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HP DV7-1270 Review by William

dv71270_001I have recently purchased a DV7 1270. There are not many reviews on this item but the one on Newegg. I chatted with a friend of mine, who tests laptops for a living, to get some more info on this model. Looking over the choices that I had found, he said the 1270 was the best bang for the buck.

 

 

Some quick stats on this 17 inch wide screen laptop with full keyboard. Sports a Intel Core 2 duo 2.4 ghz processor, 4 gigs of ram, 300 gig SATA hard drive, 2.1 speaker system, a nice wireless card, Blu Ray CD/DVD RW drive and an NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT. Check all the info here on Newegg.com.

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Everything is packed in quite nicely. I have never purchased a new laptop before, so this was a real treat for me to open this to see what kind of goodies it came with. One of the items was really surprising, a cleaning cloth. With as shiny as this bugger is, I guess it is a good addition to the package.

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The standard full assortment of reading material, which most was useless and thrown back in the box, and I kept out the important stuff. The battery comes uncharged and it has a long power cord to get you started.

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Lots of room for expansion on this laptop. 4 USB ports, one is an eSATA multi port.

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Some of these I would never use, but it is nice to know that they are there and available. A modem is included with this series, which was one of my other purchasing points. Sometimes you just have to have one and it is not a common feature now.

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Time to plug it in and that did not go as well as I wanted. The power plug is on the right side up by the monitor hinge, right where you use your mouse! I have no idea why they put it there. It wouldn’t be a big hassle if I was left handed, but I am right handed, this bugger is in the way! They should have used a right angle style plug here, it would be less obtrusive, and save on some cable tension as you can see I have created just to plug it into my power block which is on the left side of my desk. I ended up having to set things up a bit different, but It will work.

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Booting it up, you can see this thing just hogs up all the room on the desk compared to the L2000. I posted up a picture of the bios details for those who like to look at that. The bios is unfortunately very simple, to simple for me. I’ll deal with it though. Lots of good options regarding start up. You can set it to start from a Flash Drive, I am not sure if this includes the media card reader port or not. Handy for a quick boot version of Linux.

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Now that we have read the directions on how to plug it in and put in the battery… Oh, whoops. I think I jumped the gun. While I was waiting on windows to load I actually looked at this. Shows you how to put in the battery and explains the different ports to you.

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This might seem a bit silly to some, but pack up all the wrappers the items came in and put them in the box. I like to be able to resell products in their original packaging with as much material that came with the product, I would like all the used items I buy to come this way, so I make sure I do it. If you put all your books you received with the laptop in the box, then you will always know where they are at as well. When you got it all packed away, just throw the box in the box corner and forget about it till you need it again, like I did.

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Nice product placement if you ask me.

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When I first booted it up, I was slightly willing to try the home edition, but quickly said, nah, and just formatted and installed Vista Ultimate. Most of the drivers were on HP’s sight. I however have not found the correct sound drivers for this model yet. There is practically no support for this laptop yet. So, the 2.1 speaker system is only functioning as 2 speakers at the moment, which really is disappointing that HP wasn’t on top of this. I’ll for sure be on the look for a set of correct sound drivers instead of the default windows drivers that get installed. Speaking of speakers.

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The sound quality on this laptop is good. Altec Lansing, SRS Premium Sound, speaker system that fires upwards in front of the keyboard. You can clearly hear the left and right speakers in games, which is a plus for gamers out there who buy this model, like me.

 

Besides the power jack issue of the laptop, there was one other thing that I did not really like like, but it is also slightly amusing. The stickers are not on strait. Yes, really. The product tags, for the info and such were all lined up, but the other stickers, as you can see, are not. I usually remove these stickers, but I think I will let them hang for a bit before I do that.

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This laptop also has IR feature for the media remote. I am hoping I can use this remote to do other things then just control the media center, such as control the cursors on the screen. The media remote, which was pictured earlier, works very well with the machine. The media remote will open a media center type screen to watch DVD’s and such, which would be cool, if I had DVD movies to watch. Or Blu Ray for that matter.

