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  1. #1

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    Did I buy a good computer?

    So I am not one of those tech-cool-fancy people. Had my cellphone for 7 years, just upgraded to a Samsung Reclaim (shows you how untech I am)... But my 84lb lab (the one in my avatar) and my laptop had an incident, and now my laptop's screen looks like a Pucci print with giant cracks in it. I'm in nursing school and I have a giant project due in 16 days, so I didn't have time to research and I didn't have the cash to buy something outright (went for the Easy Pay option). That said I went to QVC and bought this:
    HP DV7 17.3", 6GB RAM 640GB HD,Blu-ray, 9-cell 4-YrMcAfee - QVC.com


    If you don't want to click there here's the fancy specifics:
    • Notebook, 9-cell li-ion battery, AC adapter, and PC Treasures software (ships separately)
    • VISION technology from AMD with 2.9GHz AMD Phenom II dual-core mobile processor N640
    • 17.3" diagonal high-def+ HP BrightView LED display, 1600x900 resolution
    • 6GB DDR3 RAM
    • 640GB 7200RPM SATA hard drive with ProtectSmart hard drive protection
    • LightScribe Blu-ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD+/-RW drive, 2-layer support
    • 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN
    • Bluetooth technology
    • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 switchable graphics with 512MB DDR3 RAM, up to 3197MB total memory
    • Beats Audio and HP triple bass-reflex subwoofer
    • Webcam, digital mic
    • HP SimplePass, integrated fingerprint reader
    • HP Clickpad
    • 5-in-1 digital media reader: SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro, xD
    • Battery life up to 7.5 hours
    • 3 USB 2.0 ports
    • HDMI, eSATA/USB, VGA, RJ-45 ports
    • Headphone/mic jacks
    • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit
    • Cannot deliver to P.O. boxes
    • Measures approximately 16-3/8" x 10-3/4" x 1-1/2", weighs 8-1/4 lbs
    • UL listed adapter; 1-year LMW
    • Made in China
    So tech savy geniuses and Jedis, did I do an okay job? I am not a Mac/Apple person. I use my computer for online stuff, catching up on t.v., and word processing. Thank you!

    ETA: I also bought the mega-drop protection plan. I have 4 dogs and a clumsy household... I can't afford to do this again.
    Last edited by knittingknerd; 02-01-2011 at 08:17 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Did I buy a good computer?

    Firstly, my credentials: I'm A+ certified in PC repair, have worked professionally in IT (think advanced helpdesk) for the last 4 years, and have had a life long affinity for technology.

    As for your laptop...

    • Notebook, 9-cell li-ion battery, AC adapter, and PC Treasures software (ships separately)
    • VISION technology from AMD with 2.9GHz AMD Phenom II dual-core mobile processor N640 -This is a decent processor, but it does lag behind current generation tech by a bit. Good for light to medium use, gaming at moderate settings.
    • 17.3" diagonal high-def+ HP BrightView LED display, 1600x900 resolution - Good resolution, a tad higher pixel density than my desktop display, text and graphics should look bright and sharp on this display.
    • 6GB DDR3 RAM - More than enough ram for anything you might need to do, short of *very* heavy graphics and video editing.
    • 640GB 7200RPM SATA hard drive with ProtectSmart hard drive protection - Typical capacity for most systems sold these days, the 7200RPM speed however is faster than your typical laptop.
    • LightScribe Blu-ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD+/-RW drive, 2-layer support - LightScribe sounds cool, until you realize the images are fairly faded, and multi-pass burn-ins look less than awesome.
    • 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN
    • Bluetooth technology
    • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 switchable graphics with 512MB DDR3 RAM, up to 3197MB total memory - Decent graphics card, should handle any games you throw at it with low to moderate settings depending on how new the game is.
    • Beats Audio and HP triple bass-reflex subwoofer
    • Webcam, digital mic
    • HP SimplePass, integrated fingerprint reader
    • HP Clickpad
    • 5-in-1 digital media reader: SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro, xD
    • Battery life up to 7.5 hours- Reality is unlikely to match this, I'd suggest installing Battery Bar, it will track your battery's life over time and give you a good estimate of how long it will really last under normal use, tell you how long it will take to charge, and how worn out the battery is.
    • 3 USB 2.0 ports
    • HDMI, eSATA/USB, VGA, RJ-45 ports
    • Headphone/mic jacks
    • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit
    • Made in China - Watch out for lead poisoning

