HP dv9933cl

I recently bought a laptop for my new job.  I chose an HP dv9933cl, intending to install Ubuntu on it.  The verdict?  It’s great!  I bought it from CostCo rather than Newegg because I wanted to avoid shipping in case I needed to replace it, but so far I see no need to replace it.

It has a 17″ screen, 4GB RAM, 320GB HD, Intel Core 2 Duo, a LightScribe DVD writer, SD card slot, WiFi (802.11abgn), nVidia graphics, and all the regular ports you’d expect.  It comes with Windows Vista, which is OK for watching movies, but it’s not the right environment for getting work done. 🙂

Ubuntu 8.10 installed with hardly a hitch.  I installed all of the drivers I needed from a standard Ubuntu mirror.  The wi-fi didn’t work on the first boot, but apparently something sorted itself out and it began working (and hasn’t stopped working) on the second boot.  The wi-fi has better range than any laptop I’ve used before.  I can put the laptop to sleep just by closing the lid.  Compiz (for desktop 3D effects) works well.  The SD card reader works.  Even the unusual little infrared remote control that came with the laptop works.

I suspect most laptops in the HP Pavilion dv9000 line will have similar success with Linux.  I wish HP would publish something that says Linux works well on it.

4 thoughts on “HP dv9933cl”

  1. Hi Shane,

    I am interested in your current opinion about the HP dv9933cl.
    Is it still positive? How long is the “real” battery life?
    I am researching laptops and this one caught my eye. I know it’s not new model, but still, it looks like a good machine.

    Thanks in advance.
    Krasi Piskov

  2. It has been over 4 months and the laptop is still just fine. The battery life is 2 hours if I don’t tax the CPU. Keep in mind, though, that any 17″ laptop is really meant to be plugged in most of the time, because the large screen draws a significant amount of power. Most of the time, I regard the battery as a built-in UPS.

  3. Hey Shane,

    These HP Pavillions tend to drag in performance. Would this machine easily handle multiple memory hog app’s in parrallel(IE/FF, thunderbird, Google Earth, Adobe CS FireWorks etc) ?

    How’s the webcam and mic? Thinking about skype…
    The range on the little remote? Thinking about speaking engagements -> powerpoint etc…

    The native resolution is the low end of the scale. Any jaggies?


  4. It has 4 GB of RAM. There aren’t many laptops in this price range with more than that.

    For Skype, I actually use my beloved little Phoenix Audio Duet. It works fine in Linux except that most volume control programs fail to adjust the levels correctly. However, GNOME Alsa Mixer and the command line program “alsamixer” do the right thing.

    The remote is infrared and works from several feet, but you have to point it at the right place. For a presentation, I think I’d prefer a radio transmitter.

    The display seems very good, but not bright enough for sunlight (or even shade). The resolution is typical for the price range. I don’t see “Jaggies” because Ubuntu lets me use anti-aliased fonts in nearly all applications. Windows doesn’t support anti-aliasing quite as well.

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