HP Pavilion dv6-605lea review
Superb video and sound, but this laptop is let down by an awful keyboard and very poor battery life
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.
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.
|Price ex VAT||£583|
|Price inc VAT||£700|
|Features & Design||3|
|Value for Money||3|
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||378 x 247 x 31mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i5-2410M|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||AMD Radeon HD 6490M|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|USB ports (downstream)||2|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Camera megapixel rating||1.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.70|