"Flashy, Functional, FAST!!!"4.5 starson by ezsurfer
Pros: User Friendly - Great switching and lighting indicators. Missing nothing.
Cons: Too much shareware installed by default. Open latch in non-historic position is confusing and not any more efficient. HP "Targus" case is very tight in the laptop storage area.
Summary: This is one hot laptop.
I've been in computers since about 1988, including running a small sales business a few years back, mainframe programmer, and Computer Adult Education. I'd given up on laptops, tired of the lack of performance versus the desktop system at half the price. That's my history, to win me over, a laptop would have to go BIG!
This laptop, delivers. For about $100 over the desktop we bought (Without monitor, so price is very competitive) we ended up with a machine that rivals the performance of anything I have ever seen. The DVD plays excellently, and on the 17" platform, doesn't strain the eyes. I sprung for the video card upgrade, as even in home systems, it's always a great Bang for the Buck.
The indicators and the switches on the machine make the interface much less point and click than most computers, with easy switching and often an indicator light so you get immediate indication you are setting things the way you want. The ease
of use of these interfaces are remarkably the most user friendly I have ever seen.
Let's talk about heat. Sure, it's a high performance multi-media laptop, it generates some heat. I have found it to be remarkably below many if not all my previous laptops (owned at least 5). Cool enough to work with it for hours on my lap.
In the performance arena, I haven't thrown anything at it that it hasn't run and run well. Some software upgrades take longer than I feel they should need to (Media Player's newest version). Everything else I have done with the machine seems to outperform any other computer I have personally ever used. That puts it into a very elite field, IMHO.
Now some nit-picks. Way too much shareware and undesireable junk preloaded onto the machine. Not necessary or wanted.
We also bought the leather (???) HP Case. It is emblazoned with HP on it, spelling out it's a laptop for all thieves. And for a leather case, too much material on the case is not leather. The zipper compartment the laptop must slide into is far too small, and putting this into the case amkes you constantly fear the case is getting scratched every time you put it away. So far, this has not shown up on the case, but it sure doesn't feel good. In it's favor, there is an unbelievable amount of storage area in this case, and even "hidden" compartments.
The cover lock is a single center pushbutton. This is not "normal" for laptops, and the LAN card on/off is close enough to a conventional location, at first you find yourself disabling the LAN just trying to get the case opened. Once learned, this isn't a real problem, but why the change? The area of the side loaded locks seems just as vacant as previous laptops, and would make the initial transition to this laptop even more user oriented.
Overall, worthy of every bit of praise it gets, this is one great laptop. The only reason it's not a 10, I figure perfection is impossible. The day after you buy any technology, it's too slow!