HP Pavilion Quality and Size - Do you have one?

jerry_njMarch 7, 2013

I tried attaching the information/questions below to an existing thread from last month. I believe nothing has come of that as old threads do not attract new attention. it is better to start a thread with your specific issue in the Subject Line. So here goes:

For those in the know on HP, an easy question I hope. Is the Pavilion model consistent in the general quality of the case and keyboard - a shared quality? I ask because I like the one below but can't find it locally... I can find Pavilion at my Discount Store (BJs - where my last 3 laptops were purchased) and so I have had a "look-see" at other versions of the Pavilion. Then today I looked at an HP g7 in 17.3 - I didn't like the quality look of the keyboard, The template that the keys stick through had some rough edges. One had to look through their reading (in my case) lenses to see that level of detail, but it didn't look good. A sample problem? The machine was less money too at $399 verses $459 or thereabout for the one I liked on the web search.

Something else that bothers me is the physical size stated for the one on the web, not the one I saw in Walmart (both 17.3"). The machine will not be for travel, rather just from room-to-room at home.

Item Dimensions L x W x H
3.10 x 22 x 13.60 inches

Forget the confusion of the listed LWH... the 3.1 must be how thick it is, can it be that thick? A compact desk top computer box may be no more than 5" thick. My current Toshiba and most others I see in the store are just over 1" thick, maybe 1.5" but nothing near 3".

The specific machine I'm targeting is:
HP Pavilion G7-2220us 17.3-Inch Laptop

Sorry for any typos, basically is the Pavilion an HP line with similar physical look/touch? And what about the thickness?

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I had a Pavillion Desktop which turned out to be somewhat reliable. Lasted more than 7 years. Gave it to some other people to used it for emails a few more years.

I would not put too much importance in the Pavillion name. When I went to consumerreports.org to check on laptop reliability, all brands were pretty close and no one stood ahead of the pack by much. In pretty close order, the vendors were rated best in this sequence: Apple, Acer, Sony, Lenovo, HP, Gateway and Dell. But the differences were small.

I have an HDX 16" model purchased about 5-6 years ago and it has been only "ok" in reliability. Weight is also a big problem. I got tired of hauling it so now, I do not move it around the house. These biguns laptops tend to become like desktops in that they stay in one place after a while. If you are going to be moving it often, consider a smaller one.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:19PM
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Thanks, I had been using a 6 year old Gateway 15-something for a take along into the living room, kitchen, were ever I wanted to do a email/browsing. I accidentally put my knee on when it was on the floor next to my couch... that cracked the screen.

I then stated using my 3 year old Toshiba 13.3" which I purchased from my travel machine (carry on air travel). I find the screen just too small for my aging eyes - so the 17.3" suddenly sounded good... I think a 15.6" would be fine too, in fact looking at them on display the 15.6 looks almost as big.

I had a rather heavy HP purchased in 2003 that traveled around the world with me, boy did I get tired of that weight. The Gateway was a nice compromise, still 15 something screen but thin and I'll guess about 6 pounds. I'd buy Gateway again but I haven't found one that strikes me as a good value.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:02PM
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Several years back I had a 15.6" HP laptop and used it both at home and traveling. However, I'm an elderly female and found it heavier than I wanted to carry around. I gave it to my son and bought a 14" HP which was much lighter in weight. Both of these carried the Pavilion name, but details such as trim vary with different models. You might find the 17" larger than you thought, and also heavier, so the 15.6" might be satisfactory. As to quality, that seems to vary somewhat also with different models and years.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 10:41PM
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As I mentioned in your other post on this subject, the dimensions you list for the HP laptop sound like the dimensions of the box it comes in. You have to check out the actual specs at HP...they show it is about 1.5"thick.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 12:38AM
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Thanks, yes that must be the case, size of the shipping box...makes me wonder who makes up their market advertisement. i looked at a number of other models on Amazon and found the same format specification sheet, the others had the thickness near 1.5".

Grandms, the Gateway I was careless with has a screen about 15", whatever that size was in 2007. The current is 15.6" must be a standard, and it looks fine. I may be overreacting to the struggle of using my 13.3" on a regular basis. I had this one for travel and used a LCD display and remote keyboard, like a desktop when at home. But that doesn't travel from room-to-room so easily, otherwise I'd get by with just this small screen computer.

