HP Pavilion DV7-3060US 17.3-Inch Espresso Laptop - Up to 4.5 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium) Reviews
Great for grandparents November 7, 2009
My parents (in their 70s) bought the DV7 w ith AMD TurionII last month, and they love it. Very easy and intuitive, nice sreen size, not heavy--it's perfect for them.
Okay, here's what you really want to know. November 29, 2009
One Year Update:
This is my last update. At the one year mark, I can honestly say that this machine still works and looks like new, and be well worth the money. One thing I've done to increase battery life by over 2 hours (to a solid 6+ hours!) was to change the "fan always on" BIOS setting to DISABLED. Hit F-10 or ESC when cold booting to change this. The cooling fan immediately only comes on when the CPU or video card heats up. Not sure why HP thought it was a good idea to leave it on constantly, but it's not needed at all.
The only other article I've done was to install Microsoft's Security Essentials, free from their website. I've had several viral and trojan infections that were caught instantly and purged with this software, and it works seamlessly with Windows 7. It also supercedes and shuts off existing virus scanner that shipped with Win7 as well. Highly recommended.
At the 6-month mark, some quirk have surfaced that you need to know about. They keycaps pop off easily when cleaning, so buff gently with the cleaning cloth and check after you're done. They keycaps snap back on pretty easily, BUT IF YOU LOSE ONE, worthy luck finding a replacement! Second, the remote unit that comes with this machine is CRAP. It worked for 5 minutes, then some of the controls stopped functioning. I tossed it in the trash and just used the plastic memory card insert in the left-slot to replace it.
Worth mentioning; information on the IBM hard drive in this tool is distressing, however more digging indicates that the HD used in this machine is an updated version of another troublesome unit. No problems with this one, however, I suspect that others may have dropped the unit and caused damage that route, or had the inertia protection turned off. I always put this unit to sleep before moving it anywhere, something I recommend to everyone.
This is an honest review from the perspective of a 50+ year-old guy who is very picky and cheap, overeducated and damn proud of his underachievments. Let's face it: most of what old folks do is CEREBRAL; I'm not a marathon runner or a dumbass nosepicking kid on a skateboard. I reflect on for a living, and for those who can appreciate the difference, I offer the following nuggets of wisdom.
This new HP Pavilion DV7-3063CL replaced my 20-year old IBM Aptiva desktop that ran my own custom version of Win98SE. (I re-wrote and compiled parts of the OS to suit my needs, as well as used code from Windows ME to properly support voluminous DASD's. Reverse engineering ROCKS.) I have used 56K dialup and a nice old NEC 15" flatscreen that worked great for almost 20 years. I bought this thing on a whim for Christmas, now that I'm divorced and finally have some extra money. I've always wanted a decent laptop and in a minute I have it! Here are my honest impressions of this thing.
I'm cheap, so I bought discounted ($699, Xmas 2009 at Costco.) What caught my eye immediately was the stainless steel around the edge, the HDMI port, the touchpad and the brick-sturdy feel. It's not ultra-light, nor does the screen flip open easily. The eyeshade hinge is tight and has remained that way since I bought it. This is good: I don't want the damned thing flopping around while I type. The artsy-fartsy design on the front sucks but it's not obnoxious either. It's HUGE, heavy and it takes up a lot of real estate. This isn't a laptop: it's a portable desktop computer, which suits me merely fine.
Windows 7 isn't as much of a PIA as I thought it might be. The function keys really save time. The DVD player controls up next to the screen are outstanding and very useful. The keyboard is quiet and mushy which bothers me, as I prefer my old classic IBM 5150 board that make lots of soothing clickety-clackety noise. Getting used to a laptop keyboard takes lots of PATIENCE. Separate numberpad is nice. Ability to turn off touchpad is great because my big paws often get in the way. GOBS of ports on this entry, more than you'll ever need. It feels SOLID and well made. The HD is lightning fast and quiet. The screen is a stunner and easy to read --great for us old guys who can't see their feet anymore.
This tool is often reviewed as mediocre in performance testing. Bullcookies. It's unbelievably fast by anyone's standards, and I've run Windows 7 performance index testing that proves it. The AMD dual-core processer, 4-gig DDR2 memory and 500GB 7200-SATA drive work well together; I shut the swapfile nonsense rotten completely, de-crapified the HD and made numerous tweaks including the deletion of hundreds of scheduled tasks, and this machine now flat-out HAULS ASS.
