Liking the HP so far…

16 03 2011

So did I tell you that I picked up an HP DV7 the other day?  Well I did… it is meant to replace my MacBook Pro which Apple has so graciously decided that the “cosmetic” issues notwithstanding was eligible for return. Thank you Apple for agreeing to take the computer back—thank you for all the time I spent in your stores, listening to your “Genius” technicians tell me things were “cosmetic,” “not covered under the warranty,” or my personal favorite, “I’ve only seen this when someone has tried to open the computer.”

The latter of those statements is probably my favorite—why would anyone spent $$$ on an extended warranty only to open the computer?!  I still don’t get that one..

Anyway, the MacBook Pro (MBP) is on its way back to Apple as we speak….and I’m typing this on my spiffy new HP DV7. I went with the DV7 for a few reasons, most of which is because it was on sale at Sam’s Club for a killer price—> $999!

I’ll be sure to post the link if anyone is interested. In the meantime, here’s the specs as unrepentantly plagiarized from HP’s support page…

Product Name
dv7-4287cl

Product Number
XZ031UA#ABA

Microprocessor
Intel Core i5-480M Processor 2.66GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.93 GHz

Memory
8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 DIMM)

Memory Max
8GB

Video Graphics
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6550 graphics

Video Memory
1024MB GDDR3

Hard Drive
750GB (5400RPM)

Multimedia Drive
LightScribe Blu-ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Double Layer Support

Display
17.3” diagonal High Definition+ HP BrightView LED Display (1600 x 900)

Network Card
Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN

Wireless Connectivity

  • 802.11b/g/n WLAN

Sound

  • Beats Audio and HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer

Keyboard
101-key compatible with island-style full-size keyboard with integrated numeric keypad

Pointing Device
HP Clickpad with On/Off button

External Ports

  • 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader for Secure Digital cards, MultiMedia cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, or xD Picture cards
  • 4 Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0, 4th port shared with eSATA
  • 1 HDMI
  • 1 VGA (15-pin)
  • 1 RJ -45 (LAN)
  • 1 Headphone-out
  • 1 Microphone-in

Dimensions
16.35" (L) x 10.8" (W) x 1.25" (min H)/1.46" (max H)

Weight
6.86 lbs

Security

  • Kensington MicroSaver lock slot
  • Power-on password
  • Accepts 3rd party security lock devices

Power

  • 90W AC Adapter
  • 9-Cell 93WHr Lithium-Ion Battery

What’s In The Box
HP TrueVision Webcam with integrated digital microphone
HP SimplePass Identity Protection with integrated fingerprint reader

Of all the things I really like, it has to be the 17” screen and the fingerprint reader. Those are two of the niceties that make it a comfortable thing to use. The 15” 1440×900 screen on my MBP was nice and bright but the HP has a solid 1600×900—just a hair over the MBP but on a 17” display—so having that extra bit of real estate makes a lot of difference for me. A 1080 display would of course be perfect but the icons would be teeeny tiny.

The sound is remarkably good, it’s a lot louder than the MBP was. Some of the things Apple does is they put the recovery discs in the box for you, HP makes you burn your own. However, considering I could buy two of these for the price of a 15” MBP it just replaced, I’m not going to complain.

Now I know what you’re thinking—the parts (CPU, GPU, body, etc.) are not the same as your MBP so it’s like comparing Apples (pun not intended) to Oranges. However, here’s what the point is—Apple doesn’t make a 15” computer that costs less than $1,800 unless you have an educator discount or buy refurb. I can buy a 15” anything on the PC side for upwards of say….$500. Granted parts will not be the same but let’s be real—on the surface a 15” Mac costs more than a 15” PC. There is no way to get around that fact and I’m not about to debate it now. However, one thing I noticed almost immediately on the HP is that it is built to be taken apart by the customer. Conversely, the Apple laptop is built almost like a fine Swiss watch—you need special screwdrivers to open it, have to be gentle before putting it back together, etc.etc. I’ve come to the conclusion that the PC notebook is built like a Tonka truck—it’s built to be taken around, used, opened up, etc. It’s not meant to sit and look pretty on one’s desk, shelf, or otherwise—it’s meant to be used, not admired.  I get that it’s two completely different design ethos but take it for what it is—one is designed with the consumer as user, and the other with consumer as end-user.

There are those who change their own oil, and those who take it somewhere and have the unshaven mechanic do it. I prefer to do things myself if possible but only if I do not have the option to have someone else do it (esp. for free). In the case of Apple, I exhausted to the bitter end every single valuable resource I had in getting them to resolve issues with both mine and my wife’s Macs. The only person who actually gave a shit was a nice young woman who worked at their corporate office—the only one who actually took the time to try and fix our issues, rather than just throw us under the bus or placate us with a replacement machine. She will always have my eternal thanks for all her help.

As for the Mac, my wife still uses hers and it’s going on a year now with the replacement white MacBook (unibody) they sent. Hopefully we never have to send it in but if past experience is any indicator…..

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