I also think it is about time to think "tablet" and the Windows 8 might help ease the way to that format display - know next to nothing on that subject.

For now I'm happy sending my typos around the world, and so need a keyboard. That noted, the keyboard, while usable on my 13.3" Toshiba is just adequate for my full-size hands.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 8:22AM
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I have had one for about 5 or 6 months. It is too heavy. I like the screen size but the weight requires padding when on the lap - otherwise the battery bites on the legs. If I were to a re-do I would choose a 13.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 9:28AM
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Do you have an HP 17.3", even a recent Pavilion? Maybe even the one listed as my candidate in that size?

As you can see from my other inputs, I have a modern WIndows 7 64 bit 13.3" Toshiba, works great, but the screen is just too small. Some have said a 15.6" may be about as big as one wants to go unless they are using the laptop as a desktop they can close and push to the back of the desk when not in use. That is where my subject HP could end up, my wife's Dell desktop is an XP Media machine, works great, but it has to be replaced sometime . She dislikes clutter (that makes my life complicated, ha! ) and might find a 17.3" big enough if it offers the slide out of the way feature. So I do have a Plan B if I can't live with the 17.3" weight. I know I'd like the screen and keyboard.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:01AM
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When it comes to travel use and convenience, suitcases and laptops have a lot in common.

Once you arrive, you wish you had brought the the biggest size available. While enroute from Point A to Point B, there's no such thing as too small. For most frequent travelers, small is beautiful (which is why so many travel with tablets).

For me, it's a netbook and a small suitcase. I make due with what I have and always when reconsidering the decision, come to the same conclusion about what works for me.

Have you tried resizing program views to make them larger on your small screen? That works for many people.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Yes, when in a browser, normally Firefox, I use Cnt+and Cnt- to enlarge the print for reading and typing and to reduce the size when I need to see the full page.

In my email client, Thurnderbird, I use the same when composing and reading, but I have not found a way to enlarge the Thunderbird "desktop", the view of my inbox, etc. So I have to pick the 13.3" up nearer my face and use my reading glasses to really see what is there. I also use Exchange, but not nearly as much.

Again, due to a clumsy cracking of my older 15.6" Gateway screen I no longer have use of that laptop. I found it just fine for working in my lap. I'd use some +/- to change size but not nearly as often/much. Also the Thunderbird display was much easier to read the inbox list.

All this led me to wonder if a 17.3" wouldn't be best if I purchase a replacement given I do not plan to use it for travel, in fact my 50.000+ miles a year on business travel is all behind me now anyway.

Yes a tablet, it may be time to look at that for travel email/browsing.. it can do that right? Still I can't see doing any serious email or browsing, e.g., this interaction I'm doing now via my browser via a tablet.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 7:24PM
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I have always had HP desktops with no problems but had a bad experience with an expensive HP laptop after about 1yr and 3 months and didn't buy any extended warranty. Mother board fried and computer tech researched and found issues where other people had the same problem with this model but HP wouldn't do anything. Was gonna be to expensive to fix so went and bought a toshiba that is now 2yrs old and not one bit of trouble with it so that soured my HP laptop experience and hurt the pocketbook. Mary

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 9:59AM
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That's a bad experience, I expect to get at least 5 years out of a computer and in the case of a laptop I'll accept the battery will have lost much of its capacity by then. I'd say that has been my experience, including one HP I purchased in 2003.

I am on a 133" Toshiba right now that is at least 2 yo. I've had at least two models of Toshiba provided by the company I worked for in the past, those were reliable machines. Back in the late 1990s the Toshiba Tecra was a top line machine, I recall it costing over $2,000 - maybe $3,000, I don't remember but do remember "boy I'm happy my company provides this stuff".

I'll check my Chase Visa to see if it provides an extended warranty - there was discussion to the effect that Visa/MC do or might extend the warranty if purchased on their card... to two years.

HP was talking about getting out of the consumer business a couple of years ago, but checking I now learn that policy was not accepted by the Board, they still plan to stay in that market. I don't suggest by this that their quality was any worse before that announcement, but it couldn't help.

