The HP Pavilion Dv6 certainly isnt something you want to lug around. While it’s fairly lightweight for its size, it is meant to be used as a desktop replacement notebook with features and style that suggest it would live comfortably in the home office or the lounge room.
It is being marketed as a multimedia entertainment notebook with CPU performance and graphics capabilities that are ideal for watching DVDs and videos. It doesn’t have the graphics grunt to do full HD content as it is only capable of a maximum desktop resolution of 1366×768. It’s still HD but with similar models on the market capable of 1920×1080 it seems slightly dated.
One of the things that sets this notebook apart from the competition is its speakers. Using Altec Lansing speakers, the sound quality is actually quite good. It isnt as good as the audio you will get on a Toshiba Qosimo but it is vastly superior to the usual tinny volume deprived offerings from most notebook manufacturers.
We tested the battery life by running a DVD on loop and timing how long it takes for the battery to fully deplete. On the standard battery with no power saving options enabled it last 1 hour 40 minutes. This is a fairly standard result for these types of notebooks and will probably translate to around 2.5 hours of normal use.
The design is sophisticated and attractive while also being comfortable to use. All surfaces are finished in glossy plastic, including the keyboard. The floating keyboard is comfortable to use and the touchpad is responsive. There is also a button just above the keypad to disable the keypad for those that prefer to use their own mouse. There are a good number of ports including three USB ports and a HDMI port for connecting your notebook to a HD television.
Along the top of the keyboard are a series of multimedia touch buttons that control volume as well as media player fucntionality. The problem with the volume control button is that it looks like it should scale as the volume is increase but it doesnt. Also the mute button doesnt turn on and off when pressed which seemed odd.
We tested the graphics and CPU performance and were satisfied with the results. This model isn’t meant to be used to play games so it was no suprise that the graphics performance was fairly mediocre. For watching video, it is perfect but for gaming you should look for something more powerful. CPU peformance wasn’t mind blowing but it was more than enough to run office productivity software as well as photo editing and perhaps even video editing, albeit with a little slow down.
Under the hood it uses an Intel Core2 Duo T6400 running at 2GHz. The standard sales package comes with 2GB of RAM and Windows Vista Home Premium. It also has integrated WiFi, LAN and for some unknown reason, a dial-up modem too.
The HP Pavilion Dv6 works well as a multimedia notebook but you have to ask just how valid this style of notebook is in the market. The speakers definitely set it apart from a regular notebook but you can always buy a set of speakers fairly cheap anyway. The HDMI port makes it much easier to connect it to a TV but buying a notebook with the express purpose of connecting it to a TV seems a little backward when they are so many cheap devices on the market that can acomplish the same end. If you need a notebook and like the convenience of being able to hook it up to a TV to watch movies then the Dv6 is something you should consider but if you don’t stick with something more traditional.