Review HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg Notebook

Florian Glaser (translated by Pam Taylor), 07/25/2011

Inexpensive entertainer. HP's dv7-6101eg is a powerful 17-inch notebook, which will appeal to multimedia fans and also occasional gamers, thanks to its Blu-Ray drive and decent graphics card. We put it to the test, to see whether HP has produced a well-rounded package or whether it has tried to save money in the wrong places.

HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg

There are masses of 17-inch entertainment notebooks to be found in the great expanse of the internet. But if you sift through them looking for the best possible performance for a reasonable price, you will quickly find yourself looking at the HP dv7-6100 series. For less than €1,000 you can get a graphics card from the top of the mid range. The models that come with the Radeon HD 6770M are definitely preferable in terms of performance to the ones with the HD 6755G2 or HD 6490M.

The processor is either a dual-core (Core i5-2410M) or a quad-core (Core i7-2630QM or A6-3410MX). The DDR3 RAM ranges from 4 GB up to a maximum of 8 GB, while the hard drive capacity ranges from 500 to 2000 GB. Film fans should definitely choose a version with a Blu-Ray drive, or they will have to put up with a conventional DVD burner. The buyer has no choice when it comes to the operating system; Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit is pre-installed, which is standard for notebooks.

Case

Classy-looking case
Classy-looking case

We think the dv7-6101eg has a great look. The steel-grey metal surfaces are scratch resistant and give the laptop a high-quality appearance. The build quality of our review model was convincing, apart from the hard bottom edge of the keyboard, and the screen edging which sticks out slightly. The laptop’s shape and overall design are fresh and yet classy at the same time; the notebook looks smart from every angle.

The very robust base unit is another point in the notebook’s favour. Only under strong pressure do the keyboard (particularly the number block) and the area around the HP logo start to flex a little. However, the lid can be flexed noticeably - a typical notebook shortcoming. The hinges come in for a lot of criticism; the display can wobble heavily when the base unit is shaken, and you need two hands to open the lid.

Overall HP have got almost everything right, with the case feeling like a cross between the Dell XPS 17 and the HP Envy 17. The size and weight are acceptable for a notebook; at 3.1 kg it can be readily transported.

Connectivity

USB 3.0 Performance
USB 3.0 Performance: Transcend StoreJet TS500GSJ25D3 500 GByte USB 3.0 HDD

Ports

The range of ports turns out to be relatively small. In contrast to many other notebooks, this one does without an ExpressCard slot as well as a Firewire port and an eSATA port. With the exception of the two state-of-the-art USB 3.0 ports, there is nothing beyond the standard here.

In our opinion, HP should rethink the layout of the ports. With all of them positioned on the side edges, they are within easy reach, but when lots of cables are attached it restricts the space available to the right and left of the machine.

Communication

You can connected to the internet using a wired RJ-45 Gigabit LAN connection, or wirelessly over b/g/n WLAN. Bluetooth is not supported by the Broadcom module used here.

Other Features

HP regains some of its lost ground in this area with an integrated fingerprint scanner and TrueVision HD webcam.

Left: VGA, HDMI, RJ-45 Gigabit-LAN, 2x USB 3.0, 3x audio
Left: VGA, HDMI, RJ-45 Gigabit-LAN, 2x USB 3.0, 3x audio
Right: 2x USB 2.0, optical drive, power, Kensington lock
Right: 2x USB 2.0, optical drive, power, Kensington lock
Pre-installed software
Pre-installed software

Software

HP has filled the dv7-6101eg with a large amount of software, following the usual approach of the major notebook manufacturers. Windows 7 reacts fairly sluggishly, especially just after start-up, with a variety of program icons populating the notification area of the taskbar. Tip: although the pre-installed CyberLink PowerDVD 10 OEM program is supposed to be able to handle Blu-Rays, our test film (Casino Royale) could not be played.

Accessories

Don’t expect much in the way of accessories from the dv7-6101eg. Other than the battery (six-cell) and the mains adaptor (120 Watts), all that comes with the notebook is a quick start guide - no driver and tools DVD, and no recovery DVD.

Warranty

The warranty is for 24 months, as is usual for a notebook. HP calls it a Pickup and Return service.

Input devices

Keyboard

Despite some good efforts, the keyboard did not succeed in winning us over entirely. The free-standing, 15 x 15 mm keys respond well (though their tactile feedback and point of impact could be a little clearer), but the noise they make is pretty loud and rattly. Meanwhile there is not much to complain about in terms of the layout; most users will easily find their way around.

Useful special functions (such as brightness and volume controls, etc) are activated without having to press the Fn key. This is different to what we are used to seeing on most of the competition. On the other hand, the presence of a separate number block should not surprise anyone. HP has decided against keyboard backlighting - a shame for users who like to work or play games at night.

