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HP Pavilion dv6-6051ea review

Barry de la Rosa
30 Jul 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
700
inc VAT

Page 1 of 2HP Pavilion dv6-6051ea review

It's lovely to look at, but for this price, the dv6 is underspecified

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HP's dv6-6051ea is a beautifully designed laptop with a generous specification. It's powered by a fast Intel Core i5-2410M processor, which is backed up by 6GB of RAM and a 640GB hard disk.

Despite its 15.6in screen, the dv6 weighs almost 3kg. This makes it a little too heavy for regular travelling, so the battery life of just over three hours isn't such a disadvantage. With its brushed-metal finish it shouldn't be hidden away, however. Opening the lid reveals a curvy case that tapers towards the edges, and there's a metal strip around the edge that not only looks good but protects the ports getting scuffed.

HP Pavilion dv6-6051ea right ports

Above the keyboard is a smart metal grille that protects the speakers and also acts as part of the hinge mechanism for the lid. The speakers are clear and loud, but lack real bass; the Beats Audio branding may be impressive, but in reality it's a glorified equalizer that tries to boost bass sounds to add depth. Although the speakers sound a bit meatier with Beats Audio turned on, audio ends up muddled and compressed-sounding.

HP Pavilion dv6-6051ea left ports

AMD's Radeon HD 6490M graphics chip is also disappointing. It managed 26fps in our Dirt 3 benchmark, which is only borderline playable. In fact, we were unable to run Dirt 3 in full-screen mode, despite loading the newest drivers.

In our multimedia benchmarks, the dv6 fared much better, posting an overall score of 54 and hitting 75 in the single-threaded image-editing test, so it should be able to handle most applications. The extra 2GB of RAM didn't make it noticeably faster than laptops equipped with 4GB, but you should appreciate the lack of slowdown when working with large video files. The 640GB hard disk has room to store plenty of those.

HP Pavilion dv6-6051ea

If you're spending £700 on a 15.6in laptop, you'd expect a top-quality screen. Again, the dv6 disappoints. The 1,366x768 resolution is the same you'll find on cheaper 15.6in laptops and despite a bright, even LED backlight, it has a strong blue cast which has to be corrected using the graphics card drivers. The screen's glossy finish boosts colour and contrast, but reflects overhead lighting too, so you have to adjust the screen's tilt carefully.

Page 1 of 2HP Pavilion dv6-6051ea review

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