This is the third time we've reviewed the HP Pavilion dv6. This might seem excessive, but laptops evolve quickly as new technology becomes available and the HP Pavilion dv6-2113sa is one of the latest configurations now on sale. At £550 it's very keenly priced too, but this is a competitive part of the market with the likes of the Samsung R580 going for a similar price. It'll have to do a lot to impress.
That competitive price can be partly explained by the processor, an AMD Turion II Ultra M620. This dual-core processor, which runs at 2.5GHz and has a 2MB Cache, will be cheaper for HP than the alternative Intel option. We assume this saving has been passed on to customers, but even if it hasn't the dv6-2113sa represents extremely good value for money.
Glancing at the rest of the specs tells us this much. For your hard-earned cash you get a 500GB hard drive (a 7,200rpm one no less), 4GB of DDR2 RAM and a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium. Graphics is supplied by an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4530 with 512MB dedicated memory, while the obligatory DVD drive offers up LightScribe support. Wireless-N Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR and Gigabit Ethernet complete the near faultless spec.
This excellent internal specification is matched by the external connectivity, which is diverse and well-considered. HDMI and VGA are present, as is a proprietary port for use with one of HP's docking stations. HP is unique (to our knowledge) in support for docking stations on consumer laptops. These are joined by three USB ports (one with eSATA support), mini-FireWire, 54mm ExpressCard, and a memory card reader. A trio of audio jacks (2x headphone, 1x microphone) are joined on the front edge by an infrared receiver. HP even includes a compact remote that slots into the ExpressCard slot. It's an incredibly generous collection at this price.
Neither has HP skimped on the design or materials used to make the dv6-2113sa. Admittedly those with an aversion to glossy plastic will want to avoid it, but the dv6 is a very good looking machine. Its combination of gloss black finish, infused with HP's fun signature imprint designs, and faux chrome edging works very well. It's coherent, measured and stylish without looking overly fussy or cluttered.
While it's always difficult to gauge build quality on a new product - it takes long term usage to get a full picture - our initial impressions are positive. HP has used decent quality plastics throughout and the large, chunky hinge inspires confidence. Only the slightly unsightly joins near the Tab and Caps Lock keys (mirrored on the opposite side) where different parts of the trim meet are cause for complaint, but it's mostly a cosmetic issue.