Touchpad

The touchpad has white backlighting and earns itself a somewhat better report from us. We particularly like its generous dimensions; the 95 x 55 mm surface should allow you to handle large portions of the screen without difficulty. Its support for multi-touch is also a positive feature. In the touchpad driver, a range of gestures are waiting to be individually configured. In terms of accuracy the touchpad ranks somewhere in the middle, with most inputs being correctly interpreted.

As HP has positioned the touchpad slightly to the left, you do not necessarily have to deactivate it when gaming. However, we found the rubberized surface of the pad to be less than optimal. It is not especially easy for the finger to slide smoothly across it; there is unnecessary friction.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

HP has not tried anything unusual with the display. The 17.3-inch glossy panel offers HD+ resolution, LED backlighting and an aspect ratio of 16:9. The resolution is well chosen with regard to the graphics performance; the Radeon HD 6770M will be able to cope with a 1600 x 900 resolution for many games even on the high detail setting.

205
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
198
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
204
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
204
cd/m²
208
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 208 cd/m²
Average: 202.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 95 %
Center on Battery: 204 cd/m²
Black: 1.26 cd/m²
Contrast: 162:1

Unfortunately the display is thoroughly disappointing in practice. The Samsung 173KT01-K01 (SEC3354) panel’s picture quality is no more than mediocre. Its average brightness of 202.9 cd/m² may be enough for indoor use, but when you take it outside you will wish it were brighter. The black value of 1.26 cd/m² is also less than you would hope, with the result that dark sections of films and games have a noticeably greyish tinge.

The contrast ratio is correspondingly low, at 162:1; a figure which higher-quality panels (the Asus G74SX for example) would smirk about. And the picture makes a rather dismal impression even to the naked eye, with the colours seeming washed out. However, in general the multimedia competition does not do much better - high-class alternatives like the Schenker XMG A501 are hard to find in the sub-€1,000 price range

HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg vs. sRGB (grid)
HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg vs. sRGB (grid)
HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg vs. MacBook Pro 17 (grid)
HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg vs. MacBook Pro 17 (grid)
HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg vs. AdobeRGB (grid)
HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg vs. AdobeRGB (grid)

A further problem is the glossy screen finish. If the laptop is badly positioned then distracting reflections can appear, even within your own four walls. Outside, the dv7-6101eg is completely out of its comfort zone, and in strong sunlight it is sometimes difficult to make out anything at all on the screen. In a nutshell: the 17-inch machine is best suited to an indoorsy kind of person.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use

Finally, a few words on the notebook’s viewing angles. While the display can tolerate small horizontal deviations reasonably well, any vertical deviation very quickly leads to changes in the picture. The user will frequently have to adjust the display, and it would be difficult to enjoy a proper film night with several friends round the computer.

Viewing angles: HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg
Viewing angles: HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg

Performance

Turbo Boost
Turbo Boost

Processor: Intel Core i5-2410M

At work inside the dv7-6101eg is a dual-core processor, one of Intel’s powerful Sandy Bridge generation. The Core i5-2410M is an incredibly popular mid-range model which has more than 624 transistors as well as a 3 MB L3 cache. Like all the Sandy Bridge CPUs, it is made using the latest 32 nm process. Thanks to Hyperthreading technology the processor can handle up to four threads simultaneously; this is achieved by simulating two virtual cores.

But for gamers, the processor’s Turbo Mode is more important. Depending on the temperature and system load, the speed of each core is made to vary between the standard 2.30 GHz and a maximum of 2.90 GHz. We briefly tested Turbo Mode using the Cinebench R10 tool. While the speed in the single-core rendering varied between 2.80 and 2.90 GHz, in the multi-core rendering the processor settled at 2.7 GHz. The thermal design power of 35 Watts is not exactly low, but on the other hand the Core i5-2410M does also contain a HD Graphics 3000 graphics chip.

System info CPUZ CPU
System info CrystalDiskMark
System info HDTune
System info HDTune
System info GPUZ
System info GPUZ
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info CPUZ RAM
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ Cache
DPC Latencies
System information for HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg

CPU Performance

In the CPU benchmarks we pitted the Core i5-2410M against the quad-core Core i7-2630QM (HP dv6-6008eg) which is built into some of the other dv7 models. In the single-core rendering part of the Cinebench R10 64 Bit test, the difference was minimal; the processors performed at a similar level, at 4551 to 4525 points. In the multi-core rendering, however, the Core i7-2630QM is able to exploit its greater number of cores, scoring 16,755 points compared to the i5’s 9660 points, an advantage of 73%.

