One of the biggest advantages of using a new Ivy Bridge processor, and a new Keplar GPU, is the amount of extra processing power you get while sipping less power than equivalent notebooks using last generation hardware. That translates to better power efficiency which in turn prolongs your battery life. To get an idea how much better the new generation of hardware does against the older generation, simply compare against the 2011 dv6 notebook we've pitted against. However to help you decide if pure processing power is indeed what you need, instead of just an even more prolonged battery life, you can compare the results against an ideal Ultrabook (Ivy Bridge reference Ultrabook), as well as an Ultrabook with discrete graphics (Envy 4).
|Specifications/Notebook||HP Pavilion dv6 2012||HP Pavilion dv6 2011||HP Envy 4||Intel Ultrabook
|Processor||Intel Core i7-3610QM
|Intel Core i7-2630QM
|Intel Core i5-3317U
|Intel Core i5-3427U
|Chipset||Intel HM77||Intel HM65||Intel UM77||Intel UM77|
|Memory||4GB DDR3||4GB DDR3||8GB DDR3||4GB DDR3|
|Storage||750GB HDD||750GB||500GB HDD / 32GB SSD Cache||256GB SSD|
|Video||Intel HD Graphics 4000 / NVIDIA Geforce GT 650M||Intel HD Graphics 4000 / AMD Radeon HD 6770M||Intel HD Graphics 4000 / AMD Radeon HD 7670M||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Battery||6 Cell Li-ion||6 Cell Li-ion||4 Cell Li-ion||6 Cell Li-ion|
|Dimensions||378 x 247 x 29.4 - 32.5mm||378 x 246.8 x 31.1 - 35.2mm||340 x 235.8 x 19.8mm||329 x 223 x 16mm)|
Before we begin analysis of the results here, we’d like to point out that all of the numbers here are extracted using PowerMark. We chose the balanced setting because its test process involves running a mix of applications and yet it closely mimics the scores we got from just playing a video loop until the battery dies. The balanced setting puts the machine through a series of typical tasks such as opening browsers, and other multimedia elements such as music and video playback. We’d also like to point out that the battery life for the 2011 dv6 was derived from playing a DVD loop - a test we’re in the process of phasing out. But since we've found the actual outcome doesn't differ much from each other, direct result comparisons are certainly possible.
As you can see from the charts, the battery life of the new 2012 dv6 triumphs over the 2011 dv6 dramatically. However thanks to their low-voltage processors, the Ultrabooks are able to get even longer up-times. What is encouraging however, is the fact that the lethal combo of an Ivy Bridge processor, as well as an NVIDIA Keplar GPU, does play an important role in conserving power. What you can take away from this test is that while battery life didn’t increase dramatically, they are well within expectations, and you can expect to use your notebook untethered from the wall for as long two and a half hours.
Ultimately, the amount of energy used by the notebook is wholly dependant on the type of components used. The new 2012 dv6 for example, has an Ivy Bridge CPU (35W) and an NVIDIA Keplar GPU, both of which have been declared by their respective manufacturers to use significantly less power. As you can see from the chart, this seems to be true. However it doesn’t represent a huge decline in power draw over the older dv6. The Ultrabooks on the hand consumed almost half the power draw due to the lower power requirements of the CULV processor that power them. Also bear in mind that the 2012 dv6 has to draw enough power for a full HD display as well - which draws a lot more energy than those with smaller screens.
Our HardwareZone portability index, is a mathematical formula for calculating if a notebook is light and energy efficient enough to justify lugging it around. Ultrabooks would obviously be the top scorers here, but it also lets you gauge if it does better than other multimedia notebooks. As you can see from our charts, it does moderately better than its predecessor, the 2011 dv6. However we don’t think it’s significant enough for Sandy Bridge notebook owners to just dash out and buy an Ivy Bridge multimedia notebook immediately. What you can take away from this chart is that the dv6 does live up to our expectations when it comes to its portability scores - it isn’t particularly great, but it isn’t bad either.