Pros Great computer for the value
Cons Not many I can even think of
Summary I just ordered this computer two days ago on HP's website after doing a month of research. I had seen a Bestbuy exclusive version in the store, and it looked great but it didn't have some of the cooler specs you could customize on HP's website so I took that route instead. I looked at Dell's, Gateway's, Sony's, Alienware's and Toshibas. The HP beat them all. Now to the specs:
Genuine Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)
Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 (2.2GHz/4MB L2Cache)
17.0" WXGA + Ultra Brightview Widescreen (1440X900)
2GB of memory which was $50 off!
511MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS - I chose HP primarily because of this card. It is one of the only notebook cards being produced that will support Direct X10 for future gaming. It's better than average and will definitely hold up for many years to come considering it will function with software that isn't even out yet.
HP Imprint (Radiance) + Fingerprint Reader + Webcam
Intel PRO/Wireless 4965AGN Network w/Bluetooth
200 GB 7200RPM SATA Dual Hard drives - Chose a smaller hard drive for higher RPM's. Not so concerned about hard drive size when I already have an external to store most of my info. on in order to keep the laptop quick.
FREE upgrade - Lightscribe DVD+/-RW w/Double Layer
- I opted to bypass the Blue-Ray and HD-DVD fiasco. First, I can't convince myself to pay 30 dollars for a movie. Second, one of the formats is bound to die. I took CNETS advice and decided to wait until those issues are resolved.
HP Expresscard TV Tuner for Windows Vista Notebook
High Capacity 8 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
System Recovery DVD w/Windows Vista Ultimate
GRAND TOTAL = $2,384.99 w/ $150 online instant rebate. This does include TWO DAY SHIPPING
The value on this computer is astounding. For instance, the Dell XPS M1710 which is considered a "gaming" laptop has these specs
which I configured to match closely to the HP dv9500t:
PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7400 (2.16GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 667 MHz FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEM: Genuine Windows Vista™ Ultimate
MEMORY 2GB DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHZ, 2 DIMM
HARD DRIVE: 200GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
OPTICAL DRIVE: 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW)
with double-layer DVD+R write capability
VIDEO CARD: 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 7900
SOUND OPTIONS: Integrated Audio
BATTERY OPTIONS 80 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
WIRELESS CARDS: Intel PRO/Wireless 3945a/g
BLUETOOTH OPTIONS: Dell Wireless 355
Bluetooth Internal (2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate)
TV TUNERS: Hauppauge Win TV-HVR-950 Hybrid USB TV Tuner
Total for this customized PC on Dell's website = $3,283 and that's before shipping and taxes. The processor is a peg below with the T7400, DVD burner does not have lightscribe, no integrated webcam or fingerprint reader, and the wireless card is a inferior to the HP's. You are paying A LOT for a cool looking case and a graphics card that is solid but will not support directx10. The HP Imprint Radiance case, as HP mentioned, is really sleek and very attractive. With that being said, I believe the HP is the smart route to go.
Pros LCD Screen, numeric keypad, remote control, price
Cons Comes with Vista only. I wish it were offered with XP instead. I dont consider weight as a cons. When you are buying 17'' laptop, it is bound to be heavy :-)
Summary I received it 5 days ago and have been toying with it since then. I'll try to provide my honest opinion on several issues that one might face while making a purchase.
1. I'd hard time deciding but finally I chose WSXGA (1680 x 1050) screen instead of WXGA (1400 x 900) and I made the right decision because on 17'' screen, it looks amazing. Prior to the purchase, I read that WSXGA makes fonts/icons very small. I wear glasses (-2 both eyes) but am fine with it. The fonts/icons are NOT small and easily visible. So go for WSXGA without giving it a second thought.
2. My processor is Intel Core 2 DUO (1.8 GHz). This is enough for me as I am not a gamer. I use laptop for surfing, watching movies and work with applications such as MS Word, Excel, Power Point and Adobe. No need to spend extra bucks for higher processor speed if you are going to stick with basic applications as I do. Its not worth it.
3. I've 1 GB RAM. Again its enough if you are not a gamer.
4. Its definitely portable (not as portable as smaller laptops of course) if you have a suitable carrying case. I recommend Targus CVR217 and Lowepro Tropolis 1700 as I own them to carry it and they are perfect for carrying this laptop.
5. Protection plan: I purchased 4 yrs service plan with accidental damage protection. It cost me $475 (including tax) The reason being, I wanted to secure my investment for next few years. I would highly recommend that you purchase it at least for next 2 yrs. I purchased accidental damage protection as it is a big and heavy machine and you may drop it if you are not extra careful. It cost me $125 (included in above $475) for 4 yrs. So I guess it makes sense to pay some $30/yr to protect it from accidental spills, drops etc. The best part is that the most expensive component of your laptop, the LCD screen is covered by it.
6. Numeric keypad is a great thing for those who deal with numbers a lot (I do). I don't think any other 17'' machine offers numeric keypad. Thats one reason I didn't purchase DELL E1705. They have wasted lot of space by leaving more than an inch on both sides of the keyboard. DELL should definitely think about adding numeric keypad on its 17'' laptops.
7. The integrated webcam is pretty cool if you chat a lot.
8. Now few cons. The headphone jacks are in front. I wish they were on sides but it is not really a problem. The touchpad is smooth but has a bit of drag and your finger kinda sticks to it because its just too smooth. Again not really a problem as I use an external mouse most of the time.
9. I got Windows Vista which is not bad in my opinion but many softwares (third party) that used to work perfectly in XP, don't work with Vista. I wish HP provided us with a bit of choice here.
Overall its a great laptop for those who want to purchase 17''. The machine looks slim and sleek for 17''. A big advantage over DELL E1705 which really looks big to me. Its not as small as MacBook Pro but then its $1800 cheaper.