The Core i7-2630QM takes an even clearer lead in the CPU benchmark of the Cinebench R11.5 64 Bit test; with 4.83 versus 2.61 points, the quad-core processor is about 85% ahead - respect. So if you do work a lot with applications that can profit from having more than two (actual) cores, it would be better to look at a dv7 model that comes with the Core i7-2630QM. But the average user will probably be happy with the Core i5-2410M.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3708
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
7997
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
4551 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
9660 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.61 Points
Help
HWiNFO
HWiNFO

Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 6770M

HP have gone for a graphics card from the higher end of the mid-range level. AMD’s DirectX 11 capable Radeon HD 6770M has hardly been used by other notebook manufacturers so far. Without good cause, in our opinion, as the graphics card offers an excellent price-to-performance ratio, as well as a good balance between performance and energy consumption.

Compared to the current top model, the Radeon HD 6970M, AMD has exactly halved the number of stream processors from 960 to 480. However, the core and shader speeds are a little higher than the Radeon HD 6970M’s, at 725 MHz instead of 680 MHz. The video memory (1600 MHz) consists of 2048 MB of very fast GDDR5 RAM, with a 128 Bit interface, which is sufficient. The Radeon HD 6770M can decode HD videos with the help of the UVD3 Video Decoder, which removes a considerable burden from the CPU. The 40 nm manufacturing process was used, which is currently the norm for graphics cards.

Graphics switching
Graphics switching

Graphics Switching

HP has not ignored the options available to it, and has fitted the dv7-6101eg with automatic graphics switching. The way this works is incredibly simple: either the graphics unit integrated into the processor handles the work, or the dedicated graphics unit steps in, as needed. This makes it possible to have powerful notebooks with longer battery life.

For graphics switching to work at its best, the driver should be kept up-to-date. Unfortunately the dv7-6101eg did not reliably recognise every game we played, so at times we had to manually intervene and select the appropriate graphics card in the Catalyst Control Center. The relevant menu can be reached quite easily by right-clicking on the desktop (‘Configure graphics switching’).

AMD’s graphics switching system does not even come close to Nvidia’s Optimus technology at the moment, lacking as it is in convenient special functions, visual displays, and options for manual intervention. Read more about PowerXPress or ‘Bacon’ in our separate comprehensive review.

5.9
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
6.9
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
7.4
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
6.6
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.6
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9

GPU Performance

During the course of the GPU benchmarks we were particularly interested to see how the Radeon HD 6770M would stack up against its main Nvidia rival. We used results from the GeForce GT 555M (192 Bit memory interface) in the Dell XPS 17-L702X. The most recent 3DMark 11 benchmark definitely favours AMD; with 1271 to 1146 points, the Radeon HD 6770M is a full 11% ahead (GPU score, 1280 x 720). In the demanding Unigine Heaven 2.1 benchmark (1280 x 1024, normal tessellation), the tables are turned, as was to be expected, with the GeForce GT 555M pulling 4% in front of the Radeon HD 6770M (17.3 to 16.6 fps). How much of a difference there is in practice, we will shortly find out in our gaming tests.

3D Mark
3DMark 0319584 points
3DMark 0516444 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
9266 points
3DMark Vantage5531 points
3DMark 111407 points
Help

HDD Performance

Under the hood of the dv7-6101eg you can find a 640 GB hard drive by Toshiba. With only 5,400 rpm, this MK6465GSX model will not be setting any world speed records. Using the HDTune tool we measured an average transfer rate of 70.9 MB/s and an access time of 16.9 ms - both reasonable figures. Of course the HDD would have no chance against a modern solid state drive; everyday actions in Windows are really much faster with an SSD (boot-up and load times, reaction speed, etc). In theory a second hard drive could be added, but first the user would have to obtain the appropriate wiring himself.

Toshiba MK6465GSX
Transfer Rate Minimum: 44.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 92 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 70.9 MB/s
Access Time: 16.9 ms
Burst Rate: 89 MB/s

Overall System Performance

We tested the performance of the system as a whole, using the PCMark Vantage test, amongst others. The dv7-6101eg scored 6648 points, typical for a (top of the league) mid-range notebook. To compare: the dv6-6008eg, powered by a Core i7-2630QM processor, scored 7253 points in this test. To get a substantially better score HP would had to have splashed out on an SSD - the Alienware M14x (Core i7-2630QM and GeForce GT 555M) was helped to a score of 14,302 points, twice as high, with an SSD. But when you consider the price of the laptop, you can’t really criticize HP; they have created a very well-balanced system.

PC Mark
PCMark Vantage6648 points
PCMark 72153 points
Help

Gaming Performance

To allow us to make a meaningful judgement about the real-life performance of the Radeon HD 6770M, we let the dv7-6101eg loose on a variety of games. We have restricted ourselves to writing about seven of the newest games. A resolution of 1366 x 768 was better for the purposes of comparison than the laptop’s native resolution of 1600 x 900.

