HP Pavilion dv6 (2012) - More Than a Refresh

Launch SRP: S$1699

Battery life and Portability Index

Battery life and Portability Index

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).

Test Notebooks Compared
Specifications/Notebook HP Pavilion dv6 2012 HP Pavilion dv6 2011 HP Envy 4 Intel Ultrabook
(Ivy Bridge)
Processor Intel Core i7-3610QM
(2.3GHz)
Intel Core i7-2630QM
(2.0GHz)
Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Intel Core i5-3427U
(1.8GHz)
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)
Weight 2.57kg 2.63kg 1.799kg 1.46kg

 

Battery Life

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.

 

Power Consumption

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.

 

Portability Index

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.

8.5
Design
8.5
Features
8.5
Performance
8.5
Value
8
Mobility
7.5
The Good
Good build quality
Beats audio
Full HD screen
The Bad
Not enough premium finishings
Some keyboard flex
No clickpad