Pocket-lint was able to pull a few strings with HP and get a first look at the company’s new laptop - the dv1000 launching next month. With a strong entertainment feel to it, would the new machine still appeal to the businessman?

The first major thing you’ll notice is the size of it. Rather than opting for a 12in or 15in display, Hp has opted to follow the Apple PowerBook model and go widescreen. And because of that the model offers a 14.1in widescreen display that looks crisp and clear, In turn this has affected the overall size and weight of the unit its only the same depth as a standard 12in machine and only weights 2.42 Kilos.

Open it the dv1000 up and you’re presented with QuickPlay, an interesting concept that allows you to access in built DVD/CD player without powering windows. It’s a logical progression for laptops as they try to fight the simplicity of cheap portable DVD players and the interface has been well designed. In addition to accessing DVD or CDs you can also access music stored on the units hard drive and a panel above the F(unction) keys gives access to controls such as volume, fast forward pause and play. Failing that you could use the PC card-sized remote that fits strangely enough into a spare PC card slot. Not as nice as some other manufacturers’ attempts. It’s still a nice idea.

To aid music or movie watching further the unit comes with built in Harman/Kardon speakers along the front of the unit as well as two headphone jacks so you can listen in private with another person.

Power the machine on and machine offers all the usual appearances; wireless-g as standard thanks to the Intel Pentium M or Celeron M processors. Integrated DVD +/- RW or combo drives, 6-in 1 card reader that supports the usual suspects a like Compact Flash and SD and enough input sockets to sink a battleship (there are three USB2.0 and one Firewire plus others). The offering shows that HP is keen to make this a media machine and the number of input options certainly gets our thumbs up.

First Impressions

As a multimedia experience the player performed well, Okay so it's not the Acer 3200 with its luxurious branding, but then HP hasn’t hyped it that way. We love the idea of the QuickPlay feature because at times in a hotel room all you want to do is just watch a movie without the hassle of loading the software and HP has approached it in the right way by making it as consumer friendly as possible.

At any point whether you’ve got Windows running or not you can simply press the button and you’re straight there listening or watching within seconds. Likewise the addition of the media card reader saves on having to lug around a host of cables that come packed with your digital camera.

When the laptop launches in October there is likely to be two models - a 1.4Ghz with 40Gb drive and a 1.5Ghz with 50Gb hard drive. Graphics in both casings will be powered by the 64Mb Extreme graphic Card II card and this should appeal to business folk looking for a bit of downtime on the side but nothing to the level of Doom 3.

For the breath of ingenuity and fresh air this product offers this will certainly be on our Christmas list.