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HP Envy M6 review

  • HP Envy M6
  • HP Envy M6
  • HP Envy M6
  • HP Envy M6

Verdict:

excellent battery life and great for games, the Envy M6-1205SA is a bargain

Review Date: 28 Apr 2013

Price when reviewed: £600

Supplier: http://www.johnlewis.com

Reviewed By: Tom Morgan

Our Rating 4 stars out of 5

AMD’s mobile processors aren’t traditionally known for their high performance, but they’re well suited to great value mid-range systems such as HP’s Envy M6-1205SA. This laptop has dedicated graphics, a 15.6in display, a good battery and great connectivity. It’s also well priced.

HP Envy M6

The 2.3GHz A10-4600M processor isn’t the fastest mobile chip that AMD makes, but it’s ideal for everyday desktop tasks. It runs web browsers, word processors and image editors comfortably, and it can increase its clock speed to 3.2GHz when the processor’s operating within certain thermal limits. Its 6GB of RAM is ample for multitasking, and its 1TB hard disk is easily big enough for a large media collection.

DEDICATED GRAPHICS

The A10-4600M has a Radeon HD 7660G graphics processor built in to it, which performs well enough on its own, but here it’s combined with the dedicated HD 7670M GPU in Hybrid Crossfire for even better performance. In our Dirt Showdown test, it managed a smooth 29.2fps at 1,280x720 with graphics options set to High. We could even increase the resolution to the screen’s native 1,366x768 and get 26.9fps, but switching the graphics settings to Ultra proved too much of a challenge and the Envy M6-1205SA produced a jerky 16fps average frame rate. This shows that many modern games should be playable at a resolution of 1,280x720 if you’re realistic with detail settings and anti-aliasing.

HP Envy M6

Because the dedicated graphics card is able to shut down when the Envy M6-1205SA is running on battery power, the Envy M6-1205SA was able to produce a fantastic result in our light-use battery benchmarks. At just under nine hours, you should be able to go an entire working day without hunting for a power socket, as long as you stick to light tasks. This is a fantastic result for an AMD-powered laptop.

LAPTOP ENVY?

In general use, the M6-1205SA is something of a mixed bag. Although it uses the Envy name, which has traditionally been reserved for HP’s premium laptops, it doesn’t feel as high-end as many other Envy laptops. The lid and wrist rest are brushed metal, but the main chassis is plastic. The screen bends and flexes under minimal pressure, as does the keyboard tray, and the glossy display bezel is a magnet for dust and fingerprints. However, once you actually start using the laptop, things get much better.

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