The Bottom Line
Nov 10 2011 - HP continues their trend of offering a more affordable performance computer with the Pavilion dv6 compared to their Envy 14. In fact, the quad core processor and 8GB of memory give it better general performance and the trackpad with dedicated buttons is very welcome. The downside is that the laptop doesn't offer the same level of polish or storage capabilities. It is also marred by a mismatched aluminum and plastic design as well as lots of unwanted installed software. Still, for those looking for performance for under $1000, it is a solid choice.
- Strong Performance From Quad Core Processor
- 8GB of DDR3 Memory
- Too Much Preinstalled Software
- Style is Disrupted By Black Plastic Buttom
- Intel Core i7-2670QM Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 750GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 6570 Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.9" x 9.7" x 1.4" @ 5.8 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Review - HP Pavilion dv6-6180us
Nov 10 2011 - HP's Pavilion dv6-6180us is sort of an enigma in their product lineup. It is several hundred dollars less than their Envy 14 laptop but offers some better features in some areas. One key difference is the use of the Intel Core i7-2670QM quad core processor rather than a dual core processor found in the Envy. In addition, they include 8GB of DDR3 memory rather than 6GB. These two things give this laptop a better general performance than the performance Envy laptop especially for tasks such as desktop video editing.
Where HP cuts the performance and costs of the Pavilion dv6-6180us is the storage features. It does provide a sizable hard drive with a 750GB hard drive that provides plenty of space for applications, data and media files. The downside is that the drive is spinning at a traditional 5400rpm spin rate compared to others that use the faster 7200rpm. This means that there is a bit of a lag in data retrieval. If you do require more storage space, the laptop does come equipped with two USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed storage peripherals. A standard dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD or DVD media.
Rather than a 14.5-inch display of the Envy 14, the Pavilion dv6 uses a traditional 15.6-inch display found in the majority of 15-inch laptops. In fact, the display is pretty much the same that it has been for several years with a 1366x768 resolution and glossy coating. It would have been nice to see a newer display panel to deal with the limited viewing angles but this is their more affordable performance laptop. The graphics remain unchanged from the past version, using the AMD Radeon HD 6570 with 1GB memory. This is a modest graphics processor that will allow PC gaming at moderate detail levels up to the display's resolution. It also is beneficial because the graphics can help accelerate applications such as Photoshop.
Battery life remains unchanged from the past version as the components and battery pack have changed little. It still uses the same six cell battery pack with a 55WHr capacity rating that is typical of many 15-inch laptops. In DVD playback tests, the laptop was able to run for three and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. More typical usage should yield around five hours which is less than HP's claim but still decent. It still falls short of what the more expensive Apple MacBook Pro 15 or similarly priced Dell Inspiron 14z can achieve.
The keyboard and trackpad design remain identical to the previous model Pavilion dv6 which is good. Rather than the integrated button trackpad that is still found on the Envy 14, it uses dedicated right and left buttons which avoid some of the glitches of the integrated version. The keyboard is a standard isolated layout that offers a nice and comfortable design. It doesn't have the backlighting like the more expensive Envy series offers though.
HP has been one company that likes to include a lot of software installed on their laptops. With the Envy series, this offers some very nice and useful programs. This isn't the case however with the Pavilion lineup. There is a fair amount of programs that will likely never be used and are little more than trials. Uses will definitely want to take some time to remove unwanted applications in order to at least improve the boot speeds of the laptop.