Watching instant-play movies from Netflix on an HDTV is a breeze using a fifty-cent HDMI cable. I discovered the DVD drive supports DVD-RAM disks, although writing is extremely slow. Win7 also can use DVD -/+RW disks like a floppy for reading/writing. Great for backing up data, but again, SLOW. There is also a 2nd drive bay to install another hard drive for full-system (cloned) backups. You can turn rotten the foofy screen effects through Control Panel so that it looks like older versions of Windows and speed things up, but I find that computer speed is greasy-fast no matter if the silly effects are on or off, thanks to the fast dedicated video card. The SDHC card slot works great and is express; I use Class 6 cards to back data up, and it's much easier than using DVD's by a longshot.
The bad news: tons of bloatware and crap slow boot times and suck up RAM. The good news: it can be blown away easily using "PC Decrapifier" (Love the name! Freeware and it WORKS,) trimming back programmed tasks and disabling prefetching/paging. All I left in was MS Works. All that "Windows Live" crapola, Photoshop X2 nonsense and the rest got blown away immediately. Same goes for the demoware, beggerware and especially the upgradeware games --GONE, and whatever you do --be SURE to blow the Norton Antivirus demoware away ASAP; it causes zilch but problems. Nuke anything that loads up at boot time, esp. those damned "updaters" that sit in memory and market useless products. I shed 20GB by just dumping bloatware, installers and tweaking a few other things. This machine now cold-boots from power button to password prompt in 15-seconds flat. Yes, **15 SECONDS!** This is excellent performance for a machine like this, and it glibly blows away $3000 "power user" machines that a few co-workers own. Most can't believe how fast this thing is.
Bottom line: lightning-fast with just a few tweaks, beautiful huge screen, Win7, oodles of storage and RAM and very sexy lines at a great price. Battery life is not overstated; I glibly get 4+ hours on a charge with the screen brightness turned down. This is a great replacement for a desktop system, and I can recommend it to the over-50 crowd that just wants something fast, durable and cheap. Be patient and buy it ON SALE!
Overall Great Laptop November 16, 2009
Wow what can I say about this laptop? I placed my proclaim on 11/7, product was shipped 11/9 and delivered 11/11! The shipping was listed as free super saver shipping but since Amazon had a free 2-day shipping promotion going on shortly after I bought it, I think they may have automatically upgraded it to that.
Anyways back to my review. Since I've with the sole purpose had this computer less than a week, I cannot be too critical or list every single pro/con. However I will attempt to list that which I have experienced (Typing the review on the laptop now!)
1) Computer came securely packaged and arrived on the dot, much earlier than expected. Package had the computer, battery, user manual, quick-start guide, power adapter + cord, and an HP remote (made for use with HP MediaSmart technology)
2) Initial set up is a breeze for a novice user. I'm not a novice by any means, so it really was a snap to find this computer up and running. Just make sure to plug it in and then let the computer run all the necessary updates and whatnot. Expect to set aside a minimum of 2 hours to get all this done.
3) I have be using Windows XP since...about my 7th or 8th grade year (2nd year sophomore in college, currently), so suffice it to say I didn't want to use Windows 7. Because this is a 64bit computer, and it has 4gigs of RAM and a 2.4GHz processor, I must say that Windows 7 is surprisingly fast and a very refreshing change after the final disaster of Windows Vista. The transparency effects arent too flashy like in Vista, and everything runs very clean, fast, and efficient. It does take a bit of time to get used to all the strange options, but that might only be me since I did NOT upgrade to Vista, so I'm really learning for the first time the new layout of Windows.
4) As far as performance and graphics, I have not done any task which is terribly processor or graphics card intensive for me to have any evaluation on that. I have installed Unreal Tournament 2004 and Rome: Total War. Both games are pretty graphics heavy and have run very very smooth so far. The settings are automatically calibrated in the game and it is nice to see the game set everything to HIGH characteristic. Proves this computer really has the punch to deal with games, even in a laptop form. The 17.3" screen is very vivid and bright while gaming, allowing the user to experience the best high-quality and high-def computing experience available.
5) A MAJOR point I want to make is the size of the computer and the search for a laptop armour. I read alot about this computer before I bought it, and I did my best to try and shop online for a case to fit a screen this big. Unfortunately, not many case manufacturers have items made for a 17.3" screen, so my proposal is to NOT shop online and have it be a hit-and-miss for finding the right size. I initially bought an (overpriced) backpack from Best Buy for damn near $80, and very quickly realized the incredible markup and bloated price they charge. Very soon after I returned it since both Staples and a local computer specialty store (GT Computers) had much cheaper and better quality items. I do want to make a note that some cases say-so 16", but they CAN fit this computer if they are spacious enough. My personal decision was to buy a laptop backpack rather than a case since this computer weighs in at a hefty 8lbs and is not the easiest thing in the world to fetch around. Long story short is the advice to go to a store, rather than rely on a website, when it comes to buying a laptop case that actually fits.
