HP Pavilion dv2: Netbook or notebook?

If Goldilocks was in the market for a laptop, she might pick the new HP Pavilion dv2. It’s not too big, and not too small. It sits between the large and expensive notebooks, and the small-screened netbooks — it’s just right. Announced at CES this past January, the 12.1-inch dv2 recently hit reviewers’ hands, giving us a preview of what’s soon to come.

The dv2 has a 1.6Hz Advanced Micro Devices processor, but it’s the first system to use AMD’s new Netbook-like Athlon Neo platform. The Neo is meant to be a move up from netbook CPUs by providing extra processing power. Other netbook systems, like the Intel Atom or Via Nano, are meant for smaller systems — 9-inch and 10-inch laptops — but the Neo is intended for larger laptops, like the 12-inch dv2.

The downfall of having a larger processor is the steeper price. Unlike many of the netbooks out there, which start at around $300, the HP will be charging $749. But, if you haven’t gathered already, the dv2 is not a netbook. It offers more features, and sits comfortably in the notebook range. Still, it’s a relatively low price for a laptop.

The larger-than-netbook screen offers 720p HD resolution. The dv2 comes standard with 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive. At only 3.8-pounds and just 0.93-inches thin, it’s lighter than a lot of notebooks. Unfortunately, it’s only compatible with Windows Vista, and not XP.

The exact release date is still unknown, but check back for a full review. You can also call ahead and reserve one through HP’s Web site.