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A Solid Multimedia Notebook From HP

Introduction

Starting on September 28, 2005 Hewlett-Packard began offering upgrades to its Pavilion DV4000 notebook computer designed to enhance the unit's graphics performance. These include ATI's Mobility Radeon X700 graphics controller and 533MHz memory modules. Previously the DV4000 was available only with Intel's Graphics Media Accelerator 900 controller and 333MHz memory modules.

You can still buy DV4000's with the earlier features. However, I strongly recommend that you look seriously at HP's latest and greatest in this case, because the new components make the DV4000 a real contender in the world of multimedia notebook computers. At the time of publication a DV4000 configured as the one we tested cost around $2,000.

HP's Pavilion DV4000

The DV4000 comes with Microsoft Windows XP (Home or Pro). I wouldn't have been surprised to see XP Media Center Edition on the notebook, because it has most of the features you'd expect to find on a computer designed for MCE. Even though MCE is absent on the DV4000 I am going to compare it here with Toshiba's Qosmio G25 MCE-based notebook that Ed Tittel and I reviewed back in September of this year. As you'll see though the DV4000 doesn't have all of the AV bells and whistles of the G25, it does have a slightly faster CPU and faster memory. So it is able to hold its own against and even outperform the Toshiba in some cases.

Classifying The HP Pavilion DV4000

We at MobilityGuru like to speak with a degree of precision. We're tired of the notion that all portable computers ought to be called "notebooks." In an effort to inject more meaning into laptop and notebook computer naming conventions, we use the standards in the table below to classify mobile computers.

Type of Mobile ComputerWeight with standard batterySize
Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)Less than 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg)Fits in standard size pocket
Ultra Lightweight Laptop2.5 lbs (1.1 kg) or lessDoes not fit in standard size pocket
Lightweight Laptop2.6 to 4 lbs (1.2 to 1.8 kg)NA
Standard Laptop*Over 4 to 6.5 lbs (1.8 to 2.9 kg) or less13 x 11" (33 x 28 cm) and smaller
Notebook*Over 6.5 lbs (2.9 kg)Over 13 x 11" (33 x 28 cm)
* Weight or size or both weight and size qualify a mobile computer for this category.

At 14.11 x 10.16 x 1.67" (35.84 x 25.82 x 4.24 cm) and 7.45 lb (3310 g) with the high capacity battery HP provided with our review model, the DV4000 is a big honking notebook computer by anyone's standards. This mobile computer is better suited to sitting most of the time on a desk or table than it is to dragging from place to place on a regular basis.