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HP Pavilion dv5-1235dx Notebook PC

Posted by Mike on 6/21/2009 to Gadgets

While out of town on business in March, somehow the screen on my Fujitsu N3511 Lifebook cracked.  While the screen could power on, the upper right quadrant of the screen was unreadable.    So I went online to find a Fujitsu replacement screen and found them for $350 or so.   Considering a brand new complete laptop was only about twice that, I decided to replace the machine itself.

Best Buy had a sale on the HP Pavilion dv5-1235dz Notebook, and it seemed to meet my needs.  Large hard drive (320 GB), 4 GB of memory, wide screen, fast processor, extended battery life, lightscribe CD drive, etc. so I bought one for $650.

Overall, I am pleased with it.  My wife playfully accused me of breaking the Fujitsu so I could get a new laptop, but that’s not true.   Of course, I can’t deny that I had been recently thinking about upgrading since the Fujistu’s battery life, memory, and hard drive were really lacking.

The dv5-1235dx has a big fat battery pack that gives it 6 hours or so of life.  It’s somewhat external, meaning you can slide a switch and quickly take it off.  (It’s not necessary to have the battery installed if you are running on a power outlet.)  While the size of the battery is necessary for the extended life, it’s also bulky.  The back end of the laptop is raised up in the air while its inserted.   Since I generally use the laptop in AC mode, the battery is usually tucked away in the case.  A store clerk told me it is best to not have the battery installed if you are running off AC power, unless you are recharging, and to run the battery all the way down when you are using it in that mode… and both of these tips will help to prolong the battery life.  So far that seems to be true.  It’s great to have a laptop whose battery does not die out in half the expected time.  

With regards to the battery, sometimes, it does not stay locked in place.   After it fell out one time when I was moving the laptop, I have been more careful about double and triple checking to ensure it is snugly in place.  Sometimes it’s not latched right, although it looks like it is, and I need to fidget with it a bit to ensure it will not fall out.   This is a design flaw that HP will need to fix.

The only other “problem” I have had is the color of the keys.  In a dimly lit room, it is difficult to read the keys.   Before I bought this notebook, I read where other people complained about this online.  And it does make things difficult.  In normal or brighter light, there is no issue.  But it is an annoyance when you are working with minimal available light.

It took awhile for me to get all of the files and what not transferred over from the Fujitsu to the HP and set up the programs I am now running.  but the experience has been worth it.   Although HP can make some improvements to it, I would recommend this notebook.

As a side note, about a week after I bought the HP, I found a place online that sells generic laptop replacement screens for $150.   They also provide detailed instructions online for changing out the screen.  So I ordered one, and installed it, and the Fujitsu lives on to be used by someone else in the household.

Mike Lee