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HP Pavilion dv4-1465DX review: HP Pavilion dv4-1465DX

HP Pavilion dv4-1465DX

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
8 min read

Editors' note: This review is part of our Back-to-school 2009 Retail Laptop Roundup, covering specific new configurations of popular laptops that can be found in retail stores.


HP Pavilion dv4-1465DX

The Good

Near all-day battery life; Special Edition imprint finish helps it stand out from the crowd without being garish; competitive application performance; includes small Media Center remote control.

The Bad

Massive 12-cell battery is heavy and awkward; lacks 802.11n Wi-Fi; glossy touch pad is uncomfortable.

The Bottom Line

If you're the restless type, or simply away from electrical outlets for the majority of your day, you'll love the long battery life of the HP Pavilion dv4-1465dx. Be warned: such battery life requires you to tote a laptop that's roughly a pound heavier than its 14-inch competitors.

The Hewlett-Packard Pavilion dv4-1465dx is dubbed a "Special Edition" laptop for its unique, glossy brown, vaguely plaid chassis. It's also a member of Best Buy's Next Class program, in which the big box store elicited feedback from students about what they wanted in a laptop. In addition to a good price and a good balance between portability and screen size, students requested a useful software bundle and a long-lasting battery.

This last item must be of paramount importance to those eying this $749 Pavilion. It runs for an impressively long time, but it uses a gigantic 12-cell battery that detracts from its portability. The Dell Studio S1440-022B is more than a pound lighter (but ditches the optical drive to cut weight), features a superior keyboard and touch pad, better graphics, while still offering great battery life. Also check out the $799 Toshiba Satellite E105-S1602, which we liked for its overall design, decent battery life, backlit keyboard, and two-year warranty.

If you're willing to lug around a 6-pound, 14-inch laptop, the Pavilion dv4-1465dx boasts a flashy design, useful collection of ports, and competitive performance. Plus, the gigantic 12-cell battery comes as close to an all-day running time on a single charge as we've seen for a non-Netbook system.

Price $749
Processor 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500
Memory 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 800MHz
Hard drive 320GB, 5,400rpm
Chipset Intel GM45
Graphics Intel GMA 4500MHD
Operating System Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit)
Dimensions (WDH) 13.2x9.5x1.6 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 14.1 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 5.9 / 6.8 pounds
Category Mainstream

Like previous Special Edition Pavilions, the dv4-1465dx features a chassis with an atypical color, imprinted with a patterned design. Compared with crashing-waves design on the Pavilion dv4-1275mx we looked at earlier this year, the mocha-colored dv4-1465dx features a more subtle design that HP calls a Digital Plaid Imprint finish. It's a pattern of tiny dots that compose a series of squares. The overall effect is far from overdone and should help the Pavilion dv4-1465dx turn heads on campus and still fit alongside ThinkPads and other corporate laptops in the board room.

The 12-cell battery will get you through a day's worth of classes or meetings, but you're likely to return home with a sore shoulder. With its huge battery, the 14-inch Pavilion dv4-1465dx tips the scales at 5.9 pounds. The 14-inch Toshiba Satellite E105-S1602 weighs in at a more reasonable 5.1 pounds, and the 14-inch Dell Studio S1440-022B shuns an optical drive and weighs only 4.7 pounds. Further, the Pavilion's battery protrudes about an inch below the bottom of the system but doesn't run the whole length (only about three-quarters) so when the laptop is resting on your thighs, it lists to the left. When seated at a desk or table, however, the battery provides a comfortable angle for typing.

As with past Pavilion laptops, the glossy finish on the dv4's touch pad improves the overall design of the laptop, lending it yet another chrome accent, but most laptop touch pads feature matte finish material, which allows your finger to move across the surface with little friction. The glossy finish here feels "grabby." You also leave a record of recent cursor movements on the touch pad in the form of a swirl of fingerprints and smudges. The touch pad is also very narrow, measuring only 1.5 inches tall by 3 inches wide. In the plus column for the touch pad are the wide and quiet mouse buttons below it, the vertical scroll area along its right edge, and a tiny on/off button above it.

