Editor's note: On January 30, 2007, HP began offering only Windows Vista on its consumer notebooks. This review covers the Windows XP version of the laptop. Though its features and configuration remain the same, this model's performance and battery life with Windows Vista may be slightly varied.
Like all the laptops in the HP Pavilion line, the dv6000's sleek design and shiny finish hold their own next to systems from style-conscious manufacturers such as Apple and Sony. Aside from its good looks, the dv6000 also provides a solid set of entertainment features and high-end components for a fair price. Those components didn't result in record-breaking performance, and its battery life was below average. For these reasons we recommend the Pavilion dv6000 for home users who want a laptop with basic entertainment features and who don't plan to spend a lot of time away from the power outlet.
The HP Pavilion dv6000 measures 14 inches wide, 10.1 inches deep, and 1 inch thick--about the same size as the Dell Inspiron E1505 and the PC Club Enpower ENP680. However, at 6.2 pounds, the Pavilion dv6000 is the lightest of the three; its AC adapter brings the total travel weight to a still portable 7.2 pounds.
We like the HP Pavilion dv6000's 15.4-inch wide-screen display; its native resolution of 1,280x800 provides ample real estate for work or play. The screen's glossy finish makes colors pop and look brighter, though we noticed a distracting glare when working next to a window on a sunny day; there is an option to bypass the glossy coating if you intend to use the dv6000 in bright environments. Above the display sits a 1.3-megapixel Webcam that's useful for videoconferencing; two built-in microphones on the display bezel eliminate the need for an external microphone.
Like all Pavilion laptops, the dv6000 includes a row of light-touch buttons above the keyboard that launch the media player and provide volume and playback controls. We like the sleek look of the keys, but we hate the beeping that indicates you've pressed a button; the sound can be disabled, but doing so is rather complicated. The Altec Lansing stereo speakers, located above those controls, deliver decent-quality sound, but unfortunately the sound becomes muffled if you close the laptop lid. The Pavilion dv6000's keyboard is ample and comfortable to type on for long periods, and both touch pad and mouse buttons are entirely usable. We love the Pavilion dv6000's touch pad on/off button, which keeps you from accidentally misplacing the cursor while typing and makes it easy to use an external mouse.
The HP Pavilion dv6000 offers an average mix of ports for a laptop its size. There are four-pin FireWire, VGA, S-Video, and three USB 2.0 ports, as well as a microphone jack and--for those who like to share movies and music with friends--two headphone jacks, one of which supports S/PDIF output. Card slots on the dv6000 read the latest ExpressCards, plus Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, and xD formats. Networking options include Ethernet, modem, and 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi; Bluetooth is available as an option. The laptop's double-layer DVD burner includes LightScribe, which lets you burn your own labels onto compatible discs.