    The machine also seems to have come with McAfee antivirus? That's useless, a victim of it's own widespread use, no virus is released without first making sure McAfee and Norton can't detect it. I'd suggest getting NOD32 instead. You prob won't get any kind of refund on what you paid if you choose to not use McAfee, but seriously, your computer is not as safe as it could be with *that* stuff as your anti-virus.

    Overall, it looks like a good machine and you got it for a good price.

  3. #3

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    Re: Did I buy a good computer?

    If you're happy with it then it's a good computer for you.

    I'm happy for you too!


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  4. #4

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    Re: Did I buy a good computer?

    Omnitographer gave a great analysis of the hardware specs of the laptop. It is a nice system. It's not top of the line, but it's not a slouch either.

    That being said, Druggas has perhaps the more important analysis... are you happy with it? This will largely depend on what you are planning on using it for. It is a larger laptop I'm guessing from the 17.3" screen. It will be very easy to read and see things on it... but the trade-off is that it is a bit heavier than others. The battery life will almost certainly not be 7.5 hours. Lithium based batteries have a "memory." When you first get it, do not charge it right away. If it has any charge on it, use it and run it dead. Then charge it all the way full without using it. This will establish the top and bottom of the battery. Always try to run it as far down as you can before plugging it in. If you only ever run it to 50% and then charge, it will get a memory and that 50% will become the new "bottom."

    I've been building computers for about 18 years now and I've been doing web design/development and database administration for about 10 years and I would enjoy using that laptop.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  5. #5

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    Re: Did I buy a good computer?

    Thank you Omni for the break down!

    Mycroft-from what I read it weighs 8.71lbs. Part of that is the top has an alumminum cover/top thing. I am okay with the extra weight, if it means it is sturdier. And I learned the trick about the battery the hardway. The laptop that just broke I thought had a long life, thought you had to keep it plugged in all the time... Yeah, unplugged it had maybe 1 hr battery life.

    One thing I am kinda' weirded out about is the finger print/biometrics thing. That kinda' weirds me out a bit. Maybe I can bypass that? I swear when the red laptop broke and I had to get a new computer I went into "Code mode." When a code hits I put emotions away, deal with what needs to be dealt with, and then afterwards panic. So I went bought the thing, then afterwards was like "holy crap I just spent $1300 before 6:50am!" So we'll see if code mode is a good way to buy something...Thanks though!

  6. #6

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    Re: Did I buy a good computer?

    I was computer shopping recently, too. besides some of the great tech info that Omni gave, there are also some other asthetic differences between different brands.

    On some HP computers, one feature that I really liked was a back light for the keypad. Not all hp computers have this feature. One thing that kept me away from purchasing an hp was how they have their mouse pad set up. I really prefer having the left and right buttons to be separate from the mousepad, for me, it's just easier to operate with the separate buttons. But on most of the new hp computers, they are combined on one pad. Certain brands of computers feel different to the touch, than others. Some of those things are just what you prefer personally. One other slight difference on many of newer personal computer keyboards is that a number keypad is placed on the right hand side. (previously, most laptops only had the numbers on the top line.) This does make it easier to type in numbers, however it does shift the center of the keyboard to the left, which does feel a little odd, for typing on a laptop.

  7. #7

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    Re: Did I buy a good computer?

