HP dv2610us User Review

August 14, 2009

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At this point, I figure I change hardware as often as I change my underwear. Such was the case when my ASUS F9Dc-A1, which I just reviewed here, turned out to be a dud for me. It's by no means a bad laptop - quite the opposite in fact - but the battery life was wrist-slashingly frustrating, the 12" screen proved too small for me (scaling up fonts in Windows Vista makes the whole experience stunningly Speak-and-Spell), and honestly I'm just interested in having a nicer looking notebook.

Since I had a friend interested in buying the Asus off of me for most of what I paid for it, I found myself in the position to rectify my mistake.


Realizing I go through these things so fast, I figured I should probably curb my spending as much as humanly possible and just go for a "functional" notebook. Living on campus means no great need for a gaming notebook since my obscene desktop is always just a few minutes away. What I really need is something enjoyable to use that can last for more than five seconds on the battery. Can it take notes? Can it run Final Draft? Excellent, hired.

But it needed to be portable, too. When I had my ASUS A8Jm, I'd been profoundly hateful of the 14.1" screen and its (lack of) quality. So the market didn't seem terribly interested in finding me a new, cheapo laptop to do the job and do it right. Two models I expressed interest in were the Gateway T-1616 for $649 at Best Buy, and the Toshiba Satellite U305 for $899 at Best Buy and Fry's. I was particularly excited about the Gateway, but reviews online noted poor battery life - in the neighborhood of 2.5 hours tops. I'm a fan of Gateway after having the awesome 7510GX; I like their designs and they're always well-priced, and the T-1616 was frankly pretty sexy. But...the battery life kills, and without being able to confirm the existence of an extended battery available for purchase online, I had to sadly rule it out.

The Toshiba U305, at 13.3", is beautiful on the inside, but the outside shell is hideous, with that massive TOSHIBA logo on the lid. Elegant lines are woefully lacking on the unit, and the gorgeous keyboard has flex you can really feel when you type on it. Plus, online reports of battery life were all over the map.

With nothing compelling but a need to go to Fry's to get a new wireless adaptor for my desktop, I found "the one." I'm a big big fan of the styling of HP's current notebooks, and the dv2610us on display seemed to fit the bill. Oh, and what's this? All this can be mine for $699? And there's a $50 rebate on top of that? Surely you have none in stock! But wait...you say you have twenty-four, and that because you're the best retail store for computer nerds in the world, you keep massive stocks of most of your stuff?

SIGN ME UP.

The price was right, the specs were right, and with 2GB of replacement notebook RAM in hand for just $50, the dv2610us came home.


SPECIFICATIONS

The HP dv2610us is specced out as follows:

* CPU: AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-58 (1.9GHz dual core, 65nm process, 31W TDP)
* RAM: 2GB (2x1GB stick) Patriot DDR2-667 (upgraded from 2x512MB generic HP DDR2-667)
* Hard Disk: 160GB 5400rpm Hitachi Travelstar
* Optical Drive: DVD-RAM w/ Lightscribe
* Graphics: nVidia GeForce 7150M Integrated Graphics
* Wireless: Broadcom 802.11b/g and HP Bluetooth
* Battery: 6-cell Li-ion
* Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium
* Accessories: Built-in webcam and media reader, modem, ethernet, etc.
* Includes: Microfiber cleaning cloth, a pair of earbuds, and a media center remote that fits snugly into the ExpressCard slot.

Ordinarily not terribly exciting, but at $699 ($649 after rebate), come on. That's a lot of power for a low price, although the 1GB of RAM it ships with is grossly underpowered for Windows Vista. But given the RAM upgrade brings it to a still respectable $749 ... let's be realistic, it's the pricetag that's winning this war.

by Dustin Sklavos

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2 comments:

  1. Battery life has become a huge issue for laptop owners. With higher performance, and less-power consumed thanks to Intel's latest Core-2 technology, people are simply expecting more life out of their batteries.

    http://laptopbatteriesfinder.com

    ReplyDelete