HP Pavilion DV6 is the series name for a range of models that offer a vast variety of choices in processor, graphics and other options. At first glance, you might find the labeling used by HP to delineate between the numerous models and options a little confusing, but we’re here to talk you through it all.
With its 15.6-inch LCD display as standard and close to full-sized keyboard, the DV6 is a popular choice of general consumer-focused laptops. However, they do offer some surprises along the way thanks to the multiple CPU, memory and graphics options.
HP is a trusted name in computers and their versatile line of laptops and desktop PCs span across all kinds of users. We examine a couple of the options that HP provides in its popular DV6 range of laptops, and what features they might have to offer gamers.
While features and specs like screen size, display and keyboard are standard across the range HP offers some interesting CPU and GPU options across its DV6 series, including:
INTEL CORE I7, INTEL CORE I5, INTEL CORE I3 PROCESSORS;
AMD RADEON, TURION II P520, PHENOM II X4 P960, AND MORE;
HD 7470M, 6770M, 6570M, 6520G, AND MORE;
ATI MOBILITY RADEON HD 5470;
INTEL GRAPHICS MEDIA ACCELERATOR (GMA) HD;
Intel HD Graphics 3000 ;
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, GT 630M
Price range between $700 to $2,100 when purchased new
Not all of the laptops offered by HP in this range are worthy of reviewing for the sake of gaming and general use, so we’ll look at some specific models instead. As there are 16 different options within just the DV6-6B series alone, it would take quite some time to review them all.
With HDD of 1Tb and RAM upgradable to 8GB from the 4GB supplied and running the AMD Quad-Core A63410MX (clocked at 1.6GHz but which can be overclocked to 2.3GHz), this is a reasonable package. HP also offers this model with the alternative of an Intel Dual cored i5-2430M that has 2.3GHz to 2.9GHz with ‘turbo boost’ available.
Altec Lansing speakers are standard in the plastic finish model and are really not that bad. The metal finished DV6 has the superior quality Beats Audio for those who favor better sound. This model comes with the SuperMulti DVD R/RW drive, which is handy because there is a lot of HP software on the HDD when you buy it off the shelf that may need removal.
This laptop is somewhat lacking in connection as it only comes with USB 2 ports , however for a model of tis time it’s pretty standard. The keyboard is functional, ergonomic and comfortable with a separate keypad provided for numbers, giving you options for personal and work use.
HP’s BrightView display is a glossy affair so you’ll enjoy that if brightness is your thing, but it is very reflective and so classroom or boardroom overhead lights are going to cause you some glare and viewing problems.
In spite of its 15.6-inch display it will only get you 1366 x 768 pixels and there’s no option to upgrade here. Among the other DV6-6B models there’s also no higher resolution available as well. DVD playback on battery power will last you 210 minutes which is enough for most movies and around 2.5 hours playing a first-person shooter game like Far Cry 2.
To join in the industrial revolution, you needed to open a factory;
in the Internet revolution,
you need to open a laptop. Alexis Ohanian
- Gretchen Bleiler -
HP Pavilion DV6T-6000
The DV6T-6000 is one of the biggest in this range and with quite a few options for upgrades within. For gamers, this would be the best option to go for in the DV6 lineup that is capable of doing everything you need it to for a budget-friendly laptop.
At under $800 when it was released, the DV6T is definitely worth a closer look if you are in the market for a smart looking and affordable laptop that handles multimedia well. With an Intel Core i5-2410M processor, 6GB of RAM with 640GB HDD running at 7,200rpm, Beats Audio System, and AMD switchable graphics it’s pretty capable of most tasks.
What makes this so impressive is its ability to do multiple things at once, like upload images, edit videos, stream HD movie and more. Its switchable graphics enables it to manage quite a few mid to higher-level games so if you’re looking for something for this specific purpose you’re in luck.
Heat and Power
In terms of display, it certainly looks the part with its brushed aluminum lid and matte gray sides. With a cool dark brown color scheme that covers the laptop and a silver speaker panel and black surrounding the keyboard panel, it’s sleek and professional. The bottom is a very sturdy plastic construction which also helps to minimize heat transference to your lap.
This is a relatively small laptop coming in at 14.8 x 1.2 x 9.7 inches and weighs in at 5.8 pounds so it’s decently sized for a device of this era. The backlit keyboard is firm and the key spacing itself is good. In terms of ergonomics, you’ll find that your wrists rest comfortably and at optimum angles if you’re using the laptop correctly.
