1. The 17-inch, high definition, high gloss/anti-glare widescreen is bright and crisp; the viewing angles are good and the backlighting is even.
2. The full keyboard features a separate numeric pad. Gamers and those who need to plough through spreadsheets even at home would love this.
3. The right shift key is very small and you tend to miss it until you get used to the keyboard layout.
4. Responsive, and it can be locked. The buttons are soft press and “sink” deep.
As the trackpad is located a bit too far to the left, you tend to misfire your left/right clicks until you get used to the placement of the buttons.
5. For connectivity/networking, the dv9704TX boasts Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g), Bluetooth, a 5-in-1 digital media card reader, four USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI video port, an IEEE 1394 (FireWire) and an ExpressCard 54 slot. In addition, it has Ethernet 10/100BT, RJ-45 and RJ-11 modem ports, S-video TV out, infrared and a VGA port. Two stereo audio output jacks—one with high definition audio support (S/PDIF capable) are also present.
As it is a home entertainment system, a built-in TV tuner card would have been a welcome addition. The Wi-Fi takes some time to log on.
6. The HP QuickPlay panel provides a complete set of backlit audio/video controls—including volume—above the keyboard. The keys are very responsive. You can watch videos, listen to music and view photos without booting the machine .
Because they are sensitive, the buttons can launch audio/video programs accidentally at the slightest touch if you are not careful. Feedback/tactile reflex response from the buttons is lacking.
7. The integrated Altec Lansing stereo speakers, located above the keyboard, give out good, crystal clear sound, unlike the tin-can quality audio emitted by most notebooks.
8. The LED indicators for virtually everything—including touchpad and A/C mains power—give you an overview of the system’s status and ensure operational control even in the dark.
9. The dual omni-directional microphones and integrated 1.3 megapixel webcam make videoconferencing easy.
Intel Core2 Duo 2GHz processor, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB, 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 (667MHz) RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS, 512 MB dedicated graphics memory, 250GB Serial ATA hard disk, integrated LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD RW drive with double layer support, Fingerprint Reader, and Windows Vista Home Premium.
Glossy piano black on the outside, durable resin-coated silver on the inside, with a stylish wave pattern all over, the dv9704TX is quite heavy at 3.55kg, and hence ideal as an entertainment laptop for the home. The solid build, decent hard disk capacity, good 17-inch display, and excellent multimedia capabilities make it a good replacement for the home desktop PC altogether. Especially since it gives you the best of both worlds—mobility to move it around from room to room (okay, even for the family vacation if you don’t mind somewhat sore shoulders), along with almost everything else that you look for in a desktop. Sadly, the big display—as well as the little bells and whistles—nibble at the 8 cell Li-Ion battery a bit too fast for you to stay untethered more than 2 hours 40 minutes.