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COMPUTER SYSTEMS

HP Pavilion dv6t-6000 and Dell XPS 15z Laptop Review
By: wubayou
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    2011-07-18

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    As the title states, in this laptop review, we will be opening up the HP Pavilion dv6t-6000 and Dell XPS 15z.

    The Pavilion dv6t-6000 is a mainstream laptop from HP that offers a nice mixture of design and performance.  The dv6t-6000 is available from HP at a starting price of $749.99, and it comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.


    The standard configuration of the Pavilion dv6t-6000 comes with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M processor with 3MB of L3 cache.  The processor is part of Intelís newer generation of chips, and it gives the laptop solid overall performance.  The term solid means that you can use the laptop for casual everyday tasks such as internet browsing, watching videos, and some gaming.  If you want a laptop with optimal performance, this is not it, especially with the standard configuration.  Still, it should suffice for most users looking in its price range.  You should be able to run various applications at the same time with little trouble thanks to the processorís multiple cores and a healthy dose of 6GB of DDR3 SDRAM. 

    While the Pavilion dv6t-6000ís processor works well, the laptop drops off a bit when it comes to its graphics card.  The base configuration offers an Intel HD Graphics 3000 card, which will give you graphics performance that is decent at best.  You can customize the setup by adding an AMD Radeon card via the HP website, but that will cost you at least $100 more.  You will be able to enjoy some games on the laptop, but not necessarily in the way they should be experienced.  In terms of battery life, the dv6t-6000 is pretty good for its size.  You can expect around five hours of battery life or longer with its six-cell battery.  The dv6t-6000 offers a good amount of storage via a 640GB hard drive.  Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit is the operating system that comes pre-installed.

    Additional features of the HP Pavilion dv6t-6000 are rather basic, unless you throw in some extra cash for luxuries like a Blu-ray drive, full HD display, or Bluetooth.  As is, you get a standard DVD drive and 802.11n Wi-Fi.  Thereís an integrated HD webcam and microphone for video chatting, plus a fingerprint reader that adds an extra level of security.  A media card reader is also onboard for when you want to transfer data quickly from devices such as digital cameras.

    The Pavilion dv6t-6000 has an attractive, upscale look thanks to its dark umber color scheme.  The brushed metal appearance combined with silver accents looks professional and hip at the same time.  This is not a laptop that you want to use for frequent travel, as it is bulky.  The official measurements come in at 14.9 inches wide by 9.7 inches tall by 1.4 inches thick.  The dv6t-6000 also weighs 5.7 pounds.  At that size, itís better suited for home use than on the road. 

    The 15.6-inch display has a HD resolution of 1,366 x 768.  As mentioned, if you want full HD quality, you will have to pay extra.  As it stands, the standard display offers graphics that should be fine for most users.  The integrated audio is quite good for a laptop, and you wonít have to worry about bring along headphones to actually hear music or movies.  The keyboard is spacious and offers wide keys that are comfortable to type with.  A number pad is included as well.  The touch pad is also spacious and responsive to the touch.  Connectivity options pass the test, as you get four USB ports, a HDMI port, a VGA port, an Ethernet port, and microphone/headphone jacks.

    In its standard configuration, the HP Pavilion dv6t-6000 is a decent choice for anyone seeking a mainstream laptop for everyday use.  Its performance and design is good, and if you do want some extras, you can add them through HPís website to build the laptop to fit your needs.

    Dell XPS 15z

    The Dell XPS 15z is a 15-inch mainstream laptop that is characterized by its thin design.  Besides being sleek in its appearance, the XPS 15z also has a solid feature set and impressive performance.  Dell offers the XPS 15z in various configurations through its website.  The model used for this review starts at $1,499.99.  Dell pairs the laptop with a two-year warranty on parts and labor.


    The XPS 15z is powered by a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-2620M processor in its high-end configuration.  This is a second generation processor from Intel that gives the laptop snappy performance through its multiple cores.  You can run several applications at the same time without worrying about excessive lag.  Whether itís internet browsing, enjoying movies, or even some gaming, you can pretty much do it all on the XPS 15z with relative ease.  Multitasking is boosted nicely by a healthy dose of 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM.

    If gaming is your thing, the XPS 15z will allow you to partake in some modern games, but it is not a laptop created with hardcore gamers in mind.  If that sounds like you, take a look at the Alienware line from Dell.  As it stands, the XPS 15z comes with an Nvidia GeForce GT 525M graphics card that performs at a satisfactory level.  Battery life is not bad, but that is to be expected considering the 15zís thin form factor.  The eight-cell battery should serve travelers well on long trips.  For storage, thereís a 750GB hard drive onboard.  That should be plenty of storage for most users.

    Priced at nearly $1,500, itís disappointing that Dell did not equip the XPS 15z with a Blu-ray drive.  Youíll have to settle for a standard DVD drive, or upgrade the configuration for more money.  Internet connectivity is provided via 802.11n Wi-Fi.  The inclusion of Bluetooth is a plus for those who want to pair the laptop with compatible devices wirelessly.  For video chatting, you can use the integrated webcam and microphone.  Lastly, thereís a media card reader that will help you transfer photos from digital cameras and other files.

    Dell calls the XPS 15z the worldís thinnest 15-inch Windows laptop.  With such a claim, it can definitely be said that the 15zís form factor is its main selling point.  It measures 14.9 inches wide by 9.8 inches tall by just 0.97 inch thick.  While it is very thin, the XPS 15z is still too large to be considered an ideal laptop for frequent travelers on the go.  You canít blame Dell for its marketing approach, however.  The laptop employs a silver/gray metallic color scheme throughout its body that adds a clean modern touch. 

    The laptopís 15.6-inch display is superb.  It has a 1,920 x 1,080 full HD resolution that produces excellent graphics at all viewing angles.  Also impressive is the XPS 15zís integrated audio system.  The volume is loud when compared with most laptops, so you wonít need headphones if you want to listen to music or watch movies. 

    Despite its mainstream size, the 15zís keyboard seems cramped.  The placement of the speakers causes this, and it could annoy those who type a lot.  The island style keys have a nice shape and are spaced well, but the overall size of the keyboard is on the small side.  It also lacks a number pad.  The touch pad is also underwhelming.  Its size is fine, but the responsiveness when performing multi-touch gestures takes some getting used to.  Last, but not least, is the XPS 15zís connectivity.  You get two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0/eSATA combo port, a HDMI port, a DisplayPort, and microphone/headphone jacks.

    Is the Dell XPS 15z a quality laptop?  Of course it is.  Is it worth its price tag?  That depends on the buyer.  If having a very thin laptop without sacrificing display size is important, then the XPS 15z could be right up your alley.  It may not be the best laptop of its kind, but it is a sharp performer that also looks good.


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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