This laptop features a web cam as well, I tried to get it to work, but I have had no luck. It comes with cyber link drivers to run it, but the program itself doesn't recognize that the camera is enabled. I am not sure what is up with this. I rarely need a web cam on my laptop, so I am not very concerned with this feature, but I would like it to work. The camera also appears to be a button, to do.. well, I am not sure why. I noticed that I kept waking the computer up opening the lid, and found out I was hitting the camera button. I thought at first that it was just a poor design, so I went to standby, and left the lid open and pressed it and the computer woke right up. I suppose it is an on and off feature, but the software controlling it is not advanced enough apparently.

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The media buttons at the base of the monitor are different, they are touch sensitive style buttons. It comes with some HP drivers to run them, but the volume button functions without it. The Smart Drivers give you a graphic on the screen when they are enabled that will exit you out of a full screen program to run, so I disabled them. I wish the graphic on the media bar reflected the volume selected. The mute button does not work on my media pad as well. I wish I would have tested these things before I installed Ultimate, but was to excited to do such things. I am not sure if the mute button not working is a defect, or just missing drivers. I’m betting it does not work, but with the lack of support for this laptop, I am not sure yet. There is not really any programs or drivers to control the buttons there. An interface to change the functions of them would be excellent, but I have not found one. The HP Smart Media drivers come with no setup menu, or interface to program anything, just drivers that run to make the media key on the left of the mute button bring up a menu on the screen.  The nice thing about the volume control is that you can drag your finger across it to change the volume.

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I feel that this laptop has great potential. It travels well for its size. The battery life is not as much as a lot of newer laptops, but then a lot of laptops now days are not sporting the power this one has. The GeForce 9600 performs well, but the drivers for vista are still a bit to be desired, occasionally crashing, but has built in recovery. It will crash some games if the video drivers crash. Some have complained about the keyboard for the DV7 series, but I think it is great. It has very good action and types well. I like it much better then my L2000's keyboard. I am still getting used to having a touch pad again. The colors on the laptop were a bit deceiving from the pictures, but when you go back to Newegg's sight, you see that they are as advertised. It is a metallic type color, not the black it appears at first glance. It grew on me quickly, and looks sharp and sleek. The unit feels very solid and sturdy. I almost feel as if I could hammer in a nail with it. The screen hinge is a little wobbly, but all laptops seem that way. The thing I notice with it though, is that it wobbles on the hinges, not the actually panel itself wiggling, which means no stress on the lid. I have not found any burning programs that recognize the CD Burner yet, so if you like to burn CDs, you’ll be stuck without that power for the moment. If you want a solid performer with a large screen and are not really worried about battery life, this is a great choice of a laptop. It has done everything I have asked of it so far. I have not checked out any of the insides yet, so I have no reports on how easy it is to work on. I will post back again later with an inside inspection update.
I rate this product 4.5 out of 5 lost screws.

 

Just an update for those who check often and want to know some more information I missed on this beast of a machine. I did manage to get my sound drivers working properly using the DV5-1000 drivers. The hardware is the same, so they checked out. I never fully got the hot bar to work properly however. The volume keys work and the Bluetooth/WIFI button works, as well as the media key. I am unsure on the other keys working, as I do not use them, or have not found a way to program them either. I still have had no luck getting the mute key to work. The light for it works however. This could be due to the way the buttons are designed. Seeing as the way this laptop is designed, it is good to keep this area clean, and the bottom of the monitor rail clean as well. I now have a line accost the middle of the bar from dust and wearing, there is no rubber footies on the bottom, thus causing this problem. The keyboard on here has loosened up a bit and now moves a bit as a few have reported for this style of laptop. It is not a big deal, you will never notice it while typing. I notice it only when I’m cleaning the keyboard off.

