We leave fingerprints on the HP Pavilion dv2

During my visit to AMD’s Austin, Texas offices last week, I managed to get my hands on an early example of the HP Pavilion dv2, the forthcoming category-breaking product based on AMD’s Atom-killer, the Athlon Neo.  As we’ve already reported, the dv2 will feature a 12.1" display and will thus be larger than a netbook, but it will be under an inch thick, weigh 3.8 pounds, and list for $699 when it debuts in a month or two.  So we’re looking at a very nice ultraportable laptop for not much more money than some higher-end netbooks.

The Athlon Neo is a single-core, low-power version of the K8, or Athlon 64.  In the unit I looked at, it was running at 1.6GHz.  At that speed, the Neo would bring quite a bit more processing power than an Atom, though clearly less than a Core 2 Duo.  AMD told us the Athlon Neo is exclusive to HP, but hinted that it might fit into even smaller laptops than the dv2.  We also heard talk of a dual-core version of the Athlon Neo (essentially a low-power Athlon 64 X2) for future products.

Not only that, but the dv2 will feature Radeon HD 3000-series graphics, giving it much better HD video decode and playback capability than any netbook, in addition to decent potential for light gaming duty.

Up close, the dv2 looks like a fairly nice 12.1" laptop, with none of the cuteness factor you get from the miniaturized features of a netbook.  The glossy chassis is a champion fingerprint magnet, but the fit and finish were pretty good on the unit we manhandled.  Here’s a look at the dv2 next to my Eee PC 1000H, which is totally misleading.

 

I had hoped to provide a useful comparison with this picture, but I managed to create the opposite with a bit of perspective magic.  Notice how the 1000H, on the right, is both further from the camera and sitting much further from the edge of the table.  It’s as if the dv2 were Gandalf and the 1000H were Frodo.  Now folks will think the dv2 is twice the size of the 1000H.  It is indeed larger, and feels more like a proper laptop, but the dv2 is quite a bit smaller and sleeker than most laptops, in reality.

 

The dv2’s keyboard has a no-compromises feel, like many 12" laptops, and the touchpad is happily enormous, with a dedicated scrolling area on the right.  As you can see, the enclosure looks sleek and thin in Charlie Demerjian’s stubby hands. With luck, the dv2 should be a roaring success, prompting other notebook makers to step up, as well, and plug the gap between low-cost netbooks and too-expensive ultraportables with affordable intermediate options in the 10"-13.3" range.

We, of course, hope to get our paws on a production dv2 for a full review as soon as possible.

Comments closed
    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    Looking again I guess this *is* quite thin, the keyboard part isn’t much thicker than a D-sub connector. At least there isn’t a glaring spot of emptiness where an optical drive could go. Not that it really matters, I’ve never owned a laptop and have gotten by fine so far despite how much I use the web unlike some connection-addicted folks.

    • dragmor
    • 14 years ago

    It doesn’t have a discreet graphics chip, but it will have an option for dedicated ram, 32 or 64mb via a 16bit interface. This option is on most of the other AMD laptops that HP has.

    • ludi
    • 14 years ago

    You can have that price or you can have the optical drive, but not both. The drive takes up too much space in the chassis and requires some engineering rework of the component, cooling, and battery layout.

    If they can get the price on this down to about $500, though, it and a USB opitcal drive would be a better deal than a T&L model.

    • Skrying
    • 14 years ago

    I think you’re making a few assumptions wrongly. The size of the body and “bezel” likely have more to do with other options available to the dv2. For instance the use of a 2.5″ hard drive or SSD against much slower (and smaller) 1.8″ options.

    I wasn’t aware there was a discrete graphics option for the dv2, and I don’t think there is. The Radeon graphics are built into the chipset which means they’re not discrete. To often it seems discrete is confused with “not Intel” and that isn’t true. AMD simply has much better integrated solutions than Intel.

    Another contributing size factor is the full sized laptop keyboard compared to the Eee (and other netbooks) much smaller keyboards.

