HP Pavilion dv7 review: HP Pavilion dv7

The Pavilion dv7 is available in multiple component configurations and you can always head to HP's site and build one out to meet your needs. For the money, what's in the dv7-6b55dx is solid, but not extraordinary. The 750GB hard drive offers a lot of storage, though it spins at a slow 5,400rpm so it doesn't really offer any performance benefits. The 8GB of system memory, however, does seem to help the Core i5 processor and integrated graphics perform a little better on certain tasks.

Unsurprisingly, similarly priced laptops with quad-core i7 processors did better in our multitasking lab tests. For most home office tasks, though, the i5 processor in the dv7-6b55dx did fine in anecdotal tests with almost no slowdown when simultaneously streaming music and running word-processing software along with IM and e-mail clients and a Web browser. If you need to do anything more than basic photo or video editing, you'll probably want to shut a couple things down first, but otherwise you should be good for average day-to-day stuff. The integrated graphics were sufficient for streaming video and casual gaming.

Juice box
HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.42
Sleep (10 percent) 0.8
Idle (25 percent) 8.93
Load (5 percent) 49.38
Raw kWh 44.09
Annual energy cost $5.00

Annual energy consumption cost
Dell XPS 15Z
$4.62 
HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx
$5.00 

The dv7-6b55dx's battery life is great, running for 8 hours and 33 minutes in our video playback battery drain test. With some power management and under more typical use, you could probably stretch that out to about 9 hours. Of course, it does use a bulky nine-cell battery to get there. That's something to keep in mind when you're looking at comparable laptops that use a more standard six-cell pack.

The HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx includes a one-year warranty on parts and labor. If you purchase a dv7 direct from HP, you will get two years of protection, but a similar configuration will be more expensive and you can't get this exact combination of features.

Conclusion
If you're looking for a big-screen laptop for home office use that won't die shortly after being unplugged, the HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx is a good starting point. It offers enough performance muscle for everyday tasks and looks good doing it, too.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Dell XPS 15Z
503 
HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx
573 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx
87 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Dell XPS 15Z
102 
HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx
117 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx
513 
Dell XPS 15Z
210 

Find out more about how we test laptops.

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Where to Buy See all prices

HP Pavilion dv7-4295us - 17.3" - Core i7 2630QM - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - 8 GB RAM - 1 TB HDD

Part Number: XZ045UA#ABA
MSRP: $1,149.99 Low Price: $1,299.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Resolution 1600 x 900 ( HD+ )
  • Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Installed Size 8 GB
  • Weight 6.8 lbs
  • Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM / BD-ROM
  • Graphics Processor AMD Radeon HD 6570M - 1 GB GDDR5 SDRAM
  • CPU Intel Core i7 (2nd Gen) 2630QM / 2 GHz