The surface of the pad works well for a Multitouch input plus it has control panel enabled options of two and three finger operations such as rotation and flick. Although business computers are the usual place you will find fingerprint readers, thee DV6T also has that covered too. This further proves that HP focuses on all avenues when creating their laptops and desktop PCs.
Heat and Power
HP has installed a utility named ‘CoolSense’ which detects where the laptop is positioned and streams its cooling to the area you are most likely to be touching. This means it helps to keep the temperature down and the fan even runs quietly while it’s working at full force. -
Running 15 minutes of video streaming from the Internet, the touchpad reached 84 degrees Fahrenheit during testing, with the bottom getting a tad warm at 99 degrees. The hottest area was near the air vent which reached around 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
In terms of battery life, you can expect to get about five hours out of a fully charged battery if you are web surfing or doing standard applications. However, for gaming, this will likely only run around 2.5 hours on a single charge.
Display and Audio
The DV6T comes equipped with an i7-2630QM processor and dedicated AMD Radeon HD6570M graphics, 6GB of memory and 1Tb of storage, so you know you’re going to get an exceptionally good display quality despite the 1366 x 768 panel. With 120-degree viewing capabilities, you’ll get a good view from any angle. However, because of the glossy screen, this might not always be entirely visible.
The four speakers running through the Beats Audio provides very good audio even for bass oriented music at sensible volume levels and it excels with the more melodic, higher frequency sounds. Beats Audio allows you to adjust the equalizer levels according to the genre, so with a little tweaking, you can get even better audio. With the addition of good quality headphones, you’ll make the experience even better whether it is music or gaming you’re enjoying.
Communication and Connectivity
A total of four USB ports (2 x 2.0 and 2 x 3.0), DVD drive, secure lock, card reader, VGA port, twin headphone inputs, microphone input, HDMI port and Ethernet jack complete the impressive suite of ports for this laptop. For communication, you’ll get a quality webcam and microphone that makes this ideal as a business model as well as for home use.
Performance and Gaming
The 2.3GHZ i5 and 6GB RAM positions this to be a great multimedia laptop, enabling it to multitask, stream video, and surf multiple pages on the internet, if you wanted to. With its 1GB memory and capacity to switch between its Integrated Intel HD 300 and a discrete AMD Radeon HD 6490M chip, the DV6T impresses in the gaming arena.
Capable of delivering 5,826 in 3DMar06 testing it scores around 1,800 points higher than the average and higher than ASUS K53E when compared to others in its price range. For those who want to play more complex titles, it may not be possible here, unless you’re prepared to drop the quality down a significant amount.
Options Available for This Model
2.1-GHz Core i3-2310M processor
4GB of RAM
500GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive
Intel HD 3000 Graphics card
Windows Home Premium 7 (64-bit)
2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-2410M CPU
6GB of RAM
7,200-rpm hard drive
Intel HD 3000 Graphics card and Radeon HD 6490M Graphics chip
1GB of VRAM
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Software and Warranty
There are actually some useful bundles of software pre installed on this DV6 laptop, incluidng Recover Manager, two months free Norton Internet Security, and a few months of free CloudDrive storage.
The games supplied with the DV6Tare nothing too exciting but certainly better than the standard Solitaire and Minesweeper styles we’ve seen the past. You’ll also get software to access the HP Movie Store, and HP offers one year of limited hardware support when you purchase it new.
Final Thoughts on the HP Pavilion DV6 Range
HP is on the money with its DV6 series laptops with something for everyone, and a lot that is good for a wide range of end users. The variety in configurations and other specifications means that if you know what you’re after then you are likely to find a model that is precisely what you need.
A display size of 15.6 inches and pixel count of 1366 x 768 pixels says up front that this is for the most part, great for video and general work, but not intended as a high-performance gaming machine. Having said that, there are quite a few models in the range that are marketed more at the entertainment and gaming user so you should be able to find your match.
HP has not only done its marketing homework well here but has put a lot of their technological expertise behind these models. The range of processors ensures sufficient power and the option for integrated or separate GPUs means if its games you’re interested in, then this will play many of them quite well.
The dv6 laptops are well designed and built with a maximum thickness of 1.25-inches which some might find a little on the thick side. The weight ranges in the DV6 series when including battery come in between 5.3lbs and 6.4lbs so if you’re looking for portability it could be a little heavy.
Keyboards are standard across the series with Chiclet-style keys and good tactile feel and feedback to them. The touchpads support Multitouch but don’t go super fast, so in terms of gaming, it might be better to invest in your own mouse.
Overall, you should be able to find a great laptop in this range no matter your needs. You can select one of the standard models or opt for an upgrade, and you’ve got more than enough variety to choose from.