HP Pavilion DV7-6101sa review

Tom Morgan
20 Oct 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Another great Pavilion laptop from HP, but if you’re after serious desktop performance you’ll have to look elsewhere


Despite their budget prices, HP's Pavilion laptops are stylish, thanks to a clean design and tough aluminium construction. The DV7-6101sa is no different – the 17in chassis isn’t exactly compact, but its sleek appearance gives the impression of a much more expensive product.

HP Pavilion DV7-6101sa

Considering its size, we were happy with the decent range of connectivity options; as well as an internal DVD re-writer, the DV7 also includes two USB ports, a USB3 connector, VGA and HDMI video outputs, three 3.5mm audio jacks and a multi-format memory card reader.

HP Pavilion DV7-6101sa left

Underneath the textured metal lid, a black keyboard with large keys and a dedicated numeric keypad contrasts nicely with the silver chassis. The keys are well spaced and have pleasant springy actions. By default, the function keys are shortcuts to multimedia functions such as media playback and volume, but if you don't want to have to hold down the 'Fn' key to access keys F1 to F12 you can change the option in the laptop's BIOS. The touchpad buttons were better than those on previous Pavilion laptops, as they were firm yet responsive in everyday use.

HP Pavilion DV7-6101sa keyboard

The DV7's display has a glossy finish, which can reflect light sources and make the laptop hard to use in a brightly-lit room, but a very bright backlight and plenty of screen tilt go a long way towards compensating for the reflections and the screen's fairly narrow viewing angles. The DV7's screen also has a fairly high 1,600x900 resolution, which makes it easy to work on two documents at once or watch 720p video content.

HP Pavilion DV7-6101sa right

The DV7's 1TB hard disk and great screen make it a good multimedia laptop, but the Beats Audio-branded speakers were a disappointment. There was definite distortion at full volume, although at lower levels we could listen to MP3s and streaming internet radio happily. There was even some bass, although you’ll still need to connect a set of dedicated speakers if you want to fill a room with sound.

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