an Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 2.2GHz CPU (offering an 800MHz front side bus and a 4MB L2 cache), 2GB of DDR2 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce 8400M graphics chip there's plenty of power to play with. Let's not forget the included Blu-ray player, which opens up the possibility of playing high definition movies. Unfortunately it's only a BRD-ROM -- not a writer -- so you're not able to burn to Blu-ray discs, though it doubles as a DVD-RW drive.
We were a little disappointed at the 1280x800 resolution of the 15.4in screen, which isn't enough to show off Blu-ray's true qualities, but the inclusion of an HDMI port allows you to output the Blu-ray signal to a high definition TV and/or home theatre system. If you do choose to watch your movies on the notebook itself you'll appreciate the media controls that are made handy across the top of the keyboard. The Altec Lansing speakers available on all Pavilion notebooks offer crisp sound at good volume levels, but they still lack a little in bass.
The Pavilion's other perks include a touchpad mute button and dual headphone jacks. The twin headphone ports may seem superfluous, but can be useful if sharing the notebook when watching a movie or listeing to music. The viewing angle on the screen is fairly good, so sharing on screen content is a real possibility. Watching Blu-ray movies takes no extra effort than slipping the disc into the drive and HP's QuickPlay media software will run it. The system also includes a tiny remote control that can be packed neatly into the Express Card slot when not in use.
In our benchmarks the HP Pavilion performed very well. Its score of 87 in WorldBench 6 suggests it's capable of performing all common tasks, including photo editing, video encoding, Web surfing and word processing. Its MP3 encoding tests also showed strong results. Using iTunes (which benefits from a dual-core CPU) to convert 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192KBps MP3 files took 77sec, a normal result for a notebook with these specifications. Using Cdex, a single threaded application, took 122sec, as it uses just one core of the dual core CPU.
Gaming performance isn't great, but it's enough to play some mid-range DirectX 10 games at a low quality setting, or high-end DirectX 9 games, like FEAR, at a medium quality setting. In 3DMark 2006 the Pavilion obtained a score of 1560, while in 3DMark 2001 SE it scored a more solid 14111.
In our DVD rundown battery test the Pavilion didn't perform quite as well as other products with similar specifications, but isn't far behind achieving a battery life of 75min, five to 10 minutes behind the average score. This is considered a worst-case scenario test as the optical drive and speakers are in use, as well as the core components of the notebook, such as the screen and CPU.
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