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HP Pavillion DV6 6051 EA - Outstanding laptop

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10.10.2011

Advantages:
Fast .  Well made .  Feature packed .  Looks good .

Disadvantages:
Can be expensive for more featured models .

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Speed

Look & Feel

Comfort & Portability

Robustness & Durability

Value For Money

Memory / capacityExcellent

Ease of useEasy

Range of Extra FeaturesGood

Instruction manualSatisfactory

Manufacturer SupportExcellent

6 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (100%):
  1. TheHairyGodmother
  2. Spottydog11
  3. cornishchic
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There are many HP Pavillion laptops, this one is specifically for the HP PAVILLION DV6 6051 EA.

The spec is,

Intel Core i5 processor
6Gb Ram
750Gb Hard drive
Radeon HD 6490M graphics card
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Usual stuff also included such as built in webcam, microphone, 15" glossy screen, memory card reader, finger print device, USB3 ports, HDMI out etc.

For years I was a Dell fan. All my laptops for the last few years have been Dell and I was happy with them. Recently I was due a new laptop, so again I viewed the Dell line up but this time I wasn't happy, they appeared to be putting less features in for the money I was paying compared to previous models. So I started to look around the market and found sitting in a shop an HP laptop that looked great. I was weary because although I like their printers I have never been a fan of HP's computers, so I had a play with it for a few minutes. I was extremely impressed and wanted it on the spot.

The build quality of this laptop is good. It's light, but feels sturdy. The outer shell looks classy and when you open the laptop you are presented with an 'island' type keyboard - this means that unlike conventional keyboards where the keys are all bang next to each other this keyboard has a slight gap and the keys are slightly more exaggerated. That description doesn't really make it sound as good as it is, but the island keyboard looks fantastic, very smart, and it's enjoyable and comfortable to type on it too.

Under the keyboard is a touchpad. Pretty much like many other touchpads on the market today, with two buttons at the bottom of it. This touchpad has a light rim surrounding it which illuminates it and adds to the nice look of the laptop. You also get a multitouch feature with this touchpad - if you've used a modern smartphone you'll be aware of what multitouch is, for those who haven't this means you can use two fingers at once on the pad to do things like 'pinch to zoom'. Simply push your two fingers apart and the webpage or document you are viewing zooms in, do the opposite with your fingers and it shrinks. This sounds like a gimmick, but it's actually very good and comes in handy when you're looking at web pages with small text or editing images or video - you'll wonder what you did without it after a week of using it.

The laptop has a 15" glossy display. As with other manufacturers HP has given this some sort of name, but it's a glossy screen at the end of the day. Some people hate them, I love them and I regularly clean mine to keep that glossy shine which makes my applications, web browsing and gaming look great. The screen is very bright, although you can control the brightness to suit any taste with the function buttons at the top of the keyboard. It's a good quality display, there's no leakage of light and it's again a joy to use.

The optical drive does the usual reading and writing of DVD disks and CDs. You can pay more for a Blueray drive that plays and writes them, but I didn't, it's expensive and I don't feel I need that at present. The DVD and CD drive that I have has the nice extra feature of being Lightscribe compatible. This means that once you've created your CD or DVD with a compatible Lightscribe CD or DVD you can burn an image or text to the top of the CD instead of using a label. The finished product looks rather professional and adds a nice touch for personal photos or videos when sent to relatives with a photo on the front of the disk laser etched in, or if you're using it for business this adds a nice professional touch to your work.

The memory card reader reads most of the popular types of memory cards and is as quick and easy as just popping in the card from your camera, phone or whatever else.

Connectivity is well covered, there's the usual network port for wired networking but the laptop also supports Wifi B, G and N so you're home network's covered too. In addition to this there's also built in Bluetooth which is a nice touch because you can quickly and easily connect to Bluetooth compatible devices such as phones, printers, headsets and pretty much anything else that's Bluetooth enabled. It's a nice ability to quickly download all the photos from your phone to your laptop without any cables, software or taking out the memory card and simply using Bluetooth.

The graphics on this laptop are an interesting configuration. It actually comes with two graphics cards built in, not just one! There's a low power consuming onboard graphics chip which uses shared system memory that is very capable in itself and is the kind of chip you'd expect in a mid range laptop not designed for gaming or photo / video editing. In addition to this chip is the Radeon HD 6490M graphics card with it's own dedicated memory of 1Gb ram. This is quite different to the onboard chip and produces some excellent output for gaming, video / photo editing and is the type of graphics processor you tend to get in laptops designed more for gaming and other high demand uses. The reason this laptop has both is down to power consumption. If you're plugged in to the mains the laptop will automatically enable the high powered graphics card but if you're running on battery away from home the laptop will automatically switch to the lower powered on board chip. You can configure this to what ever options you want and you can manually switch the graphics too without having to reboot the laptop with a simple click of the mouse. The best thing about this is that it actually works and you'll certainly see longer use from your battery if you switch to the on board chip while out and about.

The laptop can take up to 8Mb of RAM. I currently have 6 and it's lightning fast, I can only imagine what 8 would be like. If you get one with less than 8 you can easily upgrade this yourself for around £20 to 8 and it takes about 5 minutes to do.

The sound output on this laptop matches the visual. This is because this laptop comes with the well known 'Beats Audio' branding if you pay for the model that has this logo in the top left corner of the monitor's lid. You'll be surprised at how good this sounds compared to other laptops and it's a recognised brand that appears to be spreading to quite a few big names at the moment.

The weight is good, it's not an overly heavy laptop and it doesn't get too hot on your lap either.

Another thing I like about this laptop is the level of support you get with it. HP Support Assistant runs in the background and lets you know when there are driver updates, software updates and even BIOS updates available. All you have to do is click OK and it will take care of all this for you. Unlike other manufacturers this software actually works! On top of that, when you purchase the laptop if you're like me you'll want to remove all the bloatware that comes with it such as the crappy McAfee or Norton software (yuk!) or the other trials and little freebies that aren't much use or interest to anyone. Normally this means sitting down for an hour or so deleting and uninstalling software before you get the laptop how you want it. Not with this little stunner you don't - instead you load the HP support software and tell it to reinstall Windows 7 Home Premium. It then gives you several install options for a full install with all bloatware or one with just Windows 7 Home Premium and the required drivers. This saves a good hour or two when buying a new laptop and means the laptop is truely yours, only having what you want on it and it runs very fast as a result. I've yet to see such a great feature on any other brand of laptop.

I have to admit, HP have seriously won me over from Dell in one quick move with this laptop. I love it. It's the best laptop I've owned in my life and it does everything I need. It's a pleasure to use and even the most mundane tasks like internet grocery shopping are more enjoyable with it. I highly recommend one of these laptops.

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Comments about this review »

daisyleex 10.10.2011 00:46

Good review. xx

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The HP Pavilion dv6 is a mid-size laptop, with above-average processing power and everything most people need for b...

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