6) Accessories + junk: The computer comes with an Altec Lansing Premium Sound System with Built-in Subwoofer. While this sounds good in black and white, its not the best sound in the world in actuality. Perhaps I'm a bit biased since I have a 2.1 system with 40W subwoofer at my desktop, but for a pair of laptop speakers for the average user, they are really good. I was in a loud cafeteria setting, and my friend pulled out his USB powered speakers to hear a video he be playing...just for comparison purposes I turned my speakers up maxed and they not only drowned out HIS speakers (these were seperate, dedicated, USB powered speakers) but they also drowned out some of the cafeteria noise. An audiophile or someone who is really tech-savy will be able to tell the difference between low quality and high aspect, but any other user or someone just looking for a casual computing experience will appreciate this laptop. Another fun accessory is the built-in HP MediaSmart remote control. It is slim, stylish, fits easily into the computer, and its alot of fun to show off to friends by turning my music on/off or skipping tracks and changing the volume from across the room. This computer really is aimed to be an entertainment PC, and hooked up correctly with an HDMI cable and a decent sound system, one could stream movies or video from the internet, watch them on the tv, and control it all from the comfort of your couch! Very nice touch, and very fun to have.
7) Battery life: The product name boasts an "Up to 4.5 hour battery life" and I'm not sure how true this claim is, since I don't get anywhere NEAR 4 hours, but more on the low end of 3. All my settings are set to low, including eyeshade brightness...everything is designed to save power. Don't get me wrong though: for a laptop with a screen this big, and with the processing power it packs, the battery has stunning performance. However, don't expect to bring back more than 3 hours, maybe 3.5 hours if you do -nothing- but word process and web surf. Windows 7 doesn't show the battery time remaining when you hover over the system tray icon like Windows Vista and XP do, but to circumvent that I downloaded a free program called BatteryBar, and it gives detailed statistics on the battery's time left to charge, full charge capacity (measured surrounded by megawatt-hours, or mWh), as well as the charge/discharge rate, full lifetime, and battery wear (Mine is at 3.4% of 73,440 mWh, meaning I can use about 97% of the battery's full capacity. Its current capacity is 70,963 mWh, and this is just due to normal degredation that happens as soon as the battery-operated if manufactured.) On that note, it is really best to USE the battery rather than not to, since either way it is going to degrade. You cannot stop the natrual degredation process, so its better to just use it up. The HP user guides recommend discharging the battery down to 5% before fully recharge, to help the battery retain its charge/discharge cycles.
Anyhow, I think that is more than enough information from someone who has only had this computer 5 days. I'm sure I will write a revision to this review in the adjectives, if I notice any major changes, or decide to upgrade the information for more potential buyers. Thanks for reading, and I hope it helps in your decision! My verdict? Get this computer if your are someone looking to watch lots of movies, scene pictures or slideshows, and do alot of music/video based stuff (watching Youtube, movies, etc). I'm not a gamer but in looking for a laptop I wanted something that HAS the performance, if I need it, whether I decide to use it or not. If you are a college student (like I am), its a great laptop with great battery life, but be prepared to transport around a bit of added weight, just due to the sheer size of this thing.
Overall great laptop and I wouldn't change it for the world. Thanks for reading!
Great for the price but has issues December 10, 2009
It is a neat computer, pretty enough and fast enough but do not expect wonders. I resembling this computer and would buy it again but after all the reviews I read here and with the 4GB ram and dual core processor I was expecting a little bit more. I am not quite sure if it is the Windows 7 that is not performing as expected but for me the start up time is over 2 minutes (not 10 seconds as others noted, maybe it is from sleep only). The mobile life was the most disappointing, which is never more than 3 hours from the very first time I tried it. The other thing is the DVD drive that worries me. Again, from the beginning it is giving squeaking noises and often times several seconds (up to half a minute) of a DVD is skipping. It does that even near brand new DVDs not just with rented used ones. This results many times in de-synchronizing the speech from the video. Quite annoying but after pausing the video for a few times it usually finds the synchrony again. This issue makes me wonder how long my DVD drive will last if it is already acting like that after 2 weeks of use.
The first paragraph be my previous review from a few weeks ago. Now I upgraded my 3 star rating to 4 stars. My Norton Antivirus trial that came with the computer expired and I installed Sophos instead. That saves about half a minute in start up time. I also started exclusively using the HP mediasmart DVD player that came preinstalled with the computer and when I use that the DVD drive is not acting out. So the skipping I noticed be probably the result of some software incompatibility. While this resolves the issue of a possible hardware problem I was afraid of it does not make too happy. The HP DVD player is crap. Most movies will never show in full screen and it has minimal options to change that. Other free players are just a great deal more versatile, and I would prefer to use those if that would not result in the above mentioned issues. The battery life is still a disappointment so I stay with 4 stars instead of 5, however, the more I use this computer the more I like it. Lucky I bought it when it was $730.
