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HP Pavilion dv6000 review: HP Pavilion dv6000

We like the HP Pavilion dv6000's attractive design and multimedia features, but don't expect this Core 2 Duo laptop to break any speed records.

Michelle Thatcher Former Senior Associate Editor, Laptops
Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.
Michelle Thatcher
5 min read
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.


HP Pavilion dv6000

The Good

Slick, lightweight design; decent processor performance; built-in Webcam; two headphone jacks.

The Bad

Mediocre battery life; optional glossy display can be reflective.

The Bottom Line

We like the HP Pavilion dv6000's attractive design and multimedia features, but don't expect this Core 2 Duo laptop to break any speed records.

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.

We reviewed an early version of the HP Pavilion dv6000 that was built on a 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 processor; however, that processor will not be offered on the system initially (for now, the dv6000 will top out with the 2GHz Core 2 Duo T7200 chip). The rest of our configuration will be available, though: 1GB of fast 667MHz RAM; a 100GB, 5,400rpm hard drive; and an Nvidia GeForce Go 7500 graphics card with 256MB of VRAM. This configuration, with the lower-end 2GHz Core 2 Duo T7200, costs $1,539.

On CNET Labs' application benchmarks, the Pavilion dv6000 excelled at the processor-intensive iTunes encoding test, completing the tasks noticeably faster than the PC Club Enpower ENP680 (also based on Core 2 Duo) and Dell Inspiron E1505 with a previous-generation Core Duo processor. The dv6000 didn't come out ahead on the multitasking and Photoshop tests, though, most likely because it has less RAM than its competitors. Even with half the RAM, we expected the dv6000 to best the Dell Inspiron E1505 on all three of CNET Labs new benchmarks; that it took longer than the Dell to complete our Photoshop test shows that Core 2 Duo systems are not leaps and bounds ahead of older Core Duo laptops. When it comes to battery life, the Pavilion dv6000's 2 hour, 35 minute battery life is somewhat disappointing; we'd hoped for at least 3 hours. In short, the dv6000 should give you all the power you need (especially if you kick in a little extra to upgrade the RAM right away), but you aren't likely to get much time away from the wall socket with the standard-capacity battery. An optional 12-cell battery costs $40 (CNET did not test this battery).

Every HP Pavilion dv6000 is backed by an industry-standard one-year warranty; the cost to extend the term to three years is a reasonable $185. Toll-free telephone support is available 24/7 during your warranty period, and the HP support Web site includes one of our favorite support features: real-time chat with a tech rep. If you want to troubleshoot problems yourself, you can search the site's thorough FAQ database.

Performance results
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark2005 battery life in minutes  
BAPCo MobileMark2005 performance  

System configurations:
Dell Inspiron E1505
Windows XP Media Center; 2GHz Intel Core Duo T2500; 2GB DDR2 SDRAM PC-4300 533MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon x1400 256MB; Samsung HM120JI 120GB 5,400rpm
PC Club Enpower ENP680
Windows XP Home; 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7200; 2GB DDR2 SDRAM PC2-5300 666MHz; Nvidia GeForce GO 7600 GS 256MB; Seagate Momentus 7200.1 80GB 7,200rpm
HP Pavilion dv6000
Windows XP Pro; 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo T7400; 1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 666MHz; Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 256MB; Fujitsu MHV2100BH PL 100GB 5,400rpm

Find out more about how we test Windows laptops.


HP Pavilion dv6000

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 5Battery 4Support 6