It’s not mine… but an agent here at work just brought me his brand new, still in the box, 17″ HP Pavilion laptop, with the Intel i5, 6GB RAM, and 750GB HD. I will now review for you the process of setting it up.
Step 1) Take it out of the box, and pull off all of the little plastic covers and sticky protective coating things. Dang, this took almost 10 minutes, it was so wrapped up, and had little bits of plastic stuck in to little areas that were very hard to get out! I still think I missed a few chunks… but oh well. It’s pretty bare now. Next… install the battery, plug it in, and turn it on.
Now, I register the owner name, and go through the Windows 7 setup wizard. I tell it NOT to activate Nortons, which it begs me three times to do, but I said no. Then open the Add/Remove programs control panel, and tell it to uninstall Nortons. It makes me verify 3 more times, begs me to take a survey telling them WHY I don’t want Nortons (I did not do it), and then asks to be restarted after the uninstall. I do not restart yet… I still have more things to uninstall!!
Uninstall the Bing toolbar, uninstall 40 Games that came preloaded, uninstall Evernote… which crashes the machine, and I have to pull up the Task Manager, unfreeze it… Explorer closes down… screen goes black… wait for it… and now I’m running again. It has now been 40 minutes since I unpacked this thing out of the box. It is currently in the process of “installing” Office 2010, even though it supposedly came pre-installed. All I had to do was enter the serial number… and then wait. And then wait a little more….
While I wait, I scour around the outside of the laptop picking off pieces of the ‘protective’ plastic that it came shipped in. There’s little shreds stuck in every seam or joint. OK, it finally finishes installing Office 2010… and asks to complete the install. I click OK, Internet Explorer pops up… waits for a bit, then gives me the error: Internet Explorer has stopped working. ‘Close the Program’ or ‘Check Online for a solution’.
I re-open IE… and now it tells me my browser has been upgraded! Oh goody… upgraded from what? This computer is BRAND NEW! Oh… and guess what? The Bing toolbar is still there. Along with 10 bookmarks, each one asks me twice if I’m sure I want to delete it.
OK, so I finally got Firefox installed, updated my apparently out of date version of Java and Adobe and Flash… cleaned up all the shortcuts and crap off of the desktop, and have things running seemingly smooth. Good. Time for a restart and see how it runs for a first real test…
It’s weird to still see little bits of DOS flashing on the screen during a reboot… but the glowing and pulsing Windows logo is nice, once it finally gets on the screen. 2.5 minutes later it now says Welcome… OOOH! I just heard the “happy” noise, and it looks like she’s ready to go for a run.
So, I had to open the HP “Launch Box” and inform it that, no, I do not want to automatically launch Skype and the HP assistant, and the HP toolkit, or the Cyber WebCam every single time I start up. OK, now to install printers, save bookmarks, set desktop shortcuts, and hand her over!!
All in all, not too bad… Just less than 90 minutes. I just don’t understand why it had to come with all this useless crap on it! And the plastic, and the default settings… There was absolutely nothing “plug-n-play” about this thing. If my agent had to do this on his own… he would be buried in bloatware and probably have contracted a virus or trojan horse by now.
Ease of setup: C-
HP product: C+ (bad marks are mostly due to terrible packaging)
Price: $530 (not including tax)