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HP Pavilion dv9790ea review: HP Pavilion dv9790ea

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If you're particularly security-conscious, you can easily secure your files thanks to the fingerprint reader.

Negatives
Portability isn't high on the agenda when it comes to desktop replacement models, and the dv9790ea is no exception. It's slightly lighter than some other 17-inch models, but at 3.5kg it's still a hefty lump to lug around.

Battery life is another area where desktop replacements fare poorly and although it managed to achieve slightly better scores than some of its rivals, they're still nothing to write home about. It only managed to keep going for 1 hour 21 minutes when faced with the intensive Battery Eater test. Dropping down to the less strenuous Reader test improved matters slightly, but it still only ran for 2 hours 30 minutes before giving up.

If you're looking for a machine to playback high-definition material, the dv9790ea isn't the one for you. It's only equipped with a normal DVD drive so you can't play hi-def Blu-ray optical discs. Even if you find HD content online, you still won't be able to make the most of it, as the 17-inch screen only stretches to a resolution of 1,440x900 pixels -- short of the 1,920x1,080 needed to watch 1080p material. If you want to enjoy HD footage at its best, you'll need to connect it up to a flat-screen TV via the HDMI port instead.

Conclusion
If you want a fast machine you can easily move from room to room, the HP Pavilion dv9790ea will certainly fit the bill. It's powerful enough for the odd bit of gaming, but the low screen resolution and short battery life are rather disappointing.

Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Nick Hide

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