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HP Pavilion dv2530ea review

Bags of style and great value to boot

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Our Verdict

Stylish, portable and comfortable, but look elsewhere for 3D performance

For

  • Great looking

    Good display

    Decent performance

Against

  • Poor graphics performance

HP's Pavilion range is aimed at the home user, and the latest addition - the dv2530ea (£799 inc. VAT) - offers distinctive and attractive styling. Finished in silver and glossy black plastics, the chassis features HP's Imprint design - a textured look that resembles an oversized fingerprint.

The HP features a 14.1-inch display, helping to keep the chassis portable, without affecting practicality. We found the display bright, and a glossy coating helps to produce colourful images. There were some reflections in direct sunlight, but it never caused any real problems.

Costs are kept down through the use of an integrated graphics card - restricting the HP to everyday tasks, such as surfing the internet, editing documents or watching DVDs. If you intend to play games, you should look elsewhere.

Despite this, HP has labelled it an 'Entertainment PC'. To help live up to this claim, an external TV tuner is included. Fitting into the ExpressCard slot, it's a neat solution, and a remote control is also bundled.

HP has made it easy to control your multimedia files, with a bank of touch-sensitive hot keys above the keyboard that let you adjust volume and skip through your CDs and DVDs. Home entertainment is also given a boost by the inclusion of speakers by audio manufacturer Altec Lansing.

The keyboard is large and neatly designed. With tapered edges to the keys, it's comfortable to use, although the keys need to be firmly struck to register. While this may not affect those with a heavy typing action, it's definitely a laptop you should try before buying.

Although it's a well-made machine, build quality is less impressive than HP's own Compaq range for business users. The casing behind the display lacks strength, and we recommend buying a good protective case if you plan on carrying this laptop around with you.

Weighing in at 2.5kg, this is a laptop you'll be able to take on the road with you. A fingerprint scanner adds security when out and about. Mobility is helped by an impressive battery life, and we routinely managed over three and a half hours of use between charges.

During everyday use we found the HP to be a quick machine. There was no major lag when running multiple applications, helped by the use of a dual-core processor and 2048MB of memory.

If you don't need your laptop to run games or intensive 3D applications, the Pavilion dv2530ea is an appealing choice and combines both portability and practicality.