Works well and looks great. Perfect match for HP dv2000. No disk installation needed for Pavilion dv2000.
Must use laptop AC power adapter or pay another $100 for a spare. Connector not easy to hook in. Must pay $200 more for hard drive dock
I purchased this in Korea, where they are about $170, as opposed to $200 after rebate, as they are in the USA. I just got it today, and I already like it a lot. The finish is very nice, and it has a metal feel on top, same as the ... Read full review
I purchased this in Korea, where they are about $170, as opposed to $200 after rebate, as they are in the USA. I just got it today, and I already like it a lot. The finish is very nice, and it has a metal feel on top, same as the notebook.
I will warn you that it doesn't come with an AC power adapter. You have to use the one from your laptop. Clearly, HP planned this as a way to get you to pay another $100 for an additional adaptor.
Who wants to keep unplugging their notebook adaptor and replugging it when going between work and home? Cheap move, IMHO. The unit, however, seems solid.
There is also a special bay on the right of the machine, which can be purchased for about $200 more. You get a hard drive with that, but it's too pricey, IMHO. I just plugged in a separate USB drive, and call it good.
All of the inputs and outputs seem to work well with my HP Pavilion dv2050us I bought from CompUSA. I am getting a tiny bit of bleed noise out of the S-Video port, however, when I go to my TV. Enough to bother me. I'm pretty sure that I can't blame HP for this, though. The electrical power here is 220v, probably not grounded properly, and I've had problems with hums and stuff coming from other appliances -- poor electrical system in this Korean building. I've had problems with other computers, too. I solved the problem by plugging into my notebook's S-Video. All is just fine when I do that, for some reason I can't explain. The VGA output from the base works just fine, and I love that the system automatically recognizes when you have a monitor or TV plugged in, and they become an option on the Intel Media Driver. Oh, and if your dv2000 notebook came with a remote, you'll find that one button will select between the monitors quite nicely. I haven't had the chance to try the 3-color DVD output, as I don't have the need (or cables).
The keyboard and mouse are wireless. The keyboard has a decent feel. Better than my Microsoft Basic Wireless Keyboard, I am happy to report. The keyboard takes two provided Duracell AAA batteries. The mouse takes 2 provided Duracell AA batteries (or another brand, of course). The keyboard has buttons on top for music, calculator, opening the default mail program, and browser. Also play/pause, volume up/down, and mute. They are automatically recognized by the HP system, and require no disk installation (nice). I was happy to see that I can sit on the couch at least 7 feet away. It has a max range of 10 feet, if you are line-of-sight to the receiver box, which plugs into USB. The mouse transmits out to 6 feet max for me.
The internal Altec Lansing speakers sound decent, but lack bass. It would be cool if they added a subwoofer out to this, or a subwoofer package. Sad thing is, they'd probably want to charge you another $200 for that, too.
The SPDIF audio output on the base is coax RCA, and the notebook SPDIF out is optical. I prefer coax, so I was glad to see they had this as a part of the base set. I am able to feed Dolby 5.1, which is all my system can handle. Not sure if it's 7.1 capable or not, but I think it will output that digitally, if a DVD has it. The dv2000 laptop series does not do DTS, unfortunately -- 0nly Dolby Digital, but I can live with that.
The audio slider controls on the front of the base are the same deal as on the notebook, only bigger. I find they work a bit better than the notebook's, because they are larger. There is a volume slider, a mute, and power on/off/hibernate. There is also a light which glows blue or red telling you if the base connector is installed. The connector itself has a BRIGHT blue light on it, which you cannot miss. It is too bright, really, but I found I forgot about it after a while. You could cover it with electrical tape and not see it.
There are 6 USB ports on the base machine, which is great. Four in the back, and two on the right (if the machine is facing you). There are also headphone and mic jacks next to the two USB ports. The left side of the machine has no ports, and that side can be removed to add the overpriced expansion hard drive you can purchase from the HP website.
Oh, the stand is also adjustable. It seems to adjust well, without being too terribly flimsy. Sadly the DV2000's lid doesn't bend back very far, and I had to put the unit in the flattest position with the lid as wide-open as possible to make for a decent viewing environment. I'm about 6'2" tall, so if you are taller, or your desk is short, you are going to have problems.
Overall, I am very happy with this purchase!
You can also use this unit perfectly with the following: dv2000, dv6000, dv9000, Compaq models V3000, and V6000.
