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When I read the specs of this laptop my first thought was “Wow… now THAT is a powerhouse machine!” And it lives up to my expectations…mostly. The HP dv6 with Beats by Dr. Dre is certainly made to impress. This laptop is very stylish with a 15.6″ screen, speaker *bar* nestled under the LCD, and fingerprint reader. A couple of years ago a machine of this caliber probably would have cost three times the price. But at only $579.99 this one fits the budget nicely.

Since receiving this laptop, it has become my primary machine. I have really put it to the test. The way I work I very often have 5 or more programs open at one time. And it is not unusual for me to run 2 different web browsers with several tabs open in each. Right now my Chrome browser has 17 tabs open. 😐 The HP dv6-6c35dx handles it all without much problem. The problems that I do have I blame on the software. I swear both Chrome and Firefox have issues these days. Anyway… with 6gb of RAM I run into no problems multi-tasking.

The included fingerprint reader allows you to log in to your computer with just a swipe of the finger. And using the included HP SimplePass 2012 software you can use it to log in to commonly used websites securely.

Fingerprint Reader

 

Full Specifications

Product Name dv6-6c35dx
US Product Number A6Y53UA
Microprocessor 2.5GHz/1.6GHz VISION A8 Technology from AMD with AMD Quad-Core A8-3520M Accelerated Processor
Microprocessor Cache 4MB L2 Cache
Memory 6GB DDR3 SDRAM (2 DIMM)
Memory Max Maximum supported = 16GB
Video Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6620G Discrete-Class Graphics
Video Memory Up to 3061MB total graphics memory
Hard Drive 640GB 5400RPM hard drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
Multimedia Drive SuperMulti DVD burner
Display 15.6-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit display (1366×768)
Network Card 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector)
Wireless Connectivity 802.11b/g/n WLAN
Sound Beats Audio with 4 speakers
Keyboard Full-size island-style keyboard with numeric keypad
Pointing Device Touchpad with on/off button. Illuminated LED touchpad border: press fn + space to turn on or off.
PC Card Slots
  • Digital media card reader for Secure Digital and Multimedia cards
External Ports
  • 2 SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • 2 Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0
  • 1 HDMI
  • 1 VGA (15-pin)
  • 1 RJ-45 (LAN)
  • 2 Headphone-out
  • 1 Microphone-in
Dimensions 14.88″ (L) x 9.71″ (W) x 1.23″ (min H) -1.39″ (max H)
Weight 6.01 lbs
Security
  • Kensington MicroSaver lock slot
  • Power-on password
  • Accepts 3rd party security lock devices
Power
  • 65W AC adapter
  • 6-cell 55WHr lithium-ion battery
ID Mech Description HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated digital microphoneHP SimplePass with integrated fingerprint reader

 

Stand-out Features

The features that make it stand out most for me are the quad-core AMD A8 processor, 6GB of RAM (upgradeable to 8gb), 4 USB ports (most laptops have 3), and fingerprint reader. The AMD A8-3520M APU with Radeon HD graphics runs at 1.6GHz. And a big plus for me, unlike my older 17″ HP machine, this one stays pretty cool to the touch. Also, unlike some laptops that have switched to now having only an HDMI port, this one has both an HDMI and VGA port so you should have no problem hooking it up to an older projector. It also offers 2 headphone jacks so that you can share the music with a friend, or send the audio to another device. This is awesome for DJs. Also, the chrome finished speaker bar is an attractive addition.

Speaker Bar

At 1366×768 resolution, the 15.6 inch screen does not have as much real estate as my 17″ with 1600 x 1200 resolution, but it is still good. Graphics and video are crisp and clean. The glossy screen makes everything awesome and bright, although it is hard to see in bright light situations.

Pros

  • Fast AMD A8 Process
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 640GB Hard Drive
  • Beats Audio
  • Has both HDMI & VGA out

Cons

  • Sometimes the finger printer reader does not “wake up” after sleep mode. This happens a couple of times a week. I walk away from the computer and when I come back and hit a button to wake it up the fingerprint reader light never starts blinking and will not register my swipe, so I have to log in manually. There is a fix offered on HP’s website. I am going to give it a try and see if it fixes my problem.   UPDATE (4/26): I did as the HP website suggested and all is now good with the fingerprint reader. YAYY!!
  • I have also had a problem a couple of times with screen flicker. It is not clear just yet if it might be due to a driver issue. It has not happened in a couple of weeks. But, right at the top of my screen a white line shows up and flickers all the way across.
  • I am not impressed by the sound in this laptop. Yes, it has Beats Audio. BUT… when put up against a Toshiba laptop that I have here with Dolby Advanced Audio, the Toshiba blows it away. The sound is good when wearing headphones, but not when playing from the built-in speakers.

At under $600 this laptop is the perfect choice for someone needing a portable powerhouse or even a desktop replacement. It is also the perfect machine for a college student that needs something portable, but something that can also stand up to heavy use in their room. Check out the array of great HP laptops available at Best Buy.

Click the picture to be taken to Best Buy’s listing for this machine.
HP 156

Disclosure: I received the HP DV6 laptop as part of my involvement in the AMD Tech Moms program. All opinions are my own.