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HP Pavilion dv6 review

Verdict

Not without its foibles, but good value for a high-performance laptop

Review Date: 28 Jun 2010

Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith

Price when reviewed: £544 (£639 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

The 15.6in Pavilion dv6 bears HP's characteristic black and chrome livery, and to be honest it looks a bit showy in a laptop of this size. The numeric keypad at the side of the keyboard is uncomfortably squished as well.

But from a technical standpoint the Pavilion dv6 looks good. All the important features are here - USB, eSATA, Bluetooth and so forth - and they're joined by FireWire and a full-width ExpressCard/54 slot. The Altec Lansing speakers are lacking in low frequencies, but they go pretty loud, with a clarity that's unusual for notebooks. The only slight disappointment is the screen, which seems a little lacking in vibrancy.

Inside, the dv6 enjoys a 2.26GHz Core i5-430M partnered with an Nvidia GeForce G105M GPU. There's 3GB of RAM - plenty for typical desktop use - and a nice big 500GB hard disk, with a fast spindle speed of 7,200rpm.

As our benchmarks show, that's a pretty persuasive formula. With an overall 2D score of 1.53, the Pavilion dv6 is a strong performer for desktop applications. The GPU has a certain amount of 3D power too, delivering 42fps in Crysis at the lowest settings - twice as fast as Intel's HD Graphics, though there are other laptops with more powerful GPUs.

With its lightweight 4,200mAh battery we didn't expect the dv6 to last long away from the power socket, but light-use performance was surprisingly strong, with the dv6 racking up a respectable 3hrs 55min of life. Under heavy use, though, it lasted only 57 minutes.

For that reason, road warriors may want to look elsewhere, as will gamers or purist aesthetes. But if you're seeking a laptop for a mostly desk-bound role, the HP Pavilion dv6 is a powerful, feature-packed system, and when you look at the price it's obviously a good deal.

Author: Darien Graham-Smith

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User comments

How does this stack up?

I was wondering how this compares to the new Dell Inspiron R, which is slightly cheaper?

http://www.pc-site.co.uk/dell-inspiron-r-15-inch

By pcsite on 6 Jul 2010

UFW

There are many models in the HP dv6 series. What is the 4 digit model number on this one.

By wiersema on 8 Jul 2010

This would be the dv6-2105ea... you can find the part number under the "Specs" tab. :)

By DarienGS on 8 Jul 2010

dv6 2108 or a macbook pro

Hi im looking at the hp dv6-2108 which is 100 pounds more but comes with 6gb ram.
Also i wanted to know whats better, because i seen the macbook pro with intel i5 which is costing me £1275.00

By Jaggs on 12 Jul 2010

HP Keyboards don't work

What ever you do, DO NOT buy an hp laptop. They have a terrible keyboard problem, which is very well known. See http://tinyurl.com/3a52kz8
amongst other places!

By jamesbrooke on 14 Jul 2010

HP Keyboard don't work... cont

That 'keyboard issue' article is from 2006. I would hope HP have fixed things by now...

By daveclough on 18 Aug 2010

dv6-3119sa hasn't got a ExpressCard slot

Havbing spent ages searching through the minefield of reviewed laptop models vs the models you can actually buy I opted for the new HP Pavilion dv6-3119sa.

Unfortunately I didn't notice in it's specs that it doesn't have an ExpressCard slot so now I can never add firewire - so I can't connect it to my Phonic firewire mixer/audio interface :(.

Just a salutory lesson to others out there - make sure that you don't take anything the review says as gospel unless you are definately getting the exact same model number.

By alan_brookland on 26 Nov 2010

Don't buy any HP Latops

Mine fell apart the week after the warranty ran out!

By Rupert on 8 Aug 2013

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