HP Pavilion dv6 (6C35TX)

HP has managed to out something that not only comes in at under AU$1000, but also doesn't sacrifice on quality or battery life. The dv6 comes recommended.


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Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


Nudging in at just under AU$1000, HP's newest dv6 is quite decent, considering the price point. If you're willing to spend more, it's also available in a swathe of different configurations that offer more storage or power.

The deep-bronze brushed aluminium and subtle curves work well, with the Pavilion looking more like a premium laptop than an entry-level one. This perception is enhanced by the light around the track pad, although sadly the keyboard doesn't light up.

As tends to be the way with budget notebooks, despite the 15.6-inch screen, we're given a rather low 1366x768 resolution to work with. The glossy screen is acceptable, but it doesn't blow us away with vibrancy.

AU$1000 gets you quite a bit of bang for buck these days, with the Pavilion dv6 including a Core i5 2450M at 2.5GHz, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Graphics are handled by AMD's Radeon HD 7690M XT, and we're happy to report that the battery-saving switch back to Intel graphics is now seamless. It's a good feeling to be able to recommend AMD mobile graphics once more.

Four USB 2.0 ports are offered, along with dual headphone jacks, a microphone jack, gigabit Ethernet, VGA and HDMI out and a DVD+-RW drive. Despite the opportunity afforded by having three 3.5mm jacks available, HP does not allow the user to repurpose them for 5.1-channel sound. It has managed to stake the Beats Audio brand on the laptop, though, but with speakers this small and cheap, there's only so much that the software can do — we'd recommend you stick to headphones for anything more than basic system sounds.

Both touch pad and keyboard are perfectly acceptable, although we found HP's Envy 14 and Pavilion dm1 to have better typing experiences.

Application performance

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

  • 230
    Asus N53S (Core i7 2630QM, 6GB RAM, 640GB HDD, GeForce GT 540M)
  • 394
    Toshiba Satellite C665 (Core i5 2430M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, GeForce 315M)
  • 396
    Asus A53S (Core i5 2430M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 520MX)
  • 405
    HP Pavilion dv6 (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Radeon HD 7690M XT)
  • 476
    Acer Aspire 5750 (Core i3 2350M, 2GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Intel HD Graphics)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)


All of the laptops compared in the chart above are under AU$1000, and have 15.6-inch screens.

Handbrake's multi-threaded nature really gives quad-core CPUs a boost, as is witnessed by the Asus N53 in both the Handbrake and multimedia multitasking tests. Photoshop and iTunes, which tend to be more about clock speed than cores, allow the HP to climb the charts into the No. 2 position.

Gaming performance

Choose a benchmark: Metro 2033 | Batman: Arkham Asylum

Metro 2033 (in FPS)

  • Max FPS
  • Average FPS
  • Min FPS
  • 39185
    HP Pavilion dv6 (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Radeon HD 7690M XT)
  • 48112
    Asus N53S (Core i7 2630QM, 6GB RAM, 640GB HDD, GeForce GT 540M)
  • 3072
    Asus A53S (Core i5 2430M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 520MX)
  • 1330
    Toshiba Satellite C665 (Core i5 2430M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, GeForce 315M)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)


While budget laptops still aren't equipped for heavy gaming duties, as evidenced by the Metro 2033 scores, they are surprisingly adept at the more forgiving Batman: Arkham Asylum. Only the Toshiba doesn't hit an acceptable average frame rate.

Battery life

Battery life (time)

  • Heavy battery test
  • Light battery test
  • 2h 57m4h 26m
  • Acer Aspire 5750 (Core i3 2350M, 2GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Intel HD Graphics)
  • 3h 4m4h 20m
  • HP Pavilion dv6 (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Radeon HD 7690M XT)
  • 2h 5m3h 32m
  • Asus A53S (Core i5 2430M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 520MX)
  • 2h 52m3h 31m
  • Toshiba Satellite C665 (Core i5 2430M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, GeForce 315M)
  • 1h 39m3h 30m
  • Asus N53S (Core i7 2630QM, 6GB RAM, 640GB HDD, GeForce GT 540M)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)


Battery is usually where manufacturers skimp when it comes to cheap laptops. Here the Pavilion dv6 does very well indeed, almost managing to match the considerably less power-hungry Acer. It looks like AMD has not only figured out seamless graphics switching, but now also has more power-efficient discrete graphics than Nvidia.

Conclusion

HP has managed to out something that not only comes in at under AU$1000, but also doesn't sacrifice on quality or battery life. The dv6 comes recommended.

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AbraP Facebook
2
Rating
 

"I wish I'd never bought it"

AbraP posted a review   

The Good:?

The Bad:Too Much to List

I bought my HP Pav dv6 June 2012. I also got a warranty for 1 year complimentary. Within the first month it was back at the shop with the IT guy when it would load a black screen, then behave erratically. He blamed it on some of my software, then did a full wipe of my computer saying that he didn't believe it was a lemon, despite my gut feeling it was and that HP wouldn't replace the computer without a solid reason why it wasn't working - one that he couldn't find - and that they were pretty difficult about replacing them anyway.

Fast forward 11 months, pretty much the day after my warranty ran out, my computer, which still behaves erratically on occasion, booted up to a long, annoying beeping sound, which indicates that there's something wrong with the motherboard.

It now has a whopping 15 minutes of battery life, indicating that the battery needs to be changed every time I boot up. Sometimes it disables the keyboard completely. It can't go anywhere without being plugged in (I wanted long battery life for long train trips I take home) opens programmes that I haven't clicked on and takes an average of 20 minutes to boot up properly.

