Screen, Keyboard & Trackpad
The screen is another strong point in the dv2’s armoury, as it not only features a 1,280 x 800 native resolution, it’s also LED backlit which helps to improve brightness. The backlight is even, too and there’s no sign of bleed around the edges. It’s not surprising to see that there’s a bit of colour banding, but the colours are rich and vibrant while the viewing angles aren’t bad with all things considered – the biggest downside is the fact that this is another transreflective screen and there’s no matte option, which causes its own set of problems.
The dv2’s impressive showing continues with the keyboard design – it’s not only quite a bit bigger than any keyboard you’ll find on a 10-inch netbook (although it’s still not full-sized at 92 per cent), but the layout has very few compromises.
The only cause for complaint is that the cursor keys also double as Home, End, Page Up and Page Down keys, which is a disappointment in our eyes because there’s certainly space for these.
With that said, the keyboard’s feedback while typing is relatively positive but if anything the keys do lack a bit of depth. That’s not a major concern though, as we found we were able to reach a decent typing speed with the minimum amount of effort and pain. Unlike a lot of the netbooks out there – with exceptions made for maybe the Samsung NC10 and Eee PC 1008HA – you’re not going to find yourself suffering from cramp after a few hours of typing.
You’ll note that there are no additional keys around the keyboard, which in some ways is a surprise - most other netbooks do have additional buttons - but in other ways it makes the dv2's layout simpler and more straightforward. All of the F-keys have a second function, and so do the cursor keys, which as mentioned above, is the only cause for complaint.
The trackpad, on the other hand, is more of a mixed bag. While it's large and has a wide aspect ratio that matches the dv2’s display, it feels a little sticky and it’s as if there’s a lack of feedback in response to our movements because of that. What’s more, the buttons aren’t as positive as we would have liked – if anything they’re a little too stiff and take a bit of getting used to.
There’s quite a bit of space around the trackpad, too, which caused us to occasionally miss the buttons and instead try pressing the incredibly solid wrist rest. It does allow HP to include a button in between the spacebar and trackpad to disable the trackpad and buttons if you’ve plugged your own mouse in. Overall, we’re sure that the issues can be fixed fairly simply as the buttons just need to be a little more prominent and receptive, while the trackpad needs to lose its glossy finish. With those boxes ticked, there’d be no cause for complaint.