capsule review

HP Pavilion dv6000t

At a Glance
  • HP Pavilion dv6000t

    PCWorld Rating

    This high-style machine has a beautiful, high-resolution screen and a comfy keyboard, but its battery life is short.

The Pavilion dv6000t is a stylish, reasonably priced laptop for both work and play. Highlights include a bright 15.4-inch wide-screen display, a keyboard with a touchpad lock, strong sound, one-touch entertainment, and a superb optional docking station.

The dv6000t offers a wide choice of AMD and Intel processors (a t in the model name indicates Intel, while a z designates AMD). Our $1499 (as of 9/8/06) review unit came equipped with a 1.83-GHz Core 2 Duo T5600 processor and 1GB DDR2-667 SDRAM. It earned a WorldBench 5 score of 101, placing its performance among the top 20 percent of notebooks we've tested.

The standard 6-cell battery disappointed, lasting a brief 2.1 hours in our tests. If battery life is one of your priorities, you'll do well to upgrade to the 12-cell version for $39 more; with this battery a 2.16-GHz Core Duo T2600-equipped HP Pavilion dv2000t, basically the same notebook with a 14.1-inch screen, worked unplugged for over 7 hours. (The taller battery also makes a nice typing foot.)

However, the rest of our Windows XP Home review unit was top-notch. For starters, the dv6000 is one of several Pavilion models that have gone high fashion: For $29 more, the dv6000 can have the same high-gloss metallic touches, piano-black finish, and subtle wave imprint as its dv2000 and dv9000 siblings. It's a gorgeous look for a notebook.

Our review machine was well stocked for the price, coming with Wi-Fi and optional Bluetooth wireless communications, a top-of-the-line 120GB 5400-rpm hard drive, an integrated 1.3-megapixel Webcam, and a SuperMulti DVD±RW/R drive with LightScribe for laser-etching your own monochromatic disc labels. Also included were a 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7400 graphics card and Microsoft Works 8. The port selection--three USB ports, a FireWire port, and a three-in-one media slot--is modest but should satisfy most home users.

Optionally available with the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 operating system, the dv6000t is one of the best entertainment notebooks out there. Its Altec Lansing stereo speakers are strong enough for you to enjoy soaring music and exciting action movies without headphones. For listening in private, the notebook comes with dual stereo headphone jacks for you and a friend.

HP's QuickPlay 2.1 wide-screen menu launches movies, CDs, personal videos, and photo slide shows without booting Windows. You start QuickPlay, and control the volume, by pressing a stylish touch-sensitive membrane located at the top of the keyboard. Prefer to sit back and relax? There's always HP's palm-size ExpressCard remote ($15 extra) for controlling your media from up to 10 feet away.

The dv6000t is user upgradable, with memory chips and a hard drive that are easy to access. In each case, you simply remove a protective bottom panel held in by a couple of captive screws. For turning the notebook into a world-class desktop replacement, however, you'll want the $450 HP xb3000 Notebook Expansion Base; the price includes a screen stand with rear port replication, a secondary 300GB hard drive, built-in premium speakers, and a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Even if you don't opt for the Expansion Base, the dv6000t shouldn't disappoint as an entertainment notebook--its wealth of multimedia extras makes it very appealing.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This high-style machine has a beautiful, high-resolution screen and a comfy keyboard, but its battery life is short.

    Pros

    • Fantastic screen, comfortable keyboard

    Cons

    • Short battery life
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