HP Pavilion dv6t-6000 review: HP Pavilion dv6t-6000

The dv6t's ports have gotten the obligatory 2011 refresh, adding two USB 3.0 ports to accompany two more USB 2.0 ports. The dv6t's extra headphone-out jack could be useful for couples watching movies on a couch or a plane, should that odd scenario ever arise. Nowadays, sadly, many tend to watch their movies on separate screens.

Configurations of the HP Pavilion dv6t cover a wide gamut of options. A $599 starting model offers a tempting collection of specs, including a second-gen 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-2310M processor, 4GB of RAM, integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics, and a 500GB 5,400rpm hard drive. Our configuration had a faster Core i5 CPU, more RAM, AMD graphics, and a larger hard drive, boosting the price to $849. It's easy to go far north of $1,000, too, as everything from CPUs (up to a dual-core Core i7), graphics (up to 2GB AMD Radeon HD 6770M), RAM (up to 16GB), hard drive (up to 1TB), screen (up to 1080p), and optical drive (up to Blu-ray) can be upgraded. This type of sliding-scale configurable laptop model concept is common with Dell laptops as well, making a product hard to recommend by individual configuration. Our recommendation would be to keep to the entry-level, or upgrade with prudence to a high-end machine. The middle ground, which is where our laptop lies, becomes a bit of a gray zone, since there are plenty of alternatives that offer equivalent or better value, most notably the Dell XPS 15.

The 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M CPU in our Pavilion dv6t is a processor we've seen in many mainstream laptops over the last six months. Its performance in the dv6t was, unsurprisingly, just like in the others we've seen: excellent. The Dell Inspiron 15R, Toshiba Satellite E305, and HP ProBook 6360b were among many to incorporate it. Multitasking and HD video streaming, or multiwindow Flash, all ran fine and with little difficulty. The left-side vents did tend to blow quite a bit of hot air, but some of that is adjustable in HP's CoolSense cooling and performance settings, which mainly amount to you deciding how hot or noisy you want your laptop.

Less impressive was the performance of the 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6490M graphics, a $100 option on the dv6t. Unreal Tournament III achieved a passable 54.9 frames per second at 1,366x768-pixel resolution with graphics settings at medium, but that game is old, and we've seen better results from other laptops. Street Fighter IV, running at native resolution, ran at 20fps. That's pretty unplayable. Gamers should consider upgrading to the next and final level available on the dv6t, a 2GB AMD Radeon HD 6770M GPU for $200. We can't confirm its performance, but we certainly hope it's better than what we saw out of the 6490M. Even more frustrating, the AMD graphics were finicky and not "automatic" by any means; we were offered basic switching to Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics when using battery power, but that was it. Otherwise, the graphics ran universally "on" or "off."

Juice box
HP Pavilion dv6t-6000 Avg watts/hour
Off (60%) 0.4
Sleep (10%) 0.78
Idle (25%) 13.46
Load (05%) 52.99
Raw kWh number 55.47
Annual power consumption cost $6.30

Annual power consumption cost
HP Pavilion dv6t-6000
$6.30 

With its included six-cell battery, the Pavilion dv6t ran for 4 hours and 49 minutes in our video playback battery drain test. A hair under 5 hours for a 15.6-inch laptop is very good, but we've seen better out of products like the Apple MacBook Pro. For a Windows laptop in 2011, it's better than average.

HP offers a standard one-year warranty with the Pavilion dv6t. A variety of other warranty and service options can be added point-of-sale on HP's site, starting at $99 extra for a two-year Care Pack pick-up-and-return service to $199 extra for a three-year Care Pack House Call service with accidental damage protection. HP's Web site and phone service are easy enough to navigate, although with all the variations in configurations, matching your specific laptop can be a bit of a challenge.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv6t-6000
595 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv6t-6000
120 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv6t-6000
289 

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

HP Pavilion dv6t-6000
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 6,144MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 2GB AMD Radeon HD 6,490M/64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 640GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Toshiba Satellite E305-S1990x
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420s
Windows 7 Professional (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1,696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 320GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Dell Inspiron 15R
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 6,144MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Editors' Top PicksSee All

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Where to Buy

    HP Pavilion dv6t-6000

    Part Number: LT070AV
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Weight 5.78 lbs
    • Installed Size 6 GB
    Hot Products