The 17-inch heavyweight

The HP zd7010 Pavilion notebook computer has something most competitors do not — presence.

This is a big laptop with lots of features and horsepower. It competes with other premium notebooks in just two ways: price ($2,600) and in weight (9.3-lb.).

Otherwise, the HP zd7010 is in a class

by itself. It has a 17-in. widescreen display featuring broad viewing angle and the high-resolution technology WVA WSXGA+ BrightView, which offers 1680 x 1050 resolution — a far cry from the 1440 x 900 resolution on most premium notebooks today.

The only other notebook I can compare it to is Apple’s 17-in. Powerbook G4, which, at the time of its launch, was the first notebook with a 17-in. screen.

But HP has gone beyond Apple with its zd7010. Whether you put it to work or employ it for entertainment, it gets noticed. The first thing that people hear is the sound: It comes with an integrated 16-bit Sound Blaster Pro with Harman/Kardon speakers.

Try enjoying a movie on this notebook. Sure you can watch them on an Apple 17-in. G4 PowerBook or an IBM ThinkPad, but the sound and vision quality is simply not there.

Besides the features that improve use for entertainment purposes, the zd7010 is a real business notebook. Spreadsheets on the wide screen are easier to navigate than on regular 15-in. display units.

It also improves Powerpoint presentations. Again, HP has built this machine right. With the sound and vision capabilities, slide shows can come to life. I made two Powerpoint presentations with this notebook and my audience took notice. I hope they also took notice of the contents of the presentation.

The only minor concern is weight. At 9.3-lb. it is heavier than the 6.8-lb. Apple PowerBook G4. This is a trade-off. You can’t be a road warrior with this kind of notebook. The zd7010 is an excellent desktop replacement option. You can easily carry this machine from office to boardroom to home. While working at home it can travel from home office to kitchen to family room. Lugging it through an airport may be a different story.

One interesting moment with the zd7010 came on set-up, which by the way was a snap. To my amazement, when I touched the backslash key it flew off. The unit I was reviewing was obviously a demo model that had been kicked around a couple of times.

The HP Pavilion zd7010 comes with an Intel Pentium 4 with 3.20GHz of processing power. It runs Windows XP Home and Professional and can even run the Microsoft Media Center if you include the optional TV tuner.

The graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce 4 FX and the notebook is 1.85-in. thin, slightly thicker than the 1-in. Apple PowerBook G4.

It has a one-year warranty with one year of technical telephone assistance.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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