    There is currently a huge ongoing class-action lawsuit against HP for many models of the DV-XXX series. The motherboards die, the Wifi dies...they were built on the cheap with no regard to testing or quality. Unfortunately my wife was an early adopter and bought one of the 17" DV series right away. Unfortunately her model is not listed in the ones identified by the lawsuit, even though the Wifi went first, and then the motherboard. She has a 17" brick that was one month out of warranty. Oh - and we purchased a $100 Wifi card from HP that didn't solve the Wifi not powering up problem - and then the motherboard died... The card was no longer returnable and we got the runaround from HP.

    I sincerely hope you have better luck than we did. We will never buy an HP laptop again.







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  8. #8

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    Re: Did I buy a good computer?

    My 17" HP laptop is some off model (G71) that was probably made just for Black Friday a couple years ago, but it's worked great and I've had it for over a year now with no issues.

    I'm jealous of the specs of yours though. 6GB of RAM? Mine only has 4 (which is better than the 3GB I have on my old slow-as-hell Sony laptop).

  9. #9

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    Re: Did I buy a good computer?

    Here's what I would say..

    • you have decent video.. so you should never get hindered by your video card except by hard core gaming.. which you don't do anyways.
    • you have a decent resolution screen - which is good - this area many cheap out on now
    • 17" - that is a personal preference.. if you want the size/weight that this brings. But with the higher resolution, it's not a negative on the video side at all.
    • you have the 7200rpm HD - this is good, the HD will continue to be the slowest portion of modern computers and having the 7200RPM drive is a big help in laptops.
    • 6gig of RAM is good. RAM numbers are going up because the 64bit systems require more memory. This should be plenty for your machine to be comfortable for a long time coming
    • High rated battery life - good. You won't get 7hrs, but you should get well more then 3 with such a high estimated battery life


    Overall the only weakness in the configuration is the lower generation AMD chip and the machine's size weight. The latter being a preference thing for how you use the machine. If it sits on your desk 99% of the time.. who cares.

    The AMD chip is just a factor for how long the machine lasts before it feels clunky on you vs the modern software/OS. This is a recent CPU, not old old stuff, but isn't quite as advanced as the new i7 or i5 from Intel. It's faster then most of the Core2 (previous gen) but not as fast as you can go... so its good that it's a middle of the pack and should last awhile for you before it feels outdated.
    A simple CPU comparison against a ton of models
    PassMark CPU Lookup

    You have all the 'should/must' haves checked here so it should be a solid home machine for a long time to come. Price wise (it's listed at 1k on their website.. dunno what you paid) it would be an 'ok' but not super deal at 1k.

    For instance, a near comparable machine with bluray and a fast i5 processor, but slower hard drive for $1050
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Pav...&skuId=1791152

    The thing about laptops when comparing is you rarely get everything lined up identical so you really have to decide which factors are important and which are 'if its there.. ok'

    Sounds like a good machine - and price is all about what people are willing to pay vs waiting to get a killer deal, etc. Performance wise this should be great for a good while. Reliability (to Sambo's comments) is pretty hard to track with these consumer laptops.. so I wish you well.

    I just bought a laptop for my wife back in oct timeframe and also got a HP, but a 15" i5 CPU machine.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


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  10. #10

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    Re: Did I buy a good computer?

    Here's a better CPU comparison which is filtered mainly to the other mobile chips

    AMD Phenom II X2 N640 Notebook Processor - Notebookcheck.net Tech

    You can see there, it's within 15% of the higher competition.. you won't feel a thing

    So if you are comfortable with the size and price.. sounds like a solid mobile machine for you that spec wise should last for a good long service period.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  11. #11

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    Re: Did I buy a good computer?

    Funny story... this morning I checked out Best Buy's ad. Exact same computer that I bought, $200 cheaper. So I ended up going to Best Buy, getting it, loving it. Huge and great clarity. But now I am not stuck waiting and freaking out about doing my presentation days before (it hadn't shipped yet).

    And I haven't touched the battery charger.

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