updated 10:35 pm EST, Mon January 5, 2009
HP dv2 and dv3
HP's pre-CES launches today include two new Pavilion notebooks, one of which marks a first for the company's choice of processors. The 12-inch dv2 is one of the first systems to carry AMD's new Athlon Neo processor and uses a 1.6GHz version of the chip to provide ultraportable dimensions closer to a MacBook Air without cutting too deeply in terms of performance or price, unlike the aluminum chassis and Intel Core 2 Duo S of the Apple system; this and an LED-backlit display help keep the weight down to 3.8 pounds and the case down to between 0.93in and 1.29in despite the use of traditional notebook hard drives. HP likewise promises a 92 percent sized keyboard in the normally tight spaces of ultraportables.
As with many ultraportables, the dv2's optical drive is external and comes either as an ordinary DVD burner or as a Blu-ray combo drive. The system is relatively quick in graphics and hinges on a dedicated Mobility Radeon HD 3410 fast enough to drive HD video and common 3D chores in Windows Vista. A built-in webcam and a 160GB hard drive are standard, while options exist for up to 500GB of storage and networking up to 802.11n Wi-Fi and Qualcomm's Gobi 3G card.
The dv3 is a resuscitation of HP's recently phased-out dv3500 and returns the familiar 13.3-inch, bronze notebook as HP's most direct alternative to the standard MacBook. Like its Apple counterpart and the dv2, it too has an LED-backlit display but is less than 0.1 pounds heavier than its sibling product even with an internal optical drive. It uses faster, more conventional AMD notebook parts starting from a minimum 2GHz Athlon X2 but drops down to integrated Mobility Radeon HD 3200 video. Storage also ranges between just 160GB and 400GB and removes the Blu-ray option.
The dv2 starts off at $699 in its most basic configuration, while the more advanced dv3 starts at $799.