    Also, I think you greatly over estimate the benefits of 4GB of RAM. In fact, the places where such an amount would be needed are going to be limited by the CPU (Neo included) before that. The Atom based netbooks are limited to 1GB which actually is a huge limitation. But 2GB plenty for Vista or Windows 7 and what might be done on this notebook. 2GB is enough for Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Firefox, Windows Media Player, Visual Studio 2008, and Word 2007 to be open all at the same time. The processor will choke on this work load before the amount of memory does.

    • Chrispy_
    • 14 years ago

    IMO, this is what a laptop form-factor should be.

    Full-sized keyboard,
    Full-sized opering system,
    Full-speed processor
    Full-speed hard disk
    as thin and small as possible to accommodate the above four points.

    If you want graphics power you shouldn’t be buying thin and light laptops so don’t whine about integrated graphics, go look at the DTR market.

    • kitsunegari
    • 14 years ago

    I’m extremely interested in the dv2 and enthusiastically hopeful about the Yukon chipset. I’ve been putting off my scholastic notebook purchase for almost 2 semesters now as I’ve followed the new UMPC/netbook class take off in ’08: and I totally “get” the appeal of the platform HP and AMD are targeting here- low(er) cost T&L.

    However, the dv 2- being the 1rst gen product that it is- makes a couple of trade-offs in form factor for performance that I’d hypothesize are mandated more by the economics of the emerging UMPC market class than pure engineering and design.

    I attribute these concessions to the fact that:

    1. Yukon @ 65nm and X1250 IGP aren’t efficient enough to provide sufficient per/per watt advantage over the current ATOM/945gs products HP is fielding ATM (e.g. HP 1000 & 2140) to rationalize putting out something that would cannibalize sales.
    Hence…

    2. The dv 2 form factor is in some respects compromised by being designed around the accommodation of the optional discrete graphics solution’s (i.e. Radeon 3410) increased thermal footprint .
    The availability of which thereby provides the necessarily significant price & performance differential with which to generate higher margins for both AMD and HP in what has up until now been an essentially low margin game.

    §[<http://www.liliputing.com/2009/02/hp-netbooks-arent-hurting-sales-the-economy-is.html<]§ This design decision is evident in the noticeably pronounced bezel on the 12.1" display which is necessitated because of the proportionately longer depth of the unit (as seen in the eee comp pics) So while this creates a delightfully potent T&L Media laptop for the price, it's unfortunate that the most appealing part of the emerging netbook class- FORM FACTOR- couldn't have been more decisively married with the most attractive parts of Yukon: - support for 4gigs of DDR-800 RAM (This in and of itself yields the most important "real world" performance gains and- if i may digress- is HUGE oversight & missed opportunity on VIA's part w/their VGX800 mobile platform found in NC20) - out of order CPU - 945 beating IGP - larger than 10" display w/greater than 1024 x 600 res. I froth at the idea of a 2140 design derived UMPC with: -an igp ONLY Yukon board -a hi-res 11" display (to me THE sweet spot between portability and productivity) -increased depth to allow for a full size track pad and the thermals of Yukon ... all of which could be fiscally feasible within $80 of the entry level dv2. The funny part is we'll probably be seeing designs like this in H2 '09- §[<http://www.fudzilla.com/index.phpoption=com_content&task=view&id=12206&Itemid=1<]§ -only with the recently alluded to ULV low cost C2D's (which may end up being solo) iNTEL feels compelled to field; THANKS to AMD (go green! but wait isn't it red now!?!?! oh hell..;). I imagine AMD will get there too w/their 45nm CONGO refresh (which would make my aforementioned dream low cost UMPC even sweeter), but that's not in the cards for me since I can't wait until the fall. My theory is that whoever hits upon that sweet spot of Form factor and build quality, better-than-atom-cpu performance, and Integrated graphics will have a product as desired by consumers as the latest gadget from Apple. ...of course -provided MS & Intel don't stop limiting their OEM customers- that somebody may end up being Apple itself whenever they decide to start carving a slice of this pie- §[<http://www.liliputing.com/2009/02/why-netbooks-why-now.html<]§ -and in so doing making this whole discussion (OK rant ;) moot as it'd probably be a PA semi designed ARM based platform. In and of itself a very appealing product but that's for another discussion. Well that's my 2 (thousand =) cents on TR getting to lay some forensic evidence on the dv 2. Having said all that though, it basically boils down to this, "I want one"; and probably will end up settling on it for my portable computing needs unless HP decides to wise up and start offering a 2140 with an Atom N280 & GN40 combo before the dv 2 goes on sale in april. Conversely, if I can get the dv3 (which I've priced w/coupons FULLY spec'd at just under $920) cheaper than the dv2 w/3450 and external blue-ray disc drive then to hell with the half pound lighter body. In which case I'll have run the gamut and rationalized myself from netbook to the "Wintel-macbook" where I started. =p obtw...get that goddamn graffiti off the black dv2! If i ever want my computer's style to be compromised like that I'll just put some stickers on it thank you very much. At this point I'd actually buy the F_ing "moonlight white" over that killjoy. Who knows though maybe I'll get lucky and they'll have an option for the spartan silver seen in the youtube port tour vid. §[<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4N-hKAiNrc<]§

