Was HP’s dv2 Worth the Wait?

Posted on May 27, 2009 12:42 PM by Rob Williams

When we hit up CES 2009 this past January, there were few notebooks that really caught my eye. There was one, however, that really left an impression, and that’s the dv2 from HP. In fact, it impressed us so much, that we awarded it one of our Best of CES 2009 awards. But, that was then, and this now. With the launch having occurred within the past month, does the dv2 live up to our “Best of” potential?

Well, I can’t answer that quite yet, but I did purchase this very notebook a few days ago to take along with me on our trip to Computex. As it stands, there are multiple models of the dv2, split between the US and Canada, and there’s also a base model and an upgraded model, the latter of which we had hands-on experience with at CES.

Sadly, I walked out of the store with the base model, due to the fact that the upgraded model was sold out just earlier that day. It’s too bad, too, since the upgraded model gives a lot more for your $200. That includes a Vista upgrade to Home Premium, a boost to the memory (4GB), double the battery-life, HDMI-out and also an external ODD. Whew. I was told that upon returning from the trip, they’d allow me to upgrade, so let’s see if that holds true!

For the uninitiated, the HP dv2 is designed to be a poor-man’s (kind-of) 12″ notebook. While most notebooks of this size cost well over $1,000, the dv2 settles in at around $600 USD. It’s also the only notebook currently on the market that includes AMD’s single-core 1.6GHz Athlon Neo 64 (think of it as AMD’s Intel Atom).

What that CPU means to you is… low power, but also low performance. It lacks any sort of HyperTransport, and it is becoming noticeable. I’ve had some instability issues so far, and even as I sit here typing this in the Toronto airport, I’m awaiting Firefox to “uncrash” itself. Whether or not that’s the fault of the notebook or the browser is yet to be seen, but I’ll have no choice but to notice any such issues since this is my only PC for the next two weeks. So far, no major issues to speak of though, and for a smaller PC, the keyboard is sweet.

I’ll post a complete review of the notebook about a week after Computex, so stay tuned.

Source: HP dv2 CES Coverage

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