Unlike the odd dimensions of the touch pad, the keyboard looks and feels like a natural fit on the Pavilion dv4's 14-inch chassis. The keys have a glossy finish that helps the overall look but detracts from the actual typing experience somewhat. The keys felt a bit too slick, though they do feature good travel and are very quiet. We prefer the keyboard on the Dell Studio S1440-022B. Touch-sensitive buttons for mute and Wi-Fi sit above the keyboard, plus a volume control that we wish was more responsive. Media transport buttons that resided here on previous Special Edition Pavilions have been moved to the Function keys.

As opposed the Studio S1440's wide 16:9 aspect ratio display and its 1,366x768-pixel native resolution, the features the more traditional laptop 16:10 aspect ratio with a 1,280x800-pixel resolution. It provides a less cinematic feel (movies will leave a letterbox), but the additional horizontal lines are appreciated when scrolling down long Web pages and Word docs. The HP's screen features a glossy coating, which helps colors pop when viewing photos and movies but also is a fairly egregious offending in terms of producing glare and distracting reflections.

The Pavilion's Altec Lansing stereo speakers are adequate, but they can't match the integrated speakers on the Dell Studio S1440, which produced a better sound: louder and clearer at max volume. The Pavilion dv4's audio output will suffice for movie dialogue and effects, but you'll want to use the headphone jacks (there are two) for music.

  HP Pavilion dv4-1465dx Average for category [mainstream]
Audio Stereo speakers, two headphone jacks, microphone jack Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks
Data 3 USB 2.0, eSATA, multiformat memory card reader 4 USB 2.0, SD card reader
Expansion ExpressCard/54 ExpressCard/54
Networking Ethernet, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional WWAN
Optical drive DVD burner DVD burner

The Pavilion dv4-1465dx provides a decent selection of ports, including HDMI, eSATA, and two headphone jacks, but the Dell Studio S1440 provides those plus DisplayPort and FireWire connections. The lack of 802.11n Wi-Fi is a curious omission; most mainstream laptops offer this faster wireless connection. In the plus column, the laptop includes a small IR remote for controlling the action in Media Center; when not in use, it can be stowed in the ExpressCard slot.

As a member of Best Buy's Next Class program, the Pavilion dv4-1465dx includes a useful software bundle. Inside the box, you'll find a full copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 and 12 months of virus protection by way of Norton Internet Security 2009. Dell must have been a tougher negotiator with Norton; its Next Class program member, the Dell Studio S1440, offers 15 months of virus protection.

On CNET Labs application benchmarks, the HP Pavilion dv4-1465d turned in a good showing, finishing among the leaders. None of its test scores stand out, which isn't surprising when you see it features a configuration similar to the other systems: Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 processor, 4GB of memory, a 5400rpm hard drive, and integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics.

Juice box
HP Pavilion dv4-1465dx Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.48
Sleep (10 percent) 0.81
Idle (25 percent) 9.96
Load (5 percent) 40.06
Raw kWh 42.59
Annual energy cost $4.83

Where the HP Pavilion dv4-1465dx stands out is with battery life, and it had better since it requires you to lug around a mammoth 12-cell battery. The laptop ran for an impressive five hours and 31 minutes on CNET Labs' demanding video playback battery drain test. You can expect even longer performance under more typical Windows use where you aren't taxing the system by playing a video. While its battery life is unquestionably impressive, the trimmer 13-inch Pavilion dv3-2155dx and the lightweight Dell Studio S1440 come close, within almost an hour of the dv4-1465dx's battery life.

HP backs the Pavilion dv4-1155se with an industry-standard, one-year warranty. Toll-free telephone support is available 24-7 during your warranty period, and the HP support Web site includes real-time chat with a technical support representative. If you want to troubleshoot problems yourself, you can search through the site's thorough FAQ database.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Asus UX50V-RX05
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Solo U3500; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce G105M; 500GB Seagate 7200rpm

Dell Studio S1440-022B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 3072MB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400M G; 320GB Toshiba 5400rpm

Dell Studio XPS 1340-024B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400M G; 500GB Seagate 7200rpm

HP Pavilion dv4-1465dx
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Toshiba 5400rpm

HP Pavilion dv3-2155mx
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 500GB Seagate 5400rpm

HP TouchSmart tx2-1275dx
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.19GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-74; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 320MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200; 320GB Seagate 5400rpm

Sony Vaio NW125 J/T
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Hitachi 5400rpm

Toshiba Satellite E105-S1602
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 500GB Toshiba 5400rpm


HP Pavilion dv4-1465DX

Score Breakdown

Design 5Features 8Performance 7Battery 9Support 7