HP Pavilion M6t review: HP Pavilion M6t

All the basic ports and connections are here, minus a separate mic input jack, and it's great to get four USB ports, three of which are USB 3.0. On a larger 15-inch laptop, you inevitably find lots of things, from external hard drives to game controllers, that require a spare USB port.

With a mainstream Intel Core i5 CPU, the HP Pavilion m6 easily performs on par with more expensive machines. The Core i5-3210 is a very common part, found in everything from 11-inch ultraportables to 17-inch desktop replacements, and is more than powerful enough for common tasks, from running multiple Web browsers to playing HD video.

The AMD 7670 discrete GPU is not as common in laptops as either an Nvidia GPU or just Intel's built-in HD 4000 graphics, but it's a solid performer in this price range. In our Street Fighter IV test, at 1,366x768-pixel resolution, the m6 ran at 68.5 frames per second. The more challenging Metro 2033 test ran at 13.3 frames per second, which is considered a decent score. In anecdotal testing, Just Cause 2, at the same resolution and with medium settings, ran at 30.1 frames per second. This won't be your main gaming laptop -- in part because of the low screen resolution -- but it's fine for casual gaming sessions with Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty, or other mainstream games. Note that you may have to tell the AMD graphics-switching to turn itself on when playing games; not all titles will do this automatically.

For a midsize 15-inch laptop, battery life can go one of two ways. Bigger deskbound systems, such as Dell's XPS 15 or a specialized gaming rig, can get away with short battery life, as they're unlikely to be used on the go. Slimmer 15-inch laptops, including Samsung's Series 9 15-inch and the Retina MacBook Pro, are slim enough to be truly portable, and need very long-lived batteries. The Pavilion m6 is in the middle, but leans a bit more towards portable, so its disappointing to only get three hours and 45 minutes on our video playback battery drain test.

HP's Pavilion line, including the m6, gets only basic default warranty protection. In this case, that's one year of coverage. Upgrading to two years will cost $89, while two years of accidental damage protection and on-site service (with a three-day window), is $114.

Adding a new letter, and a new look, to the long-standing Pavilion line from HP, the m6 smartly mixes some high-end design elements with budget-conscious components. The result is a reasonably priced mainstream all-around laptop that can handle some gaming as well. The catch, and there always is one, is that HP has priced its upscale Envy line of laptops so aggressively, it's hard to justify spending the same amount on this lower-tier system.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Average watts (load test)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

System configurations

HP Pavilion m6
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-3210M; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 1GB AMD Radeon HD V18 + Intel HD 4000; RAID 0 750GB Toshiba 5,400rpm / 32GB Samsung SSD

Dell Inspiron 15R - 5520
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-3210M; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Sony Vaio E15116FXS
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-3210M; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB(Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 750GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron 17R - 5720
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-3210M; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 750GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-2450M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Toshiba 7,200rpm

What you'll pay

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    Where to Buy

    HP Pavilion M6t i5-3360M - 2.8 GHz, 500GB HD, 8GB RAM 64-bit, midnight black

    Part Number: B5U64AV_1783223
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Weight 5.29 lbs
    • Installed Size 8 GB
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