HP's refreshed dv6 and dv7 series notebooks first appeared in stores overseas last December, and with Intel's chipset issues nearly resolved, the systems are finally available stateside. Both machines are powered by Intel's latest quad-core Core i7 processors, with 2.0GHz (i7-2630QM), 2.2GHz (i7-2720QM) and 2.3GHz (i7-2820QM) chips available.

Other shared hardware includes a 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6570, up to 8GB of RAM, a DVD or Blu-ray drive, four USB ports (one eSATA combo), VGA and HDMI outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, a 5-in-1 card reader, and Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate. Despite their similarities, the systems do have a few distinguishing specs.

The 15.6-inch dv6t is aimed at business users with a starting price of $1,000. It offers up to six hours of runtime with a six-cell battery or 10 hours with a hefty nine-cell battery, an optional backlit keyboard and touchscreen with HP's touch-optimized apps, up to 1TB of mechanical or 160GB of flash storage, and comes standard with a one-year warranty.

Meanwhile, the larger 17.3-inch dv7t kicks off at $1,100 and fares worse on battery life, peaking at five hours with a nine-cell unit. However, it gains a higher resolution display (1600x900 versus 1366x768), HP's Beats audio engine with a subwoofer, more storage options such as dual 1TB disks or an SSD boot drive, as well as a two-year warranty.