The HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa is designed to be an all-rounder, equally capable of working and playing. Unlike most laptops that we see, it uses an AMD processor, rather than an Intel one.
This 15.6-inch machine is available from Laptops Direct and other vendors for around £535.
The dv6-3122sa uses a dual-core AMD Turion II P540 clocked at 2.4GHz. No doubt HP opted for this chip in an effort to keep the price down.
Despite the fact that the CPU is twinned with 4GB of RAM, it didn't score amazingly in the PCMark05 benchmark test. For example, while the dual-core 2.53GHz Intel Core i3-380M processor in the similarly priced clocked up a score of 5,952, the dv6-3122sa's chip mustered 4,642.
Nevertheless, this score still shows the laptop is fast enough to handle most day-to-day tasks, like Web browsing and editing standard-definition videos. It's likely to struggle with more complex tasks, such as high-definition video editing, however.
Unlike many budget laptops, it's not too bad a performer when it comes to gaming. The laptop relies on an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 graphics card. This put in a fairly decent performance in the 3DMark06 test, racking up a score of 4,642. As long as you keep the detail settings turned down a notch or two, you should be able to get half-decent performance out of newer 3D games.
The machine's battery life isn't bad by 15-inch laptop standards, either. In the Battery Eater Classic test, it managed to keep running for 1 hour and 36 minutes, which is above-average. This test hammers the processor, so, under real-world usage conditions, you're like to get much longer life from the battery.
No great beauty
The dv6-3122sa is neither ugly nor beautiful, but sits somewhere in between. The case looks and feels plasticky, especially the silver strip that runs around the edge, but HP has jazzed it up by adding a geometric pattern on the lid and sculpting the corners into a pleasing rounded shape. Nevertheless, the overall look and feel of the laptop couldn't be described as 'premium'.