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Review: HP Pavilion dv2 'Yukon' laptop. AMD's foray into the ultra-mobile market

by Tarinder Sandhu on 17 June 2009, 16:28 2.85

Tags: Pavilion dv2 (mains), Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ)

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The second half of 2009 is panning out in such a way that consumer notebooks can be sub-divided into four main categories.

The nascent phenomenon that is the 'netbook' - a small, cheap computer, usually powered by Intel's Atom chip, shipping with 10in screens, and weighing around 1kg - make up the majority of the sub-£300 space.

Then there's the regular notebook, weighing in at 2kg-3.5kg and shipping with either Intel Core 2 Duo/Celeron or AMD's mobile Athlon chips. The range is vast and varied, and many of the more-expensive models now etail with Blu-ray drives and discrete graphics cards. One can expect to pay anything between £300 and £1,000 for what passes as a regular notebook.

Higher still, desktop-replacement notebooks eschew most notions of portability and aim to provide considerable power on every front. These are the machines that push the performance envelope, and a bespoke gaming notebook can cost £2,000-plus, bringing the workstation market very much into play.

There's a fourth segment that both Intel and AMD want to exploit. Ostensibly sitting in-between a netbook and regular notebook - not necessarily in price - we're going to see a large number of laptops that provide more processing power than netbooks and a thinner, lighter form-factor than regular notebooks. Intel's bringing its CULV (consumer ultra-low voltage) platform to bear for this hybrid laptop, and we're seeing models popping up from the likes of Acer and MSI right now.

AMD, on the other hand, already has a platform in place that exploits the niche between netbook and notebook. Currently an exclusive with Hewlett Packard - albeit with BenQ now retailing a Sempron/690E laptop - the AMD Neo/ATI-powered HP Pavilion dv2 fits in the 'Yukon' platform. Has HP and AMD got it right? Let's find out.