HP's Pavilion dv6 isn't a bad laptop, but the tough competition means that you can get a better laptop for less money.
15.6 in 1,366×768 display, 2.8kg, 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium
HP’s dv6-1240sa is an attractive laptop that looks more expensive than it is thanks to its stylish black and chrome case. As well as looking good, it feels tough and its rigid lid should protect the screen from knocks.
HP has the used the space that the 15.6in widescreen display provides to squeeze in both a keyboard and numeric keypad. The comfortable and responsive keyboard is one of the best we’ve used. The function keys are a little small, but this is unlikely to be a problem in day-to-day use. The numeric keypad is small and takes some getting used to, though.
The glossy 1,366×768 display is bright and has decent viewing angles, so you don’t have to sit directly in front of it to view its vibrant colours properly. If you want an external display, there are VGA and HDMI outputs.
The 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T6500 processor is a touch slower than the processors used in similarly priced latops, although combined with 4GB of RAM, the dv6-1240sa still managed a very respectable overall benchmark score of 65.
The dedicated ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4530 graphics chip is, again, a touch slower than the graphics chips used in several similarly priced laptops. It managed 16.3fps in our Call of Duty 4 test, so smooth frame rates are possible if you dial down detail settings.
At 2.8kg, the dv6-1240sa is just about light enough to carry around on short journeys. However, lasting only two hours and 47 minutes in our battery test, this laptop is better suited to being used around the house.
The large 500GB hard disk provides plenty of storage space, and the FireWire 400 port and four USB ports – one of which doubles as an eSATA port – means that adding external storage is easy.
The dv6-1240sa isn’t a bad laptop in isolation, with respectable results in all our benchmarks. Its problem is that the competition is so tough. Dell’s cheaper Studio 15 has a faster processor and graphics card, and better battery life. Although it has a slightly smaller hard disk, it’s the better buy.
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo T6500|
|Processor clock speed||2.1GHz|
|Memory slots free||0|
|Sound||IDT HD Audio|
|Power consumption standby||2W|
|Power consumption idle||28W|
|Power consumption active||48W|
|Viewable size||15.6 in|
|Graphics Processor||ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4530|
|Graphics/video ports||HDMI, VGA|
|Total storage capacity||500GB|
|Optical drive model||LG GT20L|
|Optical drive type||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
Ports and Expansion
|Total Firewire ports||1|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||802.11a/n|
|PC Card slots||1x ExpressCard/54|
|Supported memory cards||SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD|
|Other ports||1x eSATA, docking station port|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|Operating system restore option||restore partition|
|Software included||CyberLink PowerDirector 7, CyberLink Power2Go 6, Microsoft Works 9|
|Optional extras||spare power adapter £55, six cell battery £99, 12 cell battery £129, docking station £79, two year extended warranty £72, three year extended warranty with accidental damage £155|
|Warranty||one year collect and return|