Unsurprisingly for a 17-inch laptop, it gets through battery power like we get through cake -- it only lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes when we subjected it to our brutal battery benchmark test. This test runs the processor at 100 per cent until the battery conks out, so you'll get better results with more cautious usage.
The dv7-6101sa may look the part with its fancy aluminium coat and clear, wide screen but it lets itself down on the performance front.
Inside, you'll find a 2.1GHz, dual-core AMD A4-3310MX processor, teamed with 6GB of RAM. When we put the laptop through its paces in the PCMark05 benchmark test, it returned a score of 5,506.
That score is below what we'd expect from a machine of this price. The similarly pricedracked up a score of 6,797 in the same test, and the achieved a very impressive score of 7,183.
The dv7-6101sa should still cope well with browsing and general office tasks, but it may struggle with multitasking and video editing. It's fair to say that the aluminium casing, rather than the components within, accounts for a healthy portion of the £560 price tag.
To test how the dv7-6101sa handles graphics, we put its Radeon HD 6515G2 GPU through the 3DMark06 benchmark test. It achieved a fairly pleasing score of 5,091. That's slightly above average for a laptop of this price. You won't be able to run top-end games at the maximum settings, but this machine could cope with slightly older titles if you knock the settings down a tad.
If you're after a low-priced laptop with more impressive gaming capability, you may be better off with the Dell Inspiron 15R, which scored an admirable 8,098 in 3DMark06.
The HP Pavilion dv7-6101sa looks good and makes for a decent movie-playing machine. Its performance is pretty average though. If you're after a powerful laptop but don't want to empty your bank account entirely, your money could definitely be better spent elsewhere.
Edited by Charles Kloet