HP Pavilion DV6T Quad Edition - Not Unbox, Thoughts, Battery Life, Touchpad Improvement
Gear: HP Pavilion DV6T QE, Laptops.
It took HP a month + 1 week to deliver this system... but it was totally worth it. The video has most of the details that I wanted to go over. For $830 I couldn't be happier. This is the first pc that I have owned since the Lenovo S10-3T and that seems like a long time ago.
The DV6T QE has a metallic brownish finish that feels very solid. You won't feel flex on the body. That metallic finish attract fingerprints and smudges so be ready to do cleanup every once in a while.
The DV6T Quad Edition has very good specs so I'm happy about that. There are several Core i7 Sandy Bridge CPUs, AMD Radeon HD 6770M, and can have up to 8GB RAM. Spec wise it's a solid system. The specs are enough to play most games and run just about any application.
Speakers and Beats Audio
The speakers don't have a deep bass which I was expecting to get, but they are loud. The included software does enhance audio and when paired with my Bose AE2 headphones
If you want to turn off/on the Beats Audio you can press the Fn + B
The 15 inch glossy screen of the DV6T QE is not the greatest, but it will suffice for most situations. Viewing angles are not the best out there, there is a "sweet spot". The screen was one of my concerns due to the 1366x768 resolution. I have seen higher resolutions on Alienware, Malibal Lotus, and other gaming systems. I am actually happy to say that the resolution doesn't hurt the system and my eyes can read text very well. For those guys that love movies the wide screen is going to be sweet.
One correction from the video is that there are 2x USB 3.0, and 2x USB 2.0 ports. I don't have USB 3.0 devices so it might not matter, but I can see USB 3 being used with fast storage devices like SSDs.
Other ports on the system include VGA, HDMI, ethernet, 1 Mic in (3.5mm), 2x audio jacks (3.5mm), card reader slot, Kensington lock, and power. I think it has everything I will need. I'm hoping to see a USB 3.0 docking station/port replicator soon and that I way I can hook peripherals via a single USB 3.0 port.
If you plan on doing dual external screen displays expect trouble due to the VGA port being so close to the HDMI. You might have to modify the cable.
Webcam and Microphones
I have had minimal usage of the webcam. It will do fine for most and yes it's "HD" so it will take high res images and video. Most software actually compresses and limits webcams so sometimes it can feel like it's not an "HD" webcam. If you try local capture software then you can see the true "HD" feel. The microphones have a few options via Beats Audio which include Noise Cancellation, Acoustic Echo Cancellation, and Beam Forming (uses angles to stop capturing audio around you).
I like the keyboard quite a bit because it's super easy to use. It keys are big enough for my fingers and are not super loud when typing. For those curious about "flex" there is some. To experience flex you would have to push the keys way hard (push down at the F and G keys).
The number pad is a little neat bonus that can come in handy for those with 10 key task. Since I do very little 10 key on the system I have been using those keys as launch shortcuts and some function keys via AutoHotkey.
The function keys are by default media keys (brightness, play, volume, etc) and you must press the FN key to access your F1 through F12 keys. I like this move because I don't use the function keys that often.
Touchpad and Palm Rest
The touchpad/trackpad is very roomy, has nice smooth surface, left and right click buttons, offer a backlight around it, and you can turn it off/on easily. With the default settings you might have a few issues like responsiveness. I highly recommend changing settings so they are on the most sensitive values. It makes a big difference. The touchpad does have palm rejection so you won't have problems when typing. I did change the two touch scrolling to a single finger scrolling and that makes my life very easy.
There is ample palm rest space so if you type with your hands down you will be comfy. If you are used to netbooks you will love the new space.
DVD Drive or Blu-ray
I don't really care about optical discs. I download or stream most of my media. It would be really cool to actually experience Blu-ray quality but I don't usually buy movies. When I ordered my system they did not have a free Blu-ray drive and now they do. If it's free I'm adding it.
One big advantage of the switchable graphics is the ability to have have power to do 3D gaming and then switch to a battery life saver with Intel HD graphics when doing more "normal" stuff. I get a lot of battery life. I have a 9-cell battery that gives me between 5 and 6 hours and that is amazing considering that this is a 15.6 inch screen. You won't get 9.75 hours with the 9-cell. I wouldn't get the smaller more "flushed" 6-cell because I would rather have more battery life.
If you are interested in trying BatteryBar Pro check:
Back Cover and Upgrades
When I got the system the backcover was actually on the brink of being opened. One of the wifi cables was actually preventing the cover to be closed. (not a huge deal). With that said it's extremely easy to remove the cover by pushing the battery release. There are no screws on it. With the cover removed you can upgrade parts like RAM, storage, and wifi. I have a 640GB 7200 RPM HDD on the system that offers plenty of speed, but I want more so I might upgrade to a 2.5 inch SSD (I have my eyes on the OCZ 120GB Vertex III)
Heat and Noise
With the Intel HD graphics on you won't have any heat issues and the fan won't be loud which makes for a very pleasant experience. For those gamers and 3D application users that turn on the discrete graphics on be ready for both heat and noise. To deal with heat I encourage getting a laptop cooling pad to ensure longevity of components. The fan alone in the system is ok, but it's better to be safe. If the fan noise is too much headphones will come in super handy.
I think that I saved myself a bundle and got myself a good deal. The original price of the DV6T QE is $1,200 and I paid $830. I strongly recommend using coupons. This is not a super portable system like netbooks but it provides plenty of speed for most of the things I want to do. It's a good system that will be with me for many years.
What can be improved:
More bass on speakers (apparently the DV7T 17 inch version has more).
I would love a dedicated docking station port like Lenovo systems have with their X220T.
Screen viewing angles can be improved
Labels: HP Pavilion DV6T Quad Edition