HP Pavilion DV6 review
15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 3.0kg, 1.7 GHz AMD A6-3430MX, 6.00GB RAM, 1,000GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
HP’s Pavilion laptops are some of the best looking machines around if you’re on a budget, and the DV6 is no exception. Its textured lid, silver-effect trim and glowing touchpad bezel make it look like a much more expensive laptop, even though it only costs £450.
Its rounded edges and smooth corners look great, but don’t get in the way of connectivity. The DV6 has a generous complement of four USB ports, audio input and output jacks, a multiformat card reader, a DVD drive and an Ethernet port, all of which should be more than enough for most people.
Its desktop performance is governed by an AMD A6 Llano processor, which is paired with 6GB of RAM. The A6-3430MX is one of the least expensive quad-core mobile processors we’ve ever seen, and although it normally runs at 1.7GHz, it bumps up to 2.4GHz using Turbo Core, providing increased performance in single-threaded applications. Our multimedia benchmarks proved a challenge, with the X53Z managing to score 42 overall. Although this isn’t especially fast, it’s more than enough for everyday tasks and even for more demanding multi-threaded applications.
HP’s paired the processor, which has its own integrated GPU, with a dedicated graphics card so that it can play games in CrossFire mode. The Radeon 7470M might be based on AMD’s older 6490M chip, but when working in tandem the DV6 has the potential to play modern games at high detail settings. The DV6 managed an impressive 42fps overall in our Dirt 3 test, and we still got a playable frame rate when we increased the resolution.
Perhaps even more impressive than its 2D and 3D performance is its battery life. The DV6 managed an incredible seven hours in our light-use test, which is almost unprecedented for a quad-core laptop. If you stick to light tasks, you should be able to last almost a full working day on a single charge.