The Bottom Line
- Quad Core Processor Helps With Multitasking
- Large Hard Drive
- Solid 3D Graphics Performance
- Below Average Battery Life
- Poor Trackpad Design With Integrated Buttons
- Slow Boot Times
- AMD Phenom II N950 Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 640GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner With LightScribe Support
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 Dedicated Graphics With 1GB Memory
- v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Four USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.9" x 9.7" x 1.4" @ 5.5 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, HP MediaSmart, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - HP Pavilion dv6-3160us 15.6-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC
Nov 10 2010 - HP's Pavilion dv6-3160us carries much of the same look as their more expensive Envy product line but in more affordable materials. Rather than having an aluminum exterior, the company uses the more affordable plastics. This helps reduce the costs of the laptop while not sacrificing much in terms of features.
Rather than using an Intel base processor, HP decided to go with a quad core AMD Phenom II N950 processor. This will give the laptop the advantage over dual core processor when dealing with heavy multitasking or multithreaded applications. For most basic applications, it will be similar in performance to a Core i5 dual core processor. It falls well short of Intel's quad core mobile processors though but this is far more affordable.
In terms of storage, the HP Pavilion dv6-3160us offers roughly 25 percent more storage by offering a higher capacity 640GB hard drive compared to the average 500GB model. Performance is not as high as some laptops such as the Envy series that use 7200rpm drives because it uses a more sedate 5400rpm traditional spin rate. A standard dual layer DVD burner is included for playback and recording of CDs and DVDs. The drive also supports burning labels directly to CD and DVD media. A multi-card reader handles the most popular forms of flash cards.
The display on the Pavilion dv6-3160us isn't anything that hasn't been seen on most laptops in this size range. The 1366x768 resolution is fairly typical and the color is bright enough with decent viewing angles and a glossy coating. What sets this apart from many others is the inclusion of the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics processor with 1GB of memory. This provides the system with sufficient performance for doubling as a gaming laptop by being able to run modern games up to the panel's native resolution without much problem.
The battery life for the Pavilion dv6-3160us might be one area where the AMD processor and platform hurt it. The system ships with a fairly standard six-cell battery pack found on many laptops. In DVD playback tests, the system was able to run roughly two and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. This is roughly a half-hour less than most laptops in this price range are able to achieve. More traditional usage should yield roughly another hour of running time.
HP's keyboards have greatly improved over the years but they have introduced a few quirks. The isolated design offers a spacious layout that is comfortable to use. The downside is the introduction of several function keys along the right hand side of the keyboard. This placement can cause some issues from some that expect the right shift, enter and backspace keys to be along the right hand side of the keyboard. The trackpad is even more disappointing though. While the pad itself is quite spacious, the use of integrated buttons into the trackpad causes problems when clicking.