HP has been a real winner in our laptop charts in the past, holding the top positions for many months at a time. Unfortunately, the Pavilion doesn't follow that happy trend.

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It's a well-built portable PC, with a generous bundle of software and handy extras such as a built-in 6-in-1 memory card reader. And you get a good-quality 15.4in widescreen display.

While the HP’s WorldBench processing-speed score of 82 shows that simple tasks will be handled comfortably, there are much faster systems around. However, it did well in several of the individual elements of the benchmarking test, namely picture editing, disc burning and video and 3D-animation tasks.

Such strong figures in these areas are all the more surprising given that graphics are handled by a 128MB ATI Radeon Xpress 200M integrated controller – how would it have fared with a stronger graphics board? Predictably, the HP stumbled through our games tests, producing frame rates in the single figures. This is a shame, because the laptop is designed for home use. Many people might wish to use this system for play as well as for work.

But before you dismiss the Pavilion, it's worth noting some of its good points. These include impressive build quality – far from a given at this price point.

This laptop feels sturdy and the keyboard is a pleasure to type on. There are useful quick-launch buttons above the keyboard for DVD playback and volume control. In addition, it sports the usual array of ports, including three for USB and one for FireWire, plus an infrared port for an optional remote control.

HP Pavilion dv5094EA: Specs

  • 2GHz AMD Turion 64 ML-37
  • Windows XP Home
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 100GB hard drive, 15.4in screen
  • 129MB ATI Radeon Xpress 200M
  • 8x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW)
  • 24x/24x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/+R) drive
  • 802.11b/g
  • Microsoft Works 8.0
  • InterVideo WinDVD 5.0
  • 1-year collect-and-return warranty
  • 358x264x35mm
  • 3kg
  • 2GHz AMD Turion 64 ML-37
  • Windows XP Home
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 100GB hard drive, 15.4in screen
  • 129MB ATI Radeon Xpress 200M
  • 8x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW)
  • 24x/24x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/+R) drive
  • 802.11b/g
  • Microsoft Works 8.0
  • InterVideo WinDVD 5.0
  • 1-year collect-and-return warranty
  • 358x264x35mm
  • 3kg

OUR VERDICT

If games performance isn’t of supreme importance to you then the HP is worth a look. In other respects, it’s merely a solid performer.

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