The HP Pavilion dv5000z is the latest in their line of multi-media friendly notebooks. It isn’t the lightest, but could be one of the best screens that I’ve seen in a while, and in that nice widescreen 1280x 800 format too.
The issue I have is price. The base model on HP’s site goes for $749. But the model that I got was selling for more than $1800. By the time you add a better CPU, more RAM and disk, and upgrade various other components, you are spending real money.
The key takeaway on the 5000z is that it isn’t as heavy or as pricey as the larger dv8000z model, but still has some of the nicer features of the 8000 models. The 5000 comes with ATI Radeon video cards that can contain up to 128 MB of video memory and built-in Altec Lansing stereo speakers on the front panel. While not astounding for the true gamers, they deliver better video and audio performance for watching movies than the lower end models of the dv4000 and dv1000.
Steer clear of the dv4000 series — for not much more money you get a better CPU and 802.11 a/b/g networking, better graphics, better sound and a larger hard drive.
One downside is that the 5000 isn’t as media center capable as, say, the Toshiba Qosmio. HP didn’t do more than add a few bits of software to manage your media files.
Overall, this notebook is a nice compromise between the Big Bertha weight of the Qosmio and having enough features to make a $1400 (which is about where you should end up on the options when you are done configuring it) notebook worthwhile.