HP has reinvented its consumer laptop line of late and the Pavilion dv9341eu (£729 inc. VAT) is the desktop replacement of the range. Sporting a 17-inch Super-TFT screen, you'll find this a bulky machine that looks great on a desktop, but with an overall weight of 3.7kg, you won't want to carry it around too often.

The lid has a black gloss finish and is thick and solid and protects the screen. Open it up and you'll find a keyboard that incorporates a separate numeric keypad, which helps it to fill the middle of the chassis.

The keys are spacious and, while they have a smooth typing action, we found they were not the most firmly mounted and tended to rattle as we typed. The touchpad is a good size, but we were less impressed with the mouse buttons, which felt loose in their mountings.

Bargain power

To help keep the price down, the unit is powered by an AMD Turion 64 X2 dual-core processor, which is reliable and certainly runs quickly. However, with a slower Front Side Bus than the equally powered Intel chip, the benchmark scores tell a different story.

The Turion chip also uses the 90nm die-size instead of the more pwer-efficent 65nm size, with the result being a good deal of heat generated. We found the chassis grew very warm to the touch, and quite soon after switching the system on, which forces the fan to run for long periods.

Graphics use the older nVidia GeForce Go 7600 adapter, instead of the newer 8000 Series. This means you won't be able to run anything using DirectX 10, as this GPU only handles DX9 applications. While this limits the long-term use of this machine, it still delivers a decent mainstream 3D score for current applications.

This laptop may lack the latest cutting-edge components, but HP has made sure to include features to make this a multimedia machine. The 240GB of hard drive space means you won't need to invest in an external hard drive too soon.

With Altec Lansing speakers built in, sound quality is impressive and with a range of quick access keys to launch HP's own QuickPlay application, you can easily control movies and music. For creating your own CD/DVD labels, the DVD rewriter supports the latest on-disc writing technology, LightScribe.

The HP Pavilion dv9341eu isn't the desktop replacement powerhouse we were expecting. Instead, for the asking price what you have is a large machine that is more than satisfactory for mainstream tasks, but it won't handle anything too demanding.