We packed the house.So we just wrapped up the HackCollege party in LA this last weekend. To say it was a success would be an understatement. So the question is: how did some broke, delinquent college students manage to throw a party with an open bar? The answer: HP helped us out.

In the face of losing market share to Apple, HP is starting to pull out all of the stops. You’ve got to hand it to them: they trusted us to throw a party and make them look good. That’s not too hard when you’re given carte blanche to do whatever your want and a good product to do it with. DJ? Check. Open bar? Yes, please. Dead-simple VJing software on the dv2? Sounds good to me. All of this made this past weekend one of the best weekends of my life.

So rather than give a straight review of the laptop, I will start with some quotes made by normal students at the party. We had everyone enter their info to spam contact them at a later date so every person at the party got at least a few seconds to interact with the laptop.

“This has Blu-ray? Awesome”

Call me uncultured, but I usually don’t watch that many movies so laptop with a Blu-ray drive doesn’t do much for me. I learned that I am in the minority. The dv2 comes with a USB Blu-ray drive which is incredibly sensible. To quote Chris, “I don’t need an optical drive with me all of the time.” This helps the dv2 stay light while still having the luxury of 1080p movies. The HDMI out worked perfectly for powering the screen the VJing software was projecting on.

“This is fast”

As part of the gimmick at the party, we installed some cool VJing software (ArKaos GrandVJ) on one of the dv2’s we had. We invited everyone at the party to try their hand mixing video live, which is much easier than it sounds.

It was a hit. Whether mixing videos of the late King of Pop’s hits or mashing up some favorite YouTube clips, many people there gave it a shot. There was actually a line to try it at a party. Please record this in written history: HackCollege made people at a party want to stand in line to use a computer. It was like an Apple store, but with free booze.

The dv2 handled most video clips without worry. It slowed down a little bit on some of the HD clips we ingested into GrandVJ. I guess I can’t blame it, mixing HD video with transparency and effects is no light task.

“The trackpad feels funky”

I’m not sure exactly what happened, but HP kind of crapped the bed on this one. Or maybe it’s the disconnect between its look and behavior. It has a Robocop-cool metal sheen, but it feels sticky. Using it is a chore. Turning up the tracking speed might have helped.

“I want one”Choosing a winner of the laptop we gave away.

We can’t keep these laptops. It would be cool but also shady of us to “review” a laptop that was given to us. Besides, we’d rather give them out.

I thought I was going to see tears when we announced the winner. It hit me that getting a laptop for free is kind of a big deal. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a good one. The general consensus was that this was a formidable opponent to the go-to Apple MacBook. HP could finally be making some inroads with the dv2.

So thanks again to HP for giving me one of the best weekends of my life and helping us put on an awesome party. I would mark this in the books as a success.

And regardless of whether we work with HP in the future or not, HackCollege will be coming to your town soon. Start practicing your shotgunning technique.

Special thanks again to The KiD for DJing the party. (He got people dancing. Yes, dancing. With laptops.)

The photos were done by our friends over at What Dance Party?! They kick also ass.

What do you want to see at the next HackCollege party? Let us know in the comments!