HP Pavilion dv6-605lea review

1 Mar 2012

Superb video and sound, but this laptop is let down by an awful keyboard and very poor battery life

HP Pavilion dv6-605lea
Price when reviewed: 
700(£645 inc VAT)
3

The most immediately striking features of the Pavilion dv6-6051ea are its audio and visual capabilities. The 15.6in, 1,366 x 768 resolution screen is bright, its LED-backlit panel producing fine clarity and reasonably wide viewing angles, and pupils were consistently impressed by the sound. They also liked the webcam, which captures good-quality HD video.

It’s a powerful laptop too. The 2.3GHz Core i5-2410M processor is one of Intel’s best mobile efforts in terms of price for performance, and with 6GB of RAM there’s little that the dv6 can’t handle. Its benchmark score of 0.70 is the best in this group.

The dedicated AMD Radeon graphics processor ensures that 3D graphics will run smoothly at the screen’s native resolution, and with a 640GB hard disk there’s no shortage of storage. HP even provides two USB 3 ports. The trackpad can be turned off by double-tapping in the top left-hand corner, which is useful, while a fingerprint reader is included for security.

HP Pavilion dv6-605lea

Because of all this, you might consider buying a few for use in specialist contexts such as small media studies groups. However, it isn’t suitable for use in an ordinary classroom. The main reason for this is that the keyboard is a horror. The keys feel flimsy and loose, and the whole device vibrates when you press the keys with any force – which children often do. The up/down arrow keys are roughly half the normal size, and the layout is unusual.

Meanwhile, any sensible ICT co-ordinator will disable HP’s preinstalled Magic Desktop software, which seems to have been designed on the assumption that the laptop will be used as a standalone device. Although you can add users, there doesn’t appear to be a network-friendly option

Worst of all, though, is the battery life, with the laptop lasting only 1hr 33mins of typical classroom use, including video playback and web browsing. HP has just announced an update to the range – the dv7 – so let’s hope this addresses the problem.

Details

Price ex VAT £583
Price inc VAT £700
Overall rating 3
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 3
Performance 5

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 378 x 247 x 31mm (WDH)
Weight 2.910kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i5-2410M
RAM capacity 6.00GB

Screen and video

Screen size 15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon HD 6490M
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1

Drives

Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes

Other Features

USB ports (downstream) 2
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3mp
Fingerprint reader yes

Battery and performance tests

Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.70