I don't know where the line is drawn between OEM parts they all use and product design and manufacture unique to a given product. The mother board may be an HP design and all its components are outsourced. I'm sure the screen and keyboard are also outsourced.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:23AM
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I know that was my first laptop purchase and it was like $1,200 for son to use when he was going off to college and he takes very good care of his electronics.

Tech said it was a known issue with this mother board and if we spent a good amount to replace it with the same one would be the same problem down the road or some such. I ended buying 2 lower end toshiba's for $400 each since I decided I wanted a laptop to have for spare in case desktop every went out and we have not had one issue with them in 2yrs so I am happy.

You never know with anything, you coul just get a bad lemon in the batch I guess. Mary

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Jerry -
Back to the sizing issue. When using the 13 inch PC for email, why not use a browser for the connection so that you can enlarge it? That should work.

My company buys thousands of laptops each year but no longer any HPs. They got banished awhile back because of recurring quality problems our tech people faced compared to other brands.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 12:21PM
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Thanks, HP had the additional appeal of being a USA brand - not sure they are assembled in the USA, however, I understand Dell has moved assembly out of Texas to somewhere - China I suppose.

I am thinking a 15.6" Toshiba or Gateway may be the way to go... I forget, was it Compaq that bought the Gateway name? Not a lot of real history to most name brands, the name just moves with the money. This will save me around $100 too.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Jerry, if you are thinking that any of the branded computers are assembled in the US, think again. Every computer I have had, both HPs and Dells were made overseas.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Gateway is owned by Acer (a Taiwanese company).

History doesn't mean much, it's the present that matters. Dell and HP have lots of history but both are sick companies in the PC space today. I personally wouldn't buy from either.

Most technology manufacturing takes places overseas. You, like me and everyone else, would prefer to save the $100 you mention - that's why so little manufacturing work remains in the US, Overseas work is less expensive and, sorry to say, often higher in quality.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 3:18PM
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I fixed a computer in the Philippines. Girl works Odesk for some outfit in Scotland or Ireland, I forget. But she feels she is getting rich being paid $1 per hour to to work 6 days per week 6 hours each - to copy/paste car advertisements into Craigs list?

Philippines typical worker salary's are $3.50 to $5 per 10 or 12 hour workday.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 4:41PM
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Well whatever the value of the subject HP, Amazon is now sold out at the price I was considering.

I've found a Gateway 17.3" for a few dollars less, and my past experience with Gateway has been good - but so what? things change. I am currently using my old Gateway in a desktop setup so the cracked screen isn't an issue... it is running great.

Gateway NE71B10u 17.3-Inch Laptop
AMD E-Series Dual-Core E2-1800 1.7 GHz (1 MB Cache)
750 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
17.3-Inch Screen, AMD Radeon? HD 7340 Graphics
Windows 8, 4-hour battery life

Also has a USB 3.0 and the 6 GB/750GB looks real good, should hold up memory-wise for a few years...but then don't take my advice on that one.

Not trying to jerk all my friends around, please consider this just an update for those who have provided advice/views on my HP machinations. I may yet set back to a 15.6" and there is a Gateway the same as the above less the larger screen.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:17AM
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I have an HP Pavilion Elite HPE-410y PC and like it. It is very fast, no complaints except slow loading in the morning when I turn it on. That doesn't bother me, I turn it on and do a few other things before I sit down at the PC. I don't keep my PCs long enough to know how long they last. I usually replace it when new OS comes out and give my old one to someone who needs one. I kept the XP and this W 7 a little longer because they are so much better than the ones before, but not much longer. I am keeping this W 7 longer because of all the hub bub about 8. Still want to buy an all in one with 8 to learn it and keep my W 7.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 11:02AM
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My HP desktop is a year old and still boots fast like it did from day one but I disable any thing in startup I don't need loading to slow it down. Mary

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 11:58AM
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I disabled everything but 3 essentials in the start up, didn't help. It is fast in every other way so I don't worry about it.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 12:42PM
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Oh weird, never had that problem. Mary

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:08PM
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Mine has never booted as fast as other systems I have had.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 7:24PM
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