16 comments:

loki-liesmith said...
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Thanks for the review. I have one of these being delivered to me on Monday from NewEgg thanks to this review. Can't wait for it to get here!

loki-liesmith said...
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One quick question, though. You said in your review that this computer has a 300GB HD and 3 gigs of RAM, but Newegg has it listed as 320Gb and 4GB RAM. Which is correct. Admittedly I'm more curious about the RAM than the HD space.

William said...
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That is sort of my bad on that. It does have 4 gigs of ram, I am mistaken. I will fix that right away.
Even as a 320gig hard drive, it only comes up wit 300gigs actually. Mine says 298gigs.

My system says I have 3 gigs of ram, but I am running vista ultimate, that could be the case, it doesn't recognize over 3.5 gigs of ram because it handles the paging file differently. I should look for a work around on this. I like having more ram.

loki-liesmith said...
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Yeah, formatted hard drives generally have a slightly lower usable capacity versus actual drive size. I figured that was likely the case, just wanted to make sure I was getting the full four GB of RAM as advertised. I'm likely only going to use this for WoW and watching movies and some light sound/video editing for work, and it looks like it will do those tasks just fine. I haven't researched Vista well enough yet to know if I want/need to update the OS.

Thanks for the comments. Only a few more hours until mine shows up!

William said...
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This thing should play WoW very well. My L2000 had plenty of processor and ram, at 2ghz, and 3 gigs of ram, but the video was lacking even though it was a pretty pimp video card.

The 9600 GT Graphics on here are really nice. I miss the ATI Effects a lot, because I'm more of an ATI guy, but the NVidia card is really impressing me so far.
Half Life 2 on full graphics is just amazing. I even have anti aliasing and anisotropic filtering turned to max. I have no clue how much they really effect things, but the game play is flawless. I found one area where it messed up, most likely due to the water. There was a bit to much going on or something. I imagine any card would have messed up here.

Vista is much better then people let off to be. I was skeptical at first, but as a technician, I approached it with an open mind. Just turn off the confirmation dialog that comes up for everything, and it pretty much runs like XP. If you do not know what I am talking about, you soon will when you start running it. It tells you how to turn them off though, so all those people who complain about it are just unintelligent, because Vista tells you how to get rid of the dialog. haha.
Yea, I tried to find it, I have no idea where to turn that off. Brett has it memorized. I think its UAC, but I do not remember. First thing I had changed, and Never looked back.
As for formatting. You will probably have no problems with the laptop after you clean up the HP install and get rid of the bloat ware. It setup just fine, but I wanted to go to ultimate. I still have no idea of the exact differences.
I guess I have a new article to write. =)

Actually, I might have you rip your sound drivers out for me and send them over. See if that makes a difference on mine for using the 3rd speaker. I have had no luck with that yet after my format.
The program is called "DriverMax."
It is a freeware program that backs up the drivers on your machine. Good for formats and stuff of machines your not sure you'll be able to get the drivers for again.
Drop me an email, bill@midnightmods.com and I'll explain further, if you want to help me out.

William said...
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Just thought of this. I don't recall if it is shared ram or not, but the video card could be using up 1GB of ram, or 512 of ram.

I cannot find any articles to support the clipping I read about ultimate only supporting 3.5GB of ram.

Yves said...
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Did you try the HP DV7-1130us IDT drivers

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareList?os=2100&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&product=3795407&lang=en

On that page the driver is 6.10.5929.0A while he have 6.10.6087.0

Might be worth a try

William said...
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I have an update I am working on for this laptop!!! I will post it soon.

Anonymous said...
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I was going to pickup one of these laptops when I got back to Canada, but I had a question I was hoping someone could answer. The specs state that this comes with 4GB of ram, taking up only one of the two slots available, is that actually true, are they using a single 4GB chip leaving the second open to an upgrade? Also, what is the ram speed, DDR2 PC5300 667? One last thing, is the second ram slot accessible, as some PC's place the thing under the keyboard, making it impossible unless you risk serious notebook-brain surgery. I wanted to make use of the full 8GB so that I could max out the video ram, or at least have 4GB dedicated to windows with 1GB+ to the video card. Thanks for the help, really interested in this machine!

