Ever so recently, we reviewed the, a truly luxurious machine that offers a rather spiffy design and more grunt than a grizzled old oil-rig worker. If you like the look of that machine but fancy dialling down the extravagance, the 17.3-inch HP Pavilion dv7-4050ea might be for you. It'll set you back around £900.
In terms of style, the dv7-4050ea borrows a great deal from other machines in HP's laptop range. We've seen the coppery-salmon metal chassis and intricate rope design on the lid and wrist rest before, on the .
Around the edges of this machine, you'll find VGA and HDMI outputs, an Ethernet jack, an eSATA/USB port, a multi-format card reader, two 3.5mm sockets for headphones and a mic, and three standard USB ports. There's a rewritable DVD drive present too, and a 500GB hard drive inside. The whole caboodle ships with the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Professional.
The dv7-4050ea's got connectivity options well covered, but we're a little dismayed that there's no Blu-ray drive in this machine. It's something we'd like to have seen considering the high cost of this laptop.
In terms of usability, the dv7-4050ea retains a few of the problems we saw in the Envy 17-1050ea. For instance, while the keyboard has plenty of space to sit in the chassis, the up and down arrow keys are hopelessly stubby, and wrapping your fingers around them is rather tricky. The rest of the keyboard is alright, however, and it's big and comfy enough that typing for extended periods should be relatively painless.
The trackpad is absolutely massive, which is great, and it's satisfyingly sensitive. As with the Envy 17-1050ea, the click buttons are also touch-sensitive, so you might find yourself accidentally adjusting the cursor when all you want to do is click.
The display is a strong point. Pleasingly bright, this 17.3-inch display has a maximum resolution of 1,600x900 pixels. We like seeing laptops with a 'Full HD', 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution but, that said, this particular display isn't likely to disappoint. It's bright and colours seem vivid.