With a Blu-ray drive and decent graphics performance, this laptop offers great value for money. The only shame is that the screen isn't Full HD
Decent graphics card
Low res screen
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HP's Pavilion range is aimed at home users, with a mix of stylish, feature-packed laptops available. The Pavilion dv5- 1110em is one such laptop and offers great value for money.
It also offers a great multimedia experience. The 15.4-inch screen offers vivid and bright colour reproduction, although its 1280 x 800-pixel resolution is quite low, and we'd have preferred slightly crisper image quality.
Touch-sensitive buttons below the screen let you control DVDs at the touch of a button. A Blu-ray optical drive is also built in, letting you watch the latest high definition (HD) movies. The screen isn't sharp enough to support Full HD playback, however, but there is an HDMI-out port, letting you connect to an HDTV.
Graphics are handled by a dedicated ATi Mobility Radeon HD GPU. It's not quite as powerful as the graphics cards in the Hi- Grade Notino W5800S, but it still offers strong multimedia performance. We were able to play most games with ease, aided by this laptop's lower screen resolution, but the latest titles also needed detail settings turned down in order to run smoothly.
The design is one of the most attractive, with a mix of glossy black, patterned and silver plastics. Its chrome-effect finish also helps to distinguish it from other laptops. Quality is good, with the screen held firmly in place by a hinge that runs the width of the chassis.
As with the Toshiba Tecra M10-10H, the HP's keyboard is a model of excellence when it comes to usability. The keys are large and well spaced. With slightly indented centres, it's easy to distinguish between keys when typing at speed. We also found them well attached, and there's no sign of flexing under pressure.
The touchpad is large and glossy, although we found our fingers sticking to it slightly, rather than gliding over it. There's a button above to deactivate the touchpad, so you won't accidentally move the cursor when typing. We also found the mouse buttons large and responsive.
In a break from the norm this laptop uses an AMD processor. It offers performance that's on par with the previous-generation of Intel Core 2 Duo chips, although it's still quick enough for comfortable use. The inclusion of 3072MB of memory also makes light work of multi-tasking. Having said that, battery life, at 151 minutes, fell below our expectations.
Packed with features, the HP Pavilion dv5-1110em may lack the all-out performance of its Intel-based rivals, but it's still a desirable and impressive laptop. That it also includes a Blu-ray drive at such a competitive price is a bonus, helping to offer great value for money.