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 14 years ago

    Yeah I hear you. I need to be able to back up data and to be able to review cd’s when I’m out and about.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    Bah, silly. It can’t be THAT much bigger. Market segmentation ftl. Are the optical drives that an OEM would buy to fit in the dv2 be any more costly than ones that go in other laptops?

    • dragmor
    • 14 years ago

    The 13″ DV3 has an optical drive.

    • Obsidian
    • 14 years ago

    If I were in the market for a laptop I would probably go for something like that. I don’t need any real power out of a laptop but I don’t want one that’s too weak and has a tiny screen and keyboard. The dv2 looks really nice.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    Darnit no optical. Yeah is I want something that’s 12″+ I’d want an optical dirve, at least as an option. Maybe it’s getting to be a bit less of a big deal with USB flash drives but optical media is still too useful to disregard.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 14 years ago

    The price and lack of an optical drive kill it for me. As close as possible to $500 and dvd-r please.

    • WillBach
    • 14 years ago

    Has anyone else here encountered this issue, or seen it documented in detail? It sounds like a deal-breaker for me. Does anyone know if this issue is limited to certain motherboards, or if it has been fixed?

    Damage, Scott, any chance that TechReport will look into this?

    Thanks for the preview, keep up the good work!

    • Voldenuit
    • 14 years ago

    Yeah, things like the Toshiba R500 (which you can bend in your hand) are sucky, even though it only weighs 2.4 lbs.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    You need to qualify that…lightness without making a product suck is expensive and not easy.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 14 years ago

    I want one! Looks nice.

    • indeego
    • 14 years ago

    We don’t do this for Servers, ever. That would be the exception. 🙂 Going cheap on servers will almost always bite you in the assg{<.<}g

  1. No optical drive, no thanks. Otherwise it looks OK. I would prefer something that is not so plastic and cheap, but those are too expensive.

    • Skrying
    • 14 years ago

    Nice, and very tempting.

    • Voldenuit
    • 14 years ago

    l[

    • indeego
    • 14 years ago

    §[<http://h71016.www7.hp.com/dstore/html/hpremarketing/daily.asp?jumpid=re_R295_store/buspurchase-refurbished/computing-storage/entry-level-storage#nss<]§ Refurb'ed. We buy refurb'ed for a lot of stuff at work because it's always shipped out the day you order, it always is in new condition, and we can save 40-60% over even our discount rates, and comes with free shipping. Cheap bastard, I guessg{<. <}g

    • ludi
    • 14 years ago

    Depends on how much of the 20M-unit netbook market was born from a desire for a netbook, and how much of it is T&L customers who couldn’t afford the $1k+ for previous T&L models. If this lands midway between conventional notebooks and nettops as the prototype suggests, it could suck away customers from both.

