HP might be one of the leading notebook manufacturers, but is its latest model - the DV 1066 - up to scratch for the home user? We take a look to see if the Pavilion DV1066 aimed at those who are looking for something a little more media friendly than simply a work tool really will fit the bill.

Designed for home entertainment as much as standard computing, the DV1066 comes complete with a Linux partition, referred to as HP QuickPlay software. This allows the user to play either music CDs or even watch DVD movies without the need to boot into Windows. Not only dies this speed up the access time to such features, which makes the DV1066 feel more like a media player than a notebook, it also helps to preserve battery power. To control this feature, a panel of control buttons can be found below the screen.

Initially launched with a 12.1-inch TFT screen, the latest version comes with a 14-inch TFT widescreen display that allows for DVDs to be watched in their native 16:9 format. What would a multimedia notebook be without the addition of a high-definition screen? The image quality on the DV1066 is outstanding, whether you want to use this notebook for work or simply for pleasure, the screen is crisp and clear.

When it comes to performance, the DV1066 isn't exactly stacked with the latest cutting-edge specification but the Pentium M 725 processor runs at 1.6GHz and the use of 512MB of memory is sufficient to makes applications loads and run smoothly. With a 60GB hard drive fitted to store media files, you'll certainly have enough space for the foreseeable future. In use, we found it to be quick and responsive and more than capable of being able to handle whatever we threw at it.

Weighing in at 2.5kg, you'll find that the DV1066 is light enough to carry around with you. One of the advantages of having a widescreen, you'll find that it'll fit in any standard bag with ease. Add to this a great battery life, we managed to get over three hours from a single charge, and the DV1066 can be used for studies as well as watching DVDs on the go.

With HP touting the DV1066 as a multimedia machine, it seems a little odd that the company should only offer integrated graphics in the notebook. We have come to expect that such a machine should offer reasonable if not bleeding-edge 3D functionality. The DV1066 uses an integrated graphics adapter in the shape of the Intel 855 chipset.

The DV1066 comes supplied with a comprehensive batch of free software. This includes Microsoft's Work Suite 2004, Apple iTunes and Intervideo's WinDVD software, for playing DVD's from within the Windows XP environment. Wireless, in the form of the faster 802.11g standard, comes with the package.


So it lacks 3D graphics, making it less of an all-round multimedia notebook than we would have liked. That doesn't stop us from being impressed with the DV1066. The size and power of this notebook is great, especially for the asking price. Whether you want to work, or watch a movie while on the move, HP has designed a great companion in the DV1066.