William said...
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Yes, it comes with 4 GB of ram. 1GB is shared with the Video card. I have not found anywhere I can change that setting yet however.
As for it having 2 ram slots and what not, I am terribly sorry to everyone that I have no opened up this machine yet to look inside. If your wondering why, it is because this thing is so awesome that I have not had too. I have not had any urge to check it out, it just works!!!

I am currently playing Oblivion Elder Scrolls with the machine. The graphics perform almost flawless on max settings. Glow effects really work the machine pretty hard, so it looses some frame rates. I don't know if it is a setting or what. It hasn't bothered me enough to mess with the settings.

I am sorry I have not updated my review yet, I am busy working on a catalog and all sorts of other work. I will soon. I find out more about this machine as I go.

alpo said...
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thanks for the review. I just purchased a refurbed hp dv7 1025nr from Staples and immediatly experienced a big problem. the screen wouldnt turn on. so we immediatly brought it back and received another refurbished hp dv7 1025nr and brought it home. not even 5 min into opening internet explorer, the keyboard, touch pad, quickplay button and touch volume locked up. the rest of the computer was working fine... the usb mouse still allowed me to surf the web and use the start menu but every button but the power button wouldnt work. so i hit the power button once and the computer hybernated. i hit it again and the comp started up right where it left off with my web browser still opened and the keyboard working fine again... what gives, eh. any suggestions would be helpful. ty.

William said...
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Alpo, there are some newer drivers on HP's web sight for the keyboard and such. The drivers that came on the laptop are most likely not the updated ones. I would try those and see what happens.
I have not experienced the issue you are speaking of. The hardware is the same as mine.

I am using updated drivers. I'm not sure if they are the newest, for I have not checked, seeing as they are working fine. =)

alpo said...
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sry to be a pain william, but what driver out of this selection http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareList?os=2093&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=uk&lang=en&product=3755767 should are you refering to? the quick launch buttons?


thx

William said...
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I guess I was having a pipe dream. I was thinking the CIR Drivers, but that is for the infared I think.

For future reference for you, you can use drivers from the dv5-1000. I had to use the sound drivers from there to get mine working properly.


What you can try to do to fix your keyboard problem is to uninstall the keyboard drivers. Other then that, I have no idea. Unless the idiot who cleaned it didn't' plug it in all the way. haha.

Trevor said...
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The dv7-1270 is a complete pile of garbage. Ever since I bought mine it has been in and out of HP being repaired. When functioning in dual head mode, with a monitor plugged into the VGA port the system is very unstable, you will get at most 4 hours out of it running in dual mode before it blue screens. Sound is also unstable, periodically sound will simply stop working, and a reboot, or sometimes sleeping it will fix it.

I had many other things go wrong with this laptop, ie: keyboard not working, touchpad not working, monitor malfunctioning.

The one thing I must commend HP on is their support. They might make very low quality products but they sure can support them!

Personally, I will never buy an HP again.

William said...
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@Trevor - Perhaps you could explain to everyone what you try and do with your laptop? I have yet to talk to anyone with a problem with a DV7 product. I have had absolutely no problems with this laptop except for the Mute button not working. I successfully used Dual monitors for well over a week, playing games, movies games and movies at the same time. This laptop has also survived a wreck in my truck.

Sounds like you happened to get a bad egg.

HP Makes some of the best products I've used, and between Brett and I, we have quite an impressive collection of HP products.

While I do like people to chime in on how they feel about their product. This was a bit overkill to boycot an entire company for a bad lemon.

Perhaps you are unaware that by the 3rd time they will give you a direct replacement?

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