HP Pavilion dv6 and Pavilion dv7 review: first look
It’s not often we get too excited about mid-range laptops, but HP’s makeover of its Pavilion dv6 and dv7 series laptops has just made our hearts skip a beat. With its all-new brushed aluminium chassis and a selection of Sandy Bridge processors, the Pavilion takes more than a little inspiration from HP’s Envy series.
While some low-end Pavilions will still rock the plastic, the higher-end Pavilions are now finished in what HP describes as a ‘Dark Umber’ aluminium finish. It looks great, and feels solid, too.
In keeping with the reasonable asking prices – just £699 inc VAT for the the dv6-6150ea, and £899 for the dv7-6150ea – both utilise the mid-range Core i5-2410M processor. Switchable graphics chipsets also see AMD’s Radeon HD 6490M buddying up with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000.
HP’s Beats Audio now comes as standard on both models, and the speakers have been moved around the chassis, with four on the dv6 and six on the dv7. The latter packs in a miniature ‘subwoofer’ driver on its base, too, making for a pair of seriously crisp-sounding laptops.
HP has also responded to the complaints levelled at its previous models, so the touchpad has been redesigned from scratch. Gone are the fiddly integrated buttons, replaced by a wide, responsive touchpad and two discrete buttons – a huge improvement. The Scrabble-tile keyboard, meanwhile, is as good as ever.
A careful scout around the new Pavilion’s ports and connectors sees USB 3 makes its debut. All the networking essentials are still present, with Gigabit Ethernet partnered with 802.11bgn and Bluetooth, while a 1.3 megapixel webcam with low-light mode is enough to keep Skype users happy.
A fingerprint reader comes as standard, and HP’s SimplePass software makes light work of securely managing multiple login details. Assign login details to individual fingers, and a single stroke of the finger is all it takes to fire up the browser and automatically log in to your preferred site.
With both models just hitting the shop shelves as you read this, HP’s promised to send us a pair of review units by the end of this week. Keep an eye on the website, and we’ll bring you the full low-down as soon as we can.