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HP Pavilion dv8135EA: Diamond in the rough

We're really digging the HP Pavilion dv8135EA thanks to its 17-inch screen, 200GB hard drive and LightScribe DVD rewriter

There's an abundance of choice for anyone in the market for a large, multimedia laptop. We're rich: 19-inch, and now 20-inch behemoths represent the ultimate in semi-portable computing, but if you're after something a little more sensible in stature, you could do worse than to check out the new HP Pavilion dv8135EA, which sports a mere 17-inch screen.

We've been tinkering with it in our secret lab for the last few days and have grown very fond of it. So fond in fact, that we shed a small tear each night when we leave the office.

Okay, it looks fairly ordinary on the outside (grey chassis, HP logo, yadda yadda yadda), but it comes into its own when you open the lid. The matte black keyboard is seductively embraced by a glossy black bezel, and all of the shortcut buttons above the main keyboard emit a sensual blue glow.

It has great specs too. The 17-inch screen operates at a native widescreen resolution of 1,440x900 pixels, which is great for watching movies on. The dv8135EA also includes speakers from seminal speaker manufacturer Altec Lansing, which sound miles better than the majority of laptop speakers we've been forced to endure.

Most impressively, the laptop comes with two 100GB hard drives for a total storage capacity of 200GB. You'll have to walk a long way to find another laptop with this much space, and even further to find one that also has a LightScribe-ready DVD rewriter. This handy inclusion lets you burn DVDs and CDs, but also to burn monochrome-style labels on compatible media by flipping the disc over and re-inserting it.

This is one of the best 17-inch laptops we've ever seen, so we'll treat you to a full review in the very near future. -RR