Today we go back in time and have a look at the HP Pavilion dv5t that came out in the second part of 2008, replacing the dv6000 series in HP’s lineup. It was an entirely new redesign of the series and came with several new features that up until then where not available. This laptop is based on Intel’s Montevina Centrino 2 platform and comes with a dedicated GPU. Upon launch, one of the available configurations for this model carried a retail price tag of $1,250 and included the following hardware specifications.
An Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor clocked at 2.26 GHz with 3MB L2 and a 1066 MHz FSB. That dedicated video card we’ve mentioned is an Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT with 512MB of its own DDR2 memory. Speaking of memory, the laptop is configured with 2GB of DDR2 RAM running at 800 MHz, while for storage it has a 160GB SATA hard drive from Fujitsu that’s spinning at a speed of 5,400 rpm. On the connectivity front we notice Bluetooth and Broadcom 802.11b/g wireless. HP installed on the hard drive Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit edition) while in the battery department it put a six-cell lithium-ion unit.
Design-wise, it has to be one of the most beautiful laptops launched in 2008, featuring an ultramodern and sleek appearance with several elegant accents that look exceptional. All of the corners of the laptop are rounded off, while the display has just one hinge which makes the notebook look even sleeker. As for the chassis, this is quite thin since it measures 1.37 – 1.65 inches. HP used silver and black for painting this laptop, while all the viewable surfaces are reflective and glossy, but not as Toshiba’s laptops with their excessively glossy Fusion finish.
The whole screen area of the HP Pavilion dv5t has a glossy black finish, including here the hinge as well, while the base of the laptop and the palm rest adopt a silver and metallic finish. There are two types of silver on the notebook’s base: silver metallic and dull silver, with the first one being essentially like a mirror. The media control strip, touchpad, sides and the surrounding edge have a metallic finish while the rest features the dull silver look.
A subtle mesh pattern has been imprinted by HP at the display’s back and on the palm rests, but this mesh will only be noticed when the laptop is in a lighted area. On the front edge of the dv5t you will notice the status lights for hard disk activity, battery charge and power, while the lights for the Scroll Lock and Caps Lock are located to the left and above those keys we’ve mentioned. These lights are not too bright but you won’t have any problems seeing and reading them. Another area that has a backlight is the HP logo which sits on the back of the display.
As far as the build construction is concerned, HP used high strength plastic to make this model and it feels very solid, without any sort of flex in the palmrest, while the base is also solid. The display will flex a little bit but nothing to worry about, but the back of the display could have used more protection.
When the Pavilion dv5t came out, HP offered the model with either a WXGA or a WSXGA+ display. WXGA comes with a native resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels, while the WSXGA+ is for the 1,680 x 1,050-pixel resolution, offering 42% more viewable space in comparison to the first one, meaning that not only you will be able to see more but at the same time you are going to do less scrolling.
Aside from the two choices of resolutions, HP offered two display finishes for the dv5t, in the form of the standard BrightView and also the optional BrightView Infinity. The first one is essentially a glossy finish that most of the consumer laptops come with, while the Infinity is a big piece of clear plastic installed over the whole screen, making it look like it has no borders. Despite the fact that it makes the laptop look more modern and sleeker, you might want to know that it catches a lot of reflections in comparison to a regular glossy screen, making it more difficult to use in a bright environment.
The laptop came bundled with a media remote which sits in the ExpressCard/54 slot, while the incorporated webcam offers an average quality, with decent amount of detail but nothing too impressive. On the left side of the HP Pavilion dv5t sits that slot with the media remote, along with a docking station connector, VGA out, eSATA/USB combo port, Ethernet, IEEE 1394 mini-Firewire, USB 2.0 port and a multi-format memory card reader. The right spine holds the power jack, Kensington lock slot, two USB 2.0 ports, optical drive and fillers for TV tuner/56k modem. On the front of the laptop is where you are going to find the 2x headphone jack, microphone and the IC receiver, while the back is without any ports or other features.
When the HP Pavilion dv5t came out it was available with a choice of two batteries, a regular six-cell one and also a high-capacity six-cell unit. With the latter, the laptop is capable of surviving in Windows Vista for about two and a half hours, which might not sound that impressive nowadays but for the year when this model came out it was a pretty good performance, especially if we take into account that the laptop comes with a dedicated GPU that stays on all of the time since back when the model came out the Nvidia Optimus technology was not available.
If you are interested in buying a second hand model, we suggest that you look for the one which comes with the Intel WiFi Link 5100AGN wireless card since the other model available comes with only a standard 802.11b/g card so it lacks support for the faster N protocol. Another optional feature for this model which nowadays is probably very useful for a lot of users is Bluetooth so make sure that it has it if you plan on doing a lot of transfer to and from the laptop.