AMD and HP combine to form nicely featured 12-inch notelet

Nestled between the $400-$500 netbooks and the more fully-featured but far less portable laptops like Thinkpads and MacBooks at say $1200 is what we like to call a market vacuum. People who don’t want the limitations of a tiny laptop but need something more portable than a full-size laptop either have to comprimise one way or the other, or else pay through the nose for a MacBook Air or really thin Vaio.

HP and AMD recognized a demand (they hope) and have crafted a pretty sweet-looking little ultra-thin, portable notebook with a considerable amount of power: the Pavilion Dv2.

I liked what I was hearing from them because I genuinely agree that people need a good medium between netbooks and notebooks. The price and capabilities of netbooks are settling down into a shape that I don’t find that useful personally, but I don’t need a second “real” laptop. I need something that’s, for lack of a better term, good enough. And AMD seems to have come up with a setup that gets most of the power of a laptop at a more convincing price point.


This 12-inch laptop uses the new Athlon Neo setup, so it has a real full-power processor and discrete graphics setup (Radeon 3410, reasonable). It’s perfect for the kind of low-intensity photoshopping, web work, and NES emulation that I do every day, and doesn’t try to half-ass stuff like HD video editing, RAW photo management, or 3D gaming. Actually, it sorta tries on the last one, but we’ll forgive them. I’m a bit cheesed that it only comes with Vista; the OS simply doesn’t scale down well. I’d rather have 7.

When I first heard about this thing, it was supposed to have a 4:3 1024×768 screen. Boy am I glad they changed that to a widescreen 1280×800! Now you can watch 720p stuff the way it was meant to, kind of. Anyhow, the thing is due out in April and I’m really looking forward to it. HP’s doing nicely: with the Mini 1000 they’ve got a solid tiny laptop, and this Dv2 looks to be a good option for the next step up. Above that I’m not sure how I feel about them, so we won’t talk about that.