CNET First Look
HP Pavilion dv6tHP's 15-inch mainstream laptop has Beats audio, tons of configuration options, and a fingerprint reader that's cooler than you realize. We show you why.
I'm Scott Stein, senior editor at CNET.com, and this is a look at the HP Pavillion dv6t. Now, HP has a lot like Dell in some ways. They have mainstream laptops with a lot of appeal, with a lot of customizable options, creating kind of almost infinite spectrum across a certain particular model. Well, the HP DV60 is a type of laptop that starts very affordably at 599, but it could climb well over 1000 depending on what you pump into it. What it is, is a 15.6-inch laptop. Don't be fool by the sexy name of the DV60. It's a 15 incher that has a new design. It's new bells and whistles along with new processor options that are improvement on that HP offered last year with the dv6. New bells and whistles include such things as Beats audio, an HD webcam, a fingerprint reader, and a new kind of funky glossy design that feels little bit more like an HP AMD. Processor options start at a second gen Intel Core i3. Our configuration has a Core i5-2410M. That processor we have seen in a lot of other laptops over the last 6 months. It's very fast. It's great performance. Not that different from a lot of other laptops such as the Dell Inspiron 15R, but you're getting here is you're getting some better audio. Beats is an audio technology inside what works with the circuitry and the software. It doesn't really talk about the speakers and the speakers in here are good, the Quad Core speakers and speakers up here and speakers down below, but no subwooper, and the audio that we got was definitely better than average. It sounded really good, but doesn't sound as good some of the Harman Kardon speakers or the Dell XPS 15 to our ears. So, if you like listening the music on a laptop, that could be important to you. The options also include things like 1080p screen. This one doesn't have it or you can get a Blu-ray drive. So, you can make this thing it's way full media laptop if you choose or go to the budget option. Either way, all configurations do include your HD webcam and include the fingerprint reader and include the Beats audio, which is kind of nice especially on the budget end. The battery life was also good. We got about 1 or 5 hours of battery life on this. So, for a big 15 inch that's good, but getting to the size, it is a big 15 incher. Don't let the sleek lines fool you. It's about 1.3 inches thick on average and almost 6 pounds. This thing is big and you're probably not gonna wanna carry it around too much and it's backpack carriable, but when you're investing in a laptop of this size, you're thinking it's gonna stay on a desktop. So one part of this that you may not really think it's quite as cool as I do, but you may want to start using it is the fingerprint reader. Why they put in on a nonbusiness laptop. Well use it, it's fantastic. The idea behind this, the genius is that it logs in your password, not just for log in, but for up a number of different websites or applications. You can use all 10 fingers and store your passwords for things like G-Mail or Netflix. So, you can actually use that. Swipe your middle finger and go to your favorite site. It's great idea and it's not often used in laptops and frankly once you start playing around with it you even wanna start having that on your phone and your tablet too. There are few things we didn't love it namely that there is no backlit keyboard, although the keyboard is nice and wide. The trackpad is nice and big, but however it lost its click pad capabilities. Now, it's a standard trackpad with buttons beneath, some people may love that, some people not like that. And the AMD Radeon graphics at least as far as we tested them the mid range version or little disappointing. That will play games, but is not really a screaming gaming laptop. There is a higher end AMD Radeon graphics configuration you might wanna invest into. This version came to about 849, which is good, but it's not a bargain and it's not super expensive laptops right in the middle zone. There are a lot of laptops that fit in to that range. The question is, is this the one you want or do you want another one? It's up to you, but definitely take a look at all the configurations available. Maybe there's a suite spot that you like. I'm Scott Stein and this is a look at the HP Pavilion dp6t.