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    Thumbs up HP Pavilion dv7-3165dx and the HP Mini 210 review

    HP Pavilion dv7-3165dx and the HP Mini 210

    Today we'll be looking at two portable computing devices from HP, the HP Pavilion dv7-3165dx and the HP Mini 210. The former is a laptop with a huge screen and a nice mix of features, while the latter is a netbook that offers some of the things the Pavilion lacks. Which one you buy, of course, depends on what you value most.HP Pavilion dv7-3165dx laptop
    The HP Pavilion dv7-3165dx is a 17.3-inch laptop that can be found in retail stores. Its retail version has a fixed configuration that offers a solid set of features and decent performance. You can find the Pavilion dv7-3165dx for around $780; it comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

    The fixed configuration edition of the dv7-3165dx is powered by a 2.5 GHz AMD Turion II M620 processor with 2 MB of L2 cache. It also comes with 4 GB of DDR2 SDRAM to help with multitasking. As far as the performance provided by this combination, it's decent, although not the best you will find. The processor does use dual-core technology, but it does not provide performance that is up to par with competing laptops that sport the new Intel Core i3 or i5 processors.

    With that said, you can still perform most of your daily tasks such as Internet browsing, instant messaging, and multimedia viewing without too much trouble. If you try to run too many programs at once, you might encounter some lagging performance, but other than that you should be fine. Some casual gaming is an option as well.
    A good amount of storage is available with the dv7-3165dx's 500 GB hard drive. For graphics, you get an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 card to help with video and gaming performance.
    Battery life on the dv7-3165dx is a bit underwhelming. This is likely due to its large size. The included 8-cell battery provides around three hours or so of usage when charged, so if you are looking for a long-lasting travel companion you might want to look elsewhere. Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit is the operating system that comes pre-installed on the dv7-3165dx.

    Beyond the core features, you also get some nice extras with the Pavilion dv7-3165dx. Movie lovers will enjoy the fact that it comes with a Blu-ray drive to watch movies with the latest DVD technology. The drive also supports LightScribe software, which enables you to create custom labels when you burn CDs.
    There is integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi that allows you to connect to the fastest wireless networks available. To video chat with friends, there is a built-in webcam and microphone. Finally, a 5-in-1 digital media reader is on board for when you want quick data transfers with other devices like digital cameras. The reader supports various formats such as SD cards, Memory Sticks, and more.
    The look of the HP Pavilion dv7-3165dx is unique, yet attractive. It features an Imprint finish in Espresso Black that is characterized by HP's own funky and bubbly pattern. This finish covers most of the exterior, with the exception of the sides, which are coated in a chrome finish.
    The laptop is quite large, measuring 16.2 inches wide by 10.9 inches deep by 1.7 inches thick and weighing a hefty 7.7 pounds. Needless to say, this is not a laptop to be toted around frequently.
    Flipping the dv7-3165dx open reveals its spacious 17.3-inch LED-backlit display with 1,600x900 resolution. The large display is a plus for movie fans; it produces clear and crisp graphics. The integrated speakers also provide good volume for movie viewing on their own.
    The dv7-3165dx's keyboard is spacious and features large keys that are easy to type on. A separate number pad is included on the right side of the keyboard as well. Note that the keys have a glossy finish, so if you have sweaty hands, your grip may become problematic. The touch pad is a good size, but its glossy finish creates more problems in terms of feel, so you may want to resort to an external mouse instead. Above the keyboard is a row of dedicated media controls that come in handy from time to time.
    Connectivity on the Pavilion dv7-3165dx is pretty good. The front features connections for microphone and headphone jacks. The right side houses two USB ports and the Blu-ray drive. The left side houses two more USB ports, including one that is also an eSATA port, an Ethernet port, a VGA port, a docking port, a HDMI port, and the media card reader.
    If you are a movie fan or really want a laptop with a large screen, the HP Pavilion dv7-3165dx may be the one for you. Its performance is not the greatest, and neither is its battery life, but it does have good enough performance for most casual users. Its feature set is strong too, and it caters well to entertainment fans.

    The HP Mini 210 is a netbook that has a 10.1-inch screen and decent overall performance. Its features are the standard fare, and it also provides good design in the way of its keyboard and touch pad. HP offers the Mini 210 in a quick ship configuration that will be covered in this review; it retails for $330. The Mini 210 comes with a standard one-year warranty on parts and labor.
    The Mini 210 comes with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N450 processor. While the processor is one of the newer ones from Intel designated for netbooks, it still gives netbook-level performance. Don't expect a lot of power or speed from it. For typical tasks like web browsing, instant messaging, document editing, and the like, it should suffice. For more intense applications, you will want to go with a standard laptop.
    For multitasking, 1 GB of DDR2 RAM is on board. Graphics are supported by an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 card. Adequate storage comes in the form of a 160 GB hard drive, although you can upgrade it to 250 GB when ordering from HP's website.
    Battery life is quite good, as it should be with a netbook. The included six-cell battery supposedly offers over nine hours of usage when fully charged. Windows 7 Starter is the operating system that comes pre-installed with this specific configuration.
    Additional features of the Mini 210 are highlighted by 802.11bg Wi-Fi that lets you connect to available wireless networks while on the go. If you want to video chat with friends, you can do so using the 210's integrated webcam and microphone. For quick transfers with other devices, there is a media reader included. The small size of the 210 as a netbook does not allow it space for a DVD drive, although that is to be expected.
    The main driving point behind the Mini 210's design is its portability. Measuring just 10.6 inches wide by 6.9 inches deep by 0.9 inch thick and weighing 2.69 pounds, the 210 is very easy to carry around. This particular base version comes in a black color scheme, but other colors such as Sonoma Red and Crystal Blue are available for more money.
    When you flip open the Mini 210's lid, its 10.1-inch display with 1,024x600 resolution is featured. The display produces good graphics and has an anti-glare finish that helps in bright rooms. The keyboard is spacious and features chiclet style keys that are easy to type with. The touch pad is also well-sized and easy to use.
    Connectivity is mostly standard on the Mini 210. The right side houses two USB ports, an Ethernet port, and the card reader. The left side houses a VGA port, another USB port, and a headphone jack.
    If you want portability and long battery life, the HP Mini 210 is a good choice as a netbook. It does not have any features that will overly impress you, but it has competitive performance and solid design that should earn it a spot on your consideration list when looking for a netbook.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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