I would update this review in case there is any significant change in my opinions. But I hope there is none
Pros Great computer for the price
Cons Customer service/company needs help
Summary I spent almost a month researching laptops while comparing configurations and prices. I compared everything from Alienware to Dell to HP to Sony to generic laptops built to spec. For a name brand (HP) can't be beat on price. To give an idea of price difference the 9500t is almost half the cost of Dell's XPS with the same configuration (and XPS doesn't have a number keypad). This price difference comes into play when a problem arises and customer service / tech support is needed. I've had my laptop for 5 weeks and spent 15+ hours on the phone with HP waiting for help or being pawned off to someone else (not this department, etc).If I remember correctly I praised this laptop when I first received it (with a cpl exceptions)...that being said and having worked on/with it over the past 15 mths I need to revise my review.
When I configured my laptop I got the best of everything hoping I wouldn't have a problem with it locking up (a good number of website/reviews said this laptop was hit or miss when it came to locking up). It didn't pay off. The 9500t locks up about once a week depending on what you're doing. The more memory used the more likely it is to lock up.
Things to consider when configuring your laptop if you decide to go with HP:
-In order to get the HDMI port you need the HD optical drive. HD and BluRay are still "at war" so the HD drive might be useless in a year (although the HD DVD's look great).
-If you get the TV tuner the connections holding the cable in is, at best, very loose.
-Since the 9500t is only offered with Vista plan on spending a couple of weeks acclimating yourself to it. If you plan on using ANY third party software you should be extremely computer efficient (for some reason Vista won't load subfolders w/i folders).
-Plan on "dumping" most of the preloaded software as it only takes up space. Of the 15+/- preloaded you might use 2 or 3.
Overall if you know your way around a computer or are a fast learner I'd recommend the 9500t. If you're unlucky enough to get one that locks up don't hesitate to return it w/i the 21 day period and get another. Don't make the mistake I did by thinking they can fix the problem by going into the system config and disabling certain start up programs. Now HP won't let me return it or get a refund because it hasn't locked up while on the phone with them. Hope this helps someone and best of luck.
Updated on Nov 12, 2008
After a yr of opening and closing the lid the hinges have come loose and have 1-2" of play making the lcd flimsy.
I purchased the 2 yr accidental protection plan (which I would recommend) and tried to have HP repair the "issues". One being the flimsy lcd. After 6 wks they finally got the box shipped to me - then it was another 2 wks for them to receive/repair/return. Mind you, 1.5 hr minimum on the phone every 3 days for six wks letting them know I never received the box...do the math-a lot of wasted time. That's two mths w/o a computer and now they want me to return it again because they didn't hook the lcd up correctly (another 2wks) which no longer works...again. For the price you can't beat this computer but the hassle that comes with it....knowing what I know now, I'd never buy another.
Pros HDMI output (with nvidia graphics option), dual hard drives, very nice design
Cons way too much useless software, full HD screen option not available, hard to setup ubuntu linux
Summary The first thing that strikes you when you take this laptop out of the box is its design. The glossy black top with the radiance imprint is one of the main reasons I purchased this laptop.
Unfortunately, my experience with the laptop was not enjoyable until I uninstalled most of the preinstalled software that HP included with it. The computer took at least ten minutes to start up when I first turned it on. This is crazy considering it has a 2.0 Ghz dual core processor.
After I rid my computer of most of the software it worked like a charm. The screen resolution is great (1680x1050) and gives me ample space when working in Photoshop. Surprisingly, It loads the new Adobe CS3 suite very quickly and is not slowed down when watching an HD television channel at the same time.
The built in speakers sound better than any other laptop speakers I have ever heard. You can actually listen to music without much distortion of other laptops I have encountered. They also get very loud which is great when watching a movie with a bunch of other people. I would recommend buying a set of speakers with a subwoofer for movies and good rock music because very little bass is produced with these speakers. The two headphone jacks in the front are very helpful when watching a movie on the plane.
When trying to install Ubuntu linux on the second hard drive, I had a lot of difficulty. This due to the fact the current distro doesn't include an update video driver. Wait until October for the new release.
Overall, this is great laptop, but I just wish that HP would leave out the extra software.
"What great value"on by romanom
Pros Nice screen, looks good, quick and feature filled
Cons Not for gamers and intense graphics
Summary It's a great system for the money, fast, nice features with plenty of ports and gadgets.
Perfect for home or small business, but with the basic video card (only one available) graphics are only decent. Screen is quite nice, bright, clear and big!
Real nice notebook for such little money, at least $500 cheaper than most of the other common brands.
It even has a remote!Updated
Bought it directly from HP Store, for $1,500 w/ 2.2GHz Duo, 2GB RAM, Bluetooth, Brightview Widescreen (1680x1050) as choosen options.
came with free printer and $50 couponUpdated
Ratings (from 1 to 10):
Screen and Interface: 9
Aesthetics of design: 9.5
Flexibility of Operations: 8.5
Ports I/O: 10
Build Quality: 9.5
Overall Rating; 9.0
Would recommend highly for anyone except gamers and Hi-Def entertainment. HP was also great, I screwed up my initial order and they gladly straightened it all out and got me exactly what I wanted. Delivered 3 days earlier than expected and threw in a $50 no-restrictions coupon on top of it.
Unfortunately, Windows is still Windows, Vista is much better but far from perfect.Updated
$1564.99 + 109.55 (7% NJ sales tax) + Free Shipping
Total: $1674.54 (base price $1049 at the time)
Promotional: HP Deskjet F380 AiO = free after $80 mail-in-rebate
Customer Service added: $50 coupon