HP Pavilion dv6 (2012) - More Than a Refresh

Launch SRP: S$1699

Incremental but substantial upgrade

Incremental but substantial upgrade

The 2011 HP Pavilion dv6 was one of the best performing multimedia notebooks that came through our labs last year (as seen in Tech Awards 2012). Its good mix of affordability and computing power pretty much made sure it’s the all-rounder notebook that you should be looking at. The same seems to be unfolding for this year’s dv6 (2012). It received the usual incremental upgrades with a new Ivy Bridge processor, and new NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M (Kepler) GPU. If you’ve been keeping up with Ivy Bridge and Kepler news, you’d know that they basically promise more performance while consuming less power, which is the case with the new dv6. Actual test results over the previous 2011 dv6 edition has been improved, as was the battery life.

The 2012 HP Pavilion dv6 managed to meet our expectations set by last year's impressive dv6 edition. Its a good mix of affordability, portability, luxury and power.

Besides being updated with the new components, the dv6 was also updated with new aesthetics which is in line with their new Mosaic design approach. We found that the new design to be understated, yet classy with its use of aluminum, a premium material for its top lid. Granted, most parts of the machine are still made constructed from plastic, the new dv6 still manages to maintain a pretty solid built quality, which we appreciate greatly on an affordable multimedia notebook. However there are some issues we have with certain design choices that HP made with the new 2012 dv6. Firstly the chiclet keys were still sitting on a plastic panel that flexes when pressed upon hard. Flex was an issue with last year’s dv6, and it’s still present here on the 2012 model, but it's of a much lesser extent. Another nitpick we have is with the trackpad, which still isn’t a clickpad.

The chiclet keys on the dv6 are understated and overlooked simply because it's pretty common now, but they manage to make working on the dv6 quite a pleasure.

"Beats audio" once again makes an appearance on the dv6, and honestly it does make a (slight) difference especially with the dv6's built-in subwoofer.

So there you have it. The 2012 HP Pavilion dv6 is the latest torchbearer for this series, which tries its hardest to balance affordability and power, and it shows no signs of dropping that torch. It's no game changer, but it has a lot of right aspects going for it just like its predecessor. Consumers on a decent budget looking for a powerful workhorse that also looks smart and won’t bring them any shame while working in public locations, would be quite happy with a 2012 edition of the HP Pavilion dv6. The new notebook is now going for S$1699, but there are other variants which feature a less powerful NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M (or a lower resolution screen) which go for much less. So if the dv6 design and build is something that appeals to you, you can choose a version that fits your exact budget and needs.

The Good
Good build quality
Beats audio
Full HD screen
The Bad
Not enough premium finishings
Some keyboard flex
No clickpad

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