    • Skrying
    • 14 years ago

    Where are you finding the 2510p for $600 to $1000? Even used that seems extremely cheap for a unit that is $2000 stock. The 2510p is also always over 3 pounds with a battery at 3.22lbs with the 3-cell and 3.56lbs with 6-cell.

    I don’t care for the fact that the 6-cell sticks out a mile behind it. I’ve be fine if they even extended the unit back and made it flush together and hell released a 9-cell hammer head like design that made it all flat in back.

    • Skrying
    • 14 years ago

    I really don’t understand companies feeling the need to make everything want to have finger prints all over it. In fact I really don’t understand what is so hard for anyone but Apple to make a decent looking unit for the most part (Dell is getting there). It’s very simple; brick like shape of aluminum with no funny angles everywhere. Seriously, the bottom half bevel on my M1330 bugs the hell out of me. No front facing 3.5mm jacks either, PLEASE!

    I’ll be replacing my M1330 within the next six months. I’m hoping the Dell Adamo battery life is all I can dream about since they’ll be able to maximize space with an internal battery. The wall wart is small enough that I might be willing to actually take it with me often. If not… well, I don’t know what I’ll do. Probably an updated X300 like model.

    • indeego
    • 14 years ago

    Tis why we have comments. I personally find comments that are critical of a product or service just as helpful as some gleeful reminder that it’s the beeg{<'<}gsr{<'<}r knees. Here's what I think should happen: The pricing for ultraportable not*[

    • Voldenuit
    • 14 years ago

    Agreed.

    My Thinkpad X300 has a 1.2 GHz Core 2 Duo, and it happily runs Matlab (even if some of my more inefficient scripts bog down for a bit).

    On a side note, why do manufacturers (and consumers) think glossy chassis (and displays) are good? I must confess to an aversion to fingerprints – even the rubberised surface on my X300 collects fingerprints more than my old Thinkpad R50 and the painted (matte) white magnesium shell of my Toshiba Portege M500.

    • Skrying
    • 14 years ago

    I’ll gladly point you to the ultra-portable laptop market that has been going strong for many years now. Those units would be extremely popular if it wasn’t for the price entry barrier. Intel has a LV and ULV Core 2 lineup, afterall.

    The Athlon Neo is going to be much faster then a Atom. An Atom will choke up on A LOT and wouldn’t be sufficient for many operations outside of basically being a Internet machine, that’s why they’re called netbooks afterall. The Neo on the other hand won’t have such limitations and is going to be enough for basically anyone but gamers and some other professional applications (even then, not that many).

    This is a tried and true ultra portable in an affordable market range. What is so hard to understand this? There is a massive difference between my M1330 (which basically hits five pounds with the 9-cell) and the dv2. If at the time my budget would have allowed I would have went with a Core 2 ULV based system, but it didn’t. Things have changed, but if the dv2 would have been available a year back, I would have bought it and I’m sure many others who have as well.

    • Sanctusx2
    • 14 years ago

    I’m not saying they won’t sell, there may be a few hundred people out there who this is ideal for. In reference to your needs though, a netbook sounds more ideal. You value portability over power and you want it cheaply, that’s the netbook market in a nutshell.

    If you want a little more power over portability, then we’re at the tried and true laptop level. There are many that can be had around this size and weight, for lower cost. Or you ignore the cost and dive headlong into a different market entirely.

    Also note that with a 12.1″ screen and a non-Atom processor in this you’re likely looking at dramatically reduced battery life vs a netbook so again we’re back in laptop territory.

    And I have no qualms about them making something like this or of specific people’s tastes. I just don’t understand the market they’re trying to target.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    12″ is about the size I’d consider if I was looking for a laptop. I don’t need a 14-15″ with the added weight and what would be unused power but 10″ is just a touch on the small side and too many compromises (optical drive for example) to be much more than a fun toy. Especially since I have no laptop now so it’s obviously not a pressing need, something that is not sluggish but has good battery life and portability would be the sweet spot. Any word on battery life for this? Is there any special sauce power savings in a dual core version like shutting off one core, or in the graphics?