Husband loves this laptop! January 9, 2010
My husband needed a new laptop for his home business. He absolutely loves the HP Pavilion dv7-3060! It is much lighter, quieter, and 100% cooler than his dated HP Pavilion. Boot-up is quick with Windows 7 compared to XP that took way too long. He is completely satisfied with this laptop! (Because it is a 64-bit machine, we had to buy a new wireless router. Not a big deal since the latest, updated router is a major improvement from the old one.)
Fan Does NOT Run at Hi-Speed all the time January 22, 2010
Contrary to what BizPerson says in their review the fan does NOT run at high-speed all the time. It is selectable in the Bios Setup Screen that you can enter at startup. The defaulting is set to run at high-speed all the time. I changed it while I was setting up the Virtual Machine option and now it cycles and adjusts speed as necessary. As far as his comment about this "being a known issue in the bios", he clearly of late made that up to sound credible.
His review should be removed since he gives it 1 star based on that one issue, which is false.
I bought this here a week ago, to replace another HP 17" laptop that had failed after 3 years. I've been using laptops exclusively since 1995. I use them hard (every day and lots of travel) and 2.5 to 3 years is what I expect.
My previous machine be an HP dv9230us. I experienced the hinge failure (which I fixed with superglue) and the motherboard/video chip failure (which killed it). Both of these failures are well-documented and common, so HP has clearly had some quality/design problems in times past that you should be aware of. The hinge on this machine is clearly much better designed, running the entire width of the display. Whether this machine will have other problems remains to be seen. I give this one 4 stars instead of 5 due to design/reliability issues I had with the previous model.
Overall, I find Dells to be more durable than HPs, but more expensive.
I selected this gadget to serve the following needs:
1. big screen
2. big hard drive
3. desktop replacement/only machine
4. reasonably fast (I do very complex spreadsheets and financial programming, but no video/audio editing or gaming)
5. built-in N-series wireless networking
6. capable of running Virtual Machine/XP Mode below Win 7 professional
7. lots of ports and flexibility
8. integrated 10-key
9. not too expensive since it will get destroyed within 3 years
It works great. The AMD processor seems to run cooler than the Intel T6600 in the old machine. And the T6600 does not support Virtual Machine/XP Mode (I have an old plotter that needs to run underneath XP).
It doesn't have a Blue-Ray drive so if that is important to you, look elsewhere.
It DOES have LightScribe disc labeling which I use all the time and is very important to me.
The only thing I preference it had that it doesn't is built-in Bluetooth. But I got a Bluetooth dongle for $20 and it works great, but it takes up 1 of the 4 USB ports.
I paid seven hundred for this machine from amazon 2 weeks ago. That included a rebate for fifty. The current price of one thousand fifty (a 50% increase!) makes it look like just a good deal fairly than a great deal.
If you are seriously considering this machine, you should also look at the Dell Studio 17. It has similar specs, same horrible customer support, and might be a little more durable.
The big difference for me between the 2 was this: the Dell offers a backlit keyboard for $25, but no LightScribe disc labeling. The HP includes LightScribe, but does not offer a backlit keyboard.
Don't earnings more than nine hundred for this machine. It is available out there for that much or less as of the date I am writing this.
Hope this helps.
Superb for the Money November 1, 2009
I had bought a zd8000 series 17 inch laptop 5 years ago. And not had a single problem with it.
So I went back to HP for this model. The zd8000 is a p4 and cannot chomp glorious def video.
This computer, dv7 3060us can chomp/edit the high def video. You'll be able to hook up that 500 $ canon
high def camcorder to it and flow easily. Which is what I was looking for. Using magic edit movie pro 15
when I added 3D titles, it began to struggle and the cpu went to 100 %.
Hehehe, this is to be expected. Regular titles are no sweat. I'm have no probs with high def playback.
Came sealed in the box, which is a +++ Nothing cheeky.
I seen someone complain about the chrome touchpad in another review, believe me, its a non issue.
I see someone else complain about fingerprints, believe me, its also a non issue.
This computer is high tech looking, and when I compare it to my behind the times zd8000 it sits lower
but is wider. My wrists are very happy with this lower position, good work HP.
Super wide comfortable keypad ....
I'm also using this laptop to do multi tracking with music, and so far, no hiccups for that.
