On the review unit, the screen is fitted with what HP calls the BrightView Infinity display. The display panel is flushed all the way to the edges by the use of a clear plastic sheet in front of the LCD – no more bezel to complain about. This optional feature of flushed glass (or rather plastic) gives a frameless look.
Unfortunately, like all smooth plastic surfaces, they are reflective, and HP has a record of having one of the most reflective screens in the market be it BrightView or BrightView Infinity. The LCD backlight on the dv7t produces enough brightness to reduce away the distracting reflections.
At the edge of the left palmrest lies three white indicator lights – power, battery and hard disk. When the battery has 10% or less capacity, the battery indicator light will blink to indicate low power.
The Pavilion dv7t features a row of capacitive touch buttons where the user can control the volume, turn the wireless radio functions on and off, as well as launching HP’s QuickPlay utility. The surface of this row of buttons is glossy, this means you’ll be leaving fingerprints behind which will detract against the lovely gloss finish. A simple solution is to keep a microfibre cloth handy to keep that perfect-looking dv7t.
As with all 17-inch desktop replacement notebooks, the Pavilion dv7t offers a complete keyboard, including a numeric pad. The keyboard has little flex, and provides good feedback. I’ve come across horrendous keyboards that fells like a wet sponge. The dv7t’s keyboard did not disappoint.
The touchpad has the same metallic glossy finish as with the rest of the internal laptop surface. Users will have to get used to seeing unsightly smears on the touchpad caused either by sweaty hands (and fingers), or greasy fingers (think munching on a bag of Twisties or Pringles).
Audio output via laptop speakers has been one of the annoyances for many laptop owners. But with the dv7t’s speakers powered by Altec Lansing, there really isn’t anything much to complain about. The speakers pack a lot of power, exhibiting no signs of distortion even at high volumes.
To sweeten the deal, a mini sub-woofer is located on the underside of the laptop to drive the low-end bass. The sub-woofer albeit tiny compared to a full-sized desktop speaker system, but when I turned up the volume the music from the built-in speakers had a lot more punch than other notebook audio without the mini sub-woofer.
Being a desktop replacement modem targeted at home entertainment, it was a little surprising to find an integrated fingerprint reader.