    • swaaye
    • 14 years ago

    My ~10 month long experience with a 780G + A64X2 wasn’t all that rosy in the 3D dept. The chipset had lots of performance problems with CnQ. Performance would vary dramatically because the CPU would change clocks and mess up bandwidth to the IGP. Sometimes after video playback, CnQ would stop working and you’d have a CPU locked at full speed until either a reboot or entering the XP power management panel. Also, the 1000MHz HT bus of a Athlon 64 is a real problem for the IGP. That’s a major bottleneck as it only offers 4GB/s up and down. The IGP has serious performance problems with bandwidth-sucking layered alpha textures that made it look like a Radeon 8500 in some tests and games.

    You’re best off with some sort of Phenom on a 780G. Probably a Phenom II unless you want more CnQ issues from the cores being independently clocked. But that happens even with Phenom II if you’re on XP.

    • eitje
    • 14 years ago

    The dv2 is styled like my blackberry – grey plastic on the front, with shiny “metal” on the sides.

    • Skrying
    • 14 years ago

    What is with you people? These product isn’t for you, so go away. I’m sorry to be so rude to you specifically but this “complaint” (more lack complete lack of understanding of the market) pops up in all of these threads. I don’t need the processing power of a Core 2 Duo in my backpack. What I need is a processor that is better at handling multitasking then an Atom but not power draining. What I need is a thin machine that doesn’t take up room. What I need is several hours of battery life without having to pack around a 9-cell and 6-cell with me.

    My work load? Microsoft Office, lots of emailing, maybe Lightroom, maybe Photoshop. When I up and go (which is often, just my life style) I don’t want to lug around tons of machine. So people who are on the go, students, etc, can get this device on the cheap and it fits their needs.

    This all said, I’ll probably be going after the Dell Adamo when it arrives because my laptop is my main machine, I need a higher end display, and I’m going to guess the Adamo will get better battery life (though I need to question if I’m ok with a unit that can’t be switched out).

    I just felt the need, yet again, to point out how not everyone is you. However some people place a much greater premium on portability over power.

    • Sanctusx2
    • 14 years ago

    I don’t really get it. I mean it seems like this will go nowhere to me. At that price and size, you could get a much more powerful and potentially cheaper laptop. I might be seeing this as a glass half-empty view but this lacks all the touted convenience of a netbook while also being underpowered compared to its actual laptop brethren.

    Of course I might just completely lack foresight and these things will sell like hotcakes, but really… I think it’s a very narrow product in a growing, but still niche market.

    • UberGerbil
    • 14 years ago

    …and it’s plastic because plastic is cheap, and so are netbooks.

    • indeego
    • 14 years ago

    Because their displays are smaller than kb area footprint? That is what makes them el-cheapog{<.<}g

    • Meadows
    • 14 years ago

    Just like Charlie himself.

    • FireGryphon
    • 14 years ago

    I can’t wait for the review. I like the current market focus on laptops that are smaller and lighter than huge desktop replacements. What I’m hoping crops up is something along the lines of the Thinkpad X-series: small and light, but well built (none of this cheap shiny plastic) and durable. The Thinkpad X is perfect in many ways, but I feel like a little competition would lower prices somewhat.

    • Flying Fox
    • 14 years ago

    At first I thought it was horrible about your hands, then you clarified that it is Charlie D’s.

    Whew, what a sigh of relief. 😀

    • FireGryphon
    • 14 years ago

    Yes.

    • Meadows
    • 14 years ago

    “We, of course, hope to get our _[

    • joselillo_25
    • 14 years ago

    why netbooks have all that awful plastic around the display?

    • indeego
    • 14 years ago

    Are my eyes failing, or are every one of those pics slightly out of focusg{

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!