Working like a dream for multi tracking.
Windows 7 on this will boot up in about a minute, which is thoroughly nice also.
For the money, its a great laptop, good update for me.
HP Pavilion DV7 --Great Laptop December 3, 2009
This is the second 17.3" Pavilion I have purchased, the first one is a year old, not a single problem. So far the build quality appears to be excellent and the price competitive for this class of laptop. The battery life is good as well as the WiFi which allows me to use the PC anywhere in the house beside no communication problems. Amazon had the best price and as always delivered ahead of their promised date.
Love this laptop! January 9, 2010
This is the best laptop you can get for less than $730 (after the $50 HP rebate) with free shipping & no taxes or fees (search the internet for the best price). Compares to laptops costing $1100 to $1300.
Very high resolution screen. You can see pictures and movies in their inventive resolution instead of being limited by the LCD or monitor resolution.
The wide screen at first seems odd but once you start using it, it is a pleasure. You can get so much more information on the screen that you wonder how you lived without it. Movies look great. You can achieve lost in them instead of thinking you are watching them on a laptop.
Sounds great with the subwoofer. You have to turn up the volume in three places: in the windows control, in the SRS Premium Sound source, and in the actual application (movie or music player). The volume is set to half or smaller quantity by default in all of these. Also in SRS, select the small speaker setting. It is set to large speaker (hence less sound). You can also choose the equalizer preset based on the type of music (dance or classical have the most bass), and can move up the bass and definition controls manually. Great for personal listening and for the room.
Note that playing music that have too much bass, at full volume, with the low frequencies in the equalizer turned up, will make some parts in the computer vibrate. It is after all not an empty speaker box like in a hifi stereo, but a soaring performance computer that is chock full of electromechanical parts in a very slim 1.37" to 1.7" profile. You can eliminate the vibration by setting the sound to the highest quality: Click on the speaker symbol at the right call a halt of the taskbar, click on the picture of the computer above the volume slider. In the window that opens up, click on the Advanced tab, then choose "24 bit, 192000 Hz (Studio Quality)" at the bottom of the drop down list.
Windows 7 is very fast and has a lot of new features to variety your work convenient and keep the desktop uncluttered. With the dual AMD processor, 4GB of RAM and a very fast 7200 rpm hard drive, you can get a lot of work done in parallel without worrying about slowing down the computer.
The battery-operated goes from 100% to 12% (alarm) in 2 hours with heavy hard drive and speaker use. If you were at a coffee shop or away from an outlet, you probably wouldn't use the hard drive and speakers as much and could possibly get 3 hours or more. It is best to charge the battery fully and afterwards use it till it gets down to 6%, every day, for the longest battery life.
The computer is very quiet and cool running. Even after 5 to 8 hours of heavy use, it stays cool. Of course you shouldn't put it directly on your lap or on the bed and thus block the ventilation. I use a 3" card board tube to hold on to the rear end of the computer off my lap. The computer is very light for a large 17.3" screen: only 7.69 lbs.
I own had no problems with hardware or software installations so far in 7 days of use. File transfer from the external USB hard drive is very fast (over 28MB/s). Internet is instantaneous. Internet Explorer 8 exceeded my expectations. Full screen mode gives you a direct fanlight on the internet. Favorites bar is a good place to keep the sites you visit regularly. SmartScreen Filter and Protected Mode keep you safe.
I have a 2001 Toshiba Satellite 15" which was a great multimedia laptop for its time and still works great, but this HP is a good upgrade for watching high-definition digital medium, playing graphics intensive games, and enjoying all the beautiful new features of Windows 7.
Great Machine December 10, 2009
I bought this computer to play World of Warcraft in my mancave. I needed a computer that had a strong WIFI signel, lots of memory, a fast video card, and good processor speed without breaking the guard. After several days of research I selected this one and I haven't been disappointed. It not only plays World of Warcraft with out a problem, it does a great job playing movies. I recommend this computer to anyone.. For those that may have computer problems.. Always buy an extended warrenty!
Related Product Reviews:
- ASUS N61JQ-B2 16-Inch Versatile Entertainment Laptop (Dark Brown) Reviews
- HP 15.6" Pavilion dv6-3025dx Entertainment 4GB Laptop 500GB Notebook PC Reviews
- HP Pavilion dv6-3140us 15.6-Inch Laptop PC - Up to 5 Hours of Battery Life (Argento) Reviews
- 4520S I3-350M 15.6 320/2GB Pc Reviews
- Hewlett Packard 8440P I5-520M 2.4G2 GB 250 GB 14IN W7P/XPP WZ227UT#ABA Reviews