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HP Pavilion ZT review:

HP Pavilion ZT

  • 1
MSRP: $2,778.00
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The Good 15-inch screen; integrated 802.11b wireless; Secure Digital/MultiMedia Card slot; great keyboard.

The Bad Memory-dependent graphics slows performance; 512MB memory uses both slots.

The Bottom Line The HP Pavilion zt1195 is packed with high-end features, though we were a little disappointed with its performance.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

HP's Pavilion zt1195 gives home users, small businesses, and well-heeled students a fully packed, nicely designed notebook for a reasonable price. It also offers a multitude of networking features. In addition to the usual 56K modem and 10/100 Ethernet, it includes integrated 802.11b (Wi-Fi) with dual built-in antennae; Bluetooth for wireless personal networking is another option. Other pluses include a great keyboard and a Secure Digital/MultiMedia Card slot--handy for shuttling files from a digital camera or an MP3 player. Unfortunately, the memory-dependent graphics system slows down the Pavilion zt1195 compared to other P4-M systems. If you use graphics-intensive applications, look elsewhere for a notebook with more power. HP's Pavilion zt1195 gives home users, small businesses, and well-heeled students a fully packed, nicely designed notebook for a reasonable price. It also offers a multitude of networking features. In addition to the usual 56K modem and 10/100 Ethernet, it includes integrated 802.11b (Wi-Fi) with dual built-in antennae; Bluetooth for wireless personal networking is another option. Other pluses include a great keyboard and a Secure Digital/MultiMedia Card slot--handy for shuttling files from a digital camera or an MP3 player. Unfortunately, the memory-dependent graphics system slows down the Pavilion zt1195 compared to other P4-M systems. If you use graphics-intensive applications, look elsewhere for a notebook with more power.

Solid outside and inside
HP optimistically bills the Pavilion zt1195 as a thin-and-light laptop, but don't believe it. This system weighs 7.6 pounds (with the single drive bay filled and the AC adapter included) and measures a hearty 12.9 by 10.9 by 1.4 inches. You can lighten the traveling load somewhat by filling the drive bay with a weight saver.

The HP Pavilion zt1195 includes an impressive number of features, starting with a 1.5GHz mobile Pentium 4-M processor; a generous 512MB of DDR SDRAM; a spacious 40GB hard drive; and a bright, crisp, 15-inch screen with a native resolution of 1,400x1,050. You also get a DVD/CD-RW combo drive in a modular bay. The system lacks an internal floppy drive, but you can get one free via an HP rebate coupon until January 31, 2003; it'll cost $49 thereafter.

The Pavilion zt1195 also offers a multitude of networking features. In addition to the usual 56K modem and 10/100 Ethernet, it includes integrated 802.11b (Wi-Fi) with dual built-in antennae; Bluetooth for wireless personal networking is another option. One new feature is a Secure Digital (SD)/MultiMedia Card (MMC) slot--handy for shuttling files from a digital camera or an MP3 player. You also get a single Type II/Type III PC Card slot, a FireWire port, S-video-out, and a docking slot for the $149 optional port replicator.

Good overall design
The Pavilion zt1195's overall design is also good. The 87-key keyboard is perfectly laid out, responsive, and quiet. With the smooth touchpad comes an interesting scroll pad that lets you navigate up and down with the stroke of a finger. The notebook's front edge sports playback controls and a small LCD for the optical drive. The speakers are above the keyboard; the volume, up, down, and Mute buttons are conveniently located on the right side, near the front edge. Many notebooks bury those somewhere else on the keyboard.

Speed setback
The Pavilion zt1195's one big compromise lies in performance--largely due to the integrated S3 Graphics Pro Savage DDR graphics subsystem, which shares up to 16MB of system memory. In CNET Labs' tests, the Pavilion zt1195 earned a respectable score of 126 overall, but that was still a little slower than the Gateway 450X, which has a slightly slower CPU (1.4GHz) and half the memory. The Dell Inspiron 2650, with a slightly faster CPU, half the memory, and more powerful graphics, was almost 17 percent faster. The Pavilion zt1195's 3,900mAh lithium-ion battery lasted 135 minutes--adequate but still well behind that of the Gateway 450X and the Inspiron 2650. Our only other complaint is that the installed memory fills both slots. Upgrading after the time of purchase would force you to throw out the old memory.

Standard support package
The Pavilion zt1195 comes with adequate service and support. Its one-year warranty includes free, 24/7 phone support, but it's a toll call. Optional two- and three-year warranty extensions are available. A printed manual covers only the basics, but the onscreen documentation offers more detail, and HP's Web site provides plentiful information and utility software.

With the Pavilion zt1195, HP clearly opted to create one of the best-equipped notebooks in its class rather than the fastest. It's a reasonable trade-off, especially since the system still offers sufficient performance for typical applications, making the Pavilion zt1195 a solid choice for student, home, and small-office users.

Performance test
100=performance of a test machine with a PIII-800, 128MB of PC133 CL2 SDRAM, Creative Labs GeForce Annihilator 2 32MB, and Windows 2000 (Service Pack 1)
Longer bars indicate better performance

Overall rating   
Internet content creation   
Office 2001 productivity   
Dell Inspiron 2650
147 
174 
125 
Gateway 450X
130 
163 
103 
HP Pavilion zt1195
126 
157 
101 
 
Battery life test
Time is measured in minutes; longer bars indicate better performance
Gateway 450XL
170 
Dell Inspiron 2650
161 
HP Pavilion zt1195
135 
 
Dell Inspiron 2650
Windows XP Home; Pentium 4-M 1,600MHz; 256MB PC2100 DDR SDRAM; GeForce2 Go 16MB; IBM Travelstar 40GN 20GB 4,200rpm

Gateway 450X
Windows XP Home; Pentium 4-M 1,400MHz; 256MB PC2100 DDR SDRAM; ATI Mobility Radeon M6 32MB; Toshiba MK2018GAP 20GB 4,200rpm

HP Pavilion zt1195
Windows XP Home; Pentium 4-M 1,500GHz; 496MB PC2100 DDR SDRAM; S3 Graphics Pro Savage DDR 16MB (shared); Hitachi DK23DA-40 40GB 4,200rpm

The Pavilion zt1195's weak point is its performance--largely due to the integrated S3 Graphics Pro Savage DDR graphics subsystem, which shares system memory. The Pavilion earned a respectable score of 126 overall, but that was still a little slower than the Gateway 450X, which has a slightly slower CPU (1.4GHz) and half the memory. The Dell Inspiron 2650, with a slightly faster CPU, half the memory, and more powerful graphics, was almost 17 percent faster. The Pavilion's battery was adequate but still well behind that of the Gateway 450X and the Inspiron 2650.

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