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HP Pavilion dv5-2045dx review: HP Pavilion dv5-2045dx

Various incarnations of the Pavilion dv5 exist, but the 2045dx is a fixed retail configuration that can't be tweaked prior to purchase. If you like the body, but want different components, it can be customized and ordered on HP's Web site. We were pleased with the components HP offered in the retail configuration for the money, but should you want to add more memory (it's upgradeable to 8GB) or swap out a hard drive, it can easily be done after purchase.

If you're the type of person to have several applications running at once, you'll be happy with the dv5-2045dx's performance. For the money, its Core i3 processor, 4GB of memory, and speedy hard drive proved themselves more than worthy at multitasking on our lab tests. In regular use, the laptop handled streaming audio and video well even as we simultaneously did basic office tasks, some light photo editing, Web browsing, and running e-mail and IM clients. We had no problems playing back AVCHD high-def movies at full screen, either. That's not to say you can't overtax the system (we wouldn't try anything more than casual gaming, for example), but it shouldn't have a problem keeping up with most home and office use.

Juice box
HP Pavilion dv5-2045dx Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.60
Sleep (10 percent) 0.82
Idle (25 percent) 9.61
Load (5 percent) 40.77
Raw kWh 42.78
Annual energy cost $4.85

Annual energy consumption cost
Asus UL80J-BBK5
$4.52 
Dell Studio s1558-5691MSL
$4.74 
Asus K50IJ-BNC5
$4.81 
HP Pavilion dv5-2045dx
$4.85 
Samsung Q430-11
$6.49 

At 3 hours and 42 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, the included six-cell battery affords you decent uptime away from an outlet. Our test keeps the 7,200rpm hard drive constantly in use, which is pretty taxing on the battery. You can expect longer life from casual Web surfing and office use, but long flights might require an extra battery.

HP backs the Pavilion dv5-2045dx 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. While retail shops are happy to sell you an in-store extended warranty, they are often expensive and hard to use, so we don't recommend them.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv5-2045dx
773 
Dell Studio s1558-5691MSL
790 
Asus UL80J-BBK5
1,122 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite A665-S6050
129 
HP Pavilion dv5-2045dx
129 
Dell Studio s1558-5691MSL
131 
Asus UL80J-BBK5
185 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv5-2045dx
169 
Dell Studio s1558-5691MSL
174 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv5-2045dx
222 
Dell Studio s1558-5691MSL
178 

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