Do not ever buy a Pavillion - I don't think I'll ever buy a HP after this. It may all look good on paper (and it did, because that's why I bought it), but this computer is not worth your hard earned money. It wouldn't boot up from the screensaver, I believe it often deletes my files completely from my computer and makes strange noises now and then.

If it wasn't such a temperamental lemon that can't do anything reliable to save it's life, it's features would be pretty decent.

Now seriously considering buying a new laptop - a WHOLE year after I already bought a new one.

Not good enough, HP.

will552
9
Rating
 

"good gaming computer"

will552 posted a review   
Other

The Good:how well it works with games and how fast it loads and how non glitchy it is

The Bad:bad battery life get really hot and vents bad

this is a very good laptop I bright my for gaming but that was the special edition and the only problem I have had with it is the venting witch would most likely not be so bad when it is used for something that Is not doing something that is not as power consuming or use some much strength it is also a good looking computer but I would only recommend it for gaming and the battery life is not that good when I used offie on it always stop responding

 

pngaita15 posted a comment   
Australia

Hi, I have a contrary experience with all of you. I don't know why but this is my second year using this computer and it has served me well. Non of the those complaints i have experienced. no overheating, mouse pad working just as new, download very fast, memory perfect and I have fallen in love with it.
Maybe it is the way we handle this computer and the things we do with it that makes all the difference.

mmas007
1
Rating
 

"Stay away from HP"

mmas007 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Looks

The Bad:Unreliability

I bought this computer back is July 2012. After 1 month, problems started. The CD drive would pop out continuously for no reason. The finger print reader sometimes didnt work. The computer is sometimes very slow. HP fixed the CD drive but not the finger print reader. Now the speakers don't work. The mouse pad is not providing a reliable scroll function. Yesterday, the wireless adapter started to play up. Its all under warranty but I've taken this up with Consumer Protection as I want a refund for the LEMON HP is.

TerryD1 Facebook
1
Rating
 

TerryD1 posted a review   

The Good:Had all the bells and whistles just to bad most dont work

The Bad:hard drive 'battery errors to many to list

Way to any issues with this computor and we have four diffrent brands in the huse. My HP dv6 is the newest and the worst one. Never by a HP product again. This thing has had issues from the start

Sarah1
1
Rating
 

"Don't waste your time or money"

Sarah1 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Honestly cant think of anything

The Bad:Overheats, noisy fan, shuts down

I reported overheating and fan noise problems to HP within days of receiving laptop in January 2012. They told me to elevate the machine to enable more air. Since then, I have worked with a calculator elevating the back. Still went slowly, made horrible noise...

Complained again in August....no response.

Was about to dump laptop then thought..why shouldn't I at least get my money back? Rang up...now they admit there is a problem and are going to fit a part to fix over-heating.

Think I will ask for my money back anyhow...the least they can do after a year of agony!

Geoff N HelenC Facebook
2
Rating
 

"Horrible laptop HP Pavillion dv6"

Geoff N HelenC posted a review   

I have a Pavillion Dv6 and this has been fixed once within a year under warranty and the same problem is happening again. Overheats and gets error message/blue screen and memory dump thing, won't recognise my mobile broadband every second day and keyboard goes funny and can't type on it without refreshing or shutting down and restarting. Have seen about 20 reviews with the same problem, this model is a lemon and I am getting a full refund from HP this week. At least they have come to the party and refunded my money Now i don't now what laptop to buy as I have a limited choice from the store. They have Toshiba and Asus and I play lots of computer games, so will need something that can do this.

 

kayelaine posted a comment   
Australia

My biggest regret has to be purchasing this laptop. In it's first year, the problems that I encountered with it was too many, the battery life was short, and as the other comments have implied - overheated quickly and after a year's use, it now sits under my bed collecting dust- no longer working or functioning. I bought it for a hefty $1100 (perhaps even more, can't remember) and I highly recommend that if you were planning to buy a laptop, notebook, you save up more and buy something better so you won't have to spend it constantly on repairs, battery replacements and what not.

 

ZoA posted a comment   

I cannot remember exactly what model I have, but ever since I can remember it constantly overheats.. To the point where it almost burns you when you touch it and is incredibly noise even when not being used. After not being used for about a month I turned it of to find out none of my number keys work or others like arrows. I love hp but this laptop let me down unbelievably!

 

irishman37 posted a comment   
Australia

i had more or less decided to buy this laptop but when i went on the dell Australia website i saw their laptops were much better value for money Inspiron 15R Online Price $799 2nd generation Intel® Core%u2122 i7-2670QM processor (2.20 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.10 GHz 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 4GB 500GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive im confused now any advice?


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User Reviews / Comments  HP Pavilion dv6 (6C35TX)

  • AbraP

    AbraP

    Rating2

    "I bought my HP Pav dv6 June 2012. I also got a warranty for 1 year complimentary. Within the first month it was back at the shop with the IT guy when it would load a black screen, then behave errat..."

  • will552

    will552

    Rating9

    "this is a very good laptop I bright my for gaming but that was the special edition and the only problem I have had with it is the venting witch would most likely not be so bad when it is used for ..."

  • pngaita15

    pngaita15

    "Hi, I have a contrary experience with all of you. I don't know why but this is my second year using this computer and it has served me well. Non of the those complaints i have experienced. no overh..."

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