There is an adapter provided so you can use the following notebooks, but with reduced functionality (no VGA out, stereo mic, or expansion base power button supported):
ze2000, dv1000, dv4000, dv5000, dv8000, Compaq Presario M2000, V2000, V4000, V5000, and L2000 series.
I would also like to add that you need to shut power off with either the base or the computer. I yanked out the connector without powering down once, and the internet connection wouldn't work until I rebooted everything again. Oops!
I mistakenly said, in my original post, that it would be nice if HP added an output for a subwoofer. I tried something interesting, and ran from the base unit's COAX SPDIF output to my subwoofer's digital input (must have a digital sub for this). Now, I have a sub. Although the SPDIF signal works at the same time as the onboard audio of the base station, they are out of sync by maybe .20 of a second. So it's really not a useful soluction in any case. If you had a sub with an analog input, maybe you could jimmy something up from this base station, using the analog out for the sub, and the base station's speakers. I have a feeling that might bring out tighter timings, but I am not going to bother. I'll just go straight into my home stereo's COAX input, and turn down the sound on my base station.
Please disregard my comment about the dock not adjusting for a shorter table. Tall people should be just fine, too. It does indeed go all the way flat, as long as you do the adjusting while the notebook is not on the base. It is much easier to adjust without the notebook on it.
I had to totally format and reinstall Windows on my HP notebook because I pulled out the plug while I was in "Hibernate" mode from pushing the Power button (which is really hibernate -- not power) on the front of the base unit. I mistakenly thought the computer was off.
I had a USB hard drive plugged into the base, and had a photo from that drive in-use on the desktop. When I restarted my computer at work, it was locked in an XP error from which nothing would cancel out of (not even CTRL-ALT-DEL). I had to turn off my computer by holding down the power switch. After this, it would not load Windows! Now you're probably thinking, "Oh, just use Windows Recovery Program?" or "Just enter SAFE MODE. Neither option was allowed. The computer just booted back to the bootscreen over and over again. It was totally locked out.
I tried an OEM WIndows XP disk. Apparently, the HP Bios won't allow you to load an OEM version of XP! It says the hard drive cannot be found!
Luckily, I had back-up disks created by HP's backup program. I had to re-format the hard drive using these, and totally reinstall (losing everything I had on my computer). It took me 3 hours!
DO NOT REMOVE THE PLUG UNTIL AFTER A FULL SHUT-DOWN!!!
Hey, check out the bios updates on hp.com to see if you can fix issues related to the base station. I checked my model, and found this:
Release Date: 2006-06-19 Version: F.09
This package contains the WinFlash utility and a System BIOS image for the listed operating systems. The WinFlash utility is used to locally flash the System BIOS (ROM) on notebooks operating in a Microsoft Windows environment.
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Fixes issue where notebook stops responding (hangs) if the Power-On Password is typed incorrectly twice.
Fixes intermittent issue where the keyboard may stop responding (lock up), if the Caps Lock key and the key to disable the touchpad are pressed at the same time.
Adds Brazilian keyboard support for the key that contains the question mark (?) and slash mark (/).
Enhances Wireless/Bluetooth Switch button and LED behavior.
Enables user to Power Off notebook that is docked by pressing the docking station Power button for four seconds.
Enables docking station volume control for notebooks that are docked, even when the notebook lid is closed.
Improves system memory performance.
It's a bit confusing, because the screen says that HP Quickplay does not support DTS. It doesn't support it using analogue output, but apparently does via digital output. I confirmed that because my receiver can get a DTS signal via the COAX digital out of the base, even though the screen says HP Quickplay itself does not support it (by analogue, I guess). So I'm happier.
The base can unplug fine with the unit on, if you are careful. I have done it about 5 times since before, and no problems. The problem I had before came when I did this and I had some windows from the USB external HardDrive open on the desktop, and went into Hibernate, which Windows freaked over once I turned it on minus the HD.
Just be careful to shut down USB hard drives before pulling out the plug, and you should be fine.
I have mentioned that the machine seems to send slightly dirty video through the outputs at times. I had issues with the S-video in a previous apartment, but since I bought a new TV, I don't use the S-video out anymore. The issue now is with the VGA output on the base. I noticed that I get some interference/dirty video from it when the battery on the laptop is charging. Only when it is charging the laptop battery. Kind of a weird bug, but it is there.