Our main goal was to find out whether AMD’s Radeon HD 6770M could pull ahead of Nvidia’s GeForce GT 555M (128 Bit memory interface). The Schenker XMG A501, which was also fitted with a Core i5-2410M when we reviewed it, gave us the perfect basis for comparison.

Dirt 3

As long as you hold back from the ‘ultra’ details setting, Dirt 3 runs smoothly even with anti-aliasing (AA). On high details and 2x AA the dv7-6101eg managed an average frame rate of 46.3 fps. The racing game was even more to the liking of the Acer Aspire 8951G (Core i7-2630QM and GeForce GT 555M) which we recently reviewed, achieving 51 fps, 10% more.

Dirt 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Ultra Preset, 4xAA, -AF17 fps
 1360x768High Preset, 2xAA, -AF46.3 fps
 1024x768Medium Preset, 0xAA, -AF54 fps
 800x600Ultra Low Preset, 0xAA, -AF83.2 fps

Crysis 2

This beautiful first-person shooter by Crytek was something of a challenge for the Radeon HD 6770M. Our test sequence ran smoothly for the most part (40.8 fps) on the ‘very high’ preset, but we would recommend switching to the ‘high’ detail setting for later missions where a large number of enemies appear. The Schenker XMG A501 had far more trouble on the ‘very high’ preset, managing 34.7 fps, 15% less than the dv7-6101eg’s result.

Crysis 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Extreme13.4 fps
 1366x768Very High40.8 fps
 1024x768High56.6 fps
 800x600High83.8 fps

Call of Duty: Black Ops

You can enjoy this popular Call of Duty spin-off in all its glory on the dv7-6101eg. On high details, 4x AA and 8x AF we still saw 53.3 fps. The Schenker XMG A501 works at a similar level, at 54.7 fps (+3%). And you will also be well equipped for the future of Call of Duty, as its indirect sequel Modern Warfare 3 will be doing without a new graphics engine.

Call of Duty: Black Ops
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080extra, 4xAA, 8xAF32 fps
 1360x768high, 2xAA, 4xAF53.3 fps
 1024x768medium, 0xAA, 0xAF67.2 fps
 800x600low (all off), 0xAA, 0xAF95.2 fps

Mafia 2

The Radeon HD 6770M slips behind the GeForce GT 555M in the integrated Mafia 2 benchmark, on high details and 16x AF. While the Schenker XMG A501 notches up an average frame rate of 43.4 fps, the dv7-6101eg can ‘only’ reach 40 fps (-7%). However, the atmospheric action game does not become unplayable at any time.

Mafia 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080high, 0xAA, 16xAF24.3 fps
 1360x768high, 0xAA, 16xAF40 fps
 1024x768medium, 0xAA, 8xAF50.1 fps
 800x600low, 0xAA, 0xAF71.2 fps

Starcraft 2

This extremely successful title, made by Blizzard, is bravely keeping the struggling real-time strategy genre alive. With the Radeon HD 6770M, you can use the high details setting to cause trouble for the zerg.

StarCraft 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080ultra24.7 fps
 1360x768high39 fps
 1360x768medium55.3 fps
 1024x768low150.2 fps

Metro 2033

With this hardware-hungry first-person shooter, you should choose your graphics options with care. (Very) high details, DirectX 11 mode and resolutions above 1366 x 768 are completely out of the question. The dv7-6101eg did at least hold its own (40.1 fps) with medium details and DirectX 10 mode, although the game still stuttered in some places. The GeForce GT 555M fails to keep pace on these settings, with the Schenker XMG A501 having to settle for 34.7 fps (-13%).

Metro 2033
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Very High DX11, AAA, 4xAF8.1 fps
 1600x900High DX10, AAA, 4xAF22.6 fps
 1360x768Normal DX10, AAA, 4xAF40.1 fps
 800x600Low DX9, AAA, 4xAF76.1 fps

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

The action hit Bad Company 2, particularly successful as a multiplayer, is a little less strenuous for the Radeon HD 6770M. The opening sequences of the single-player game ran relatively smoothly (39.8 fps) on high details and with 4x anisotropic filtering. If you deactivate the HBAO (Horizon-Based Ambient Occlusion) option, you can get a few more frames per second. The Schenker XMG A501 is hot on the heels of the HP notebook with 38.5 fps (-3%).

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080high, HBAO on, 4xAA, 8xAF21.3 fps
 1366x768high, HBAO on, 1xAA, 4xAF39.8 fps
 1366x768medium, HBAO off, 1xAA, 1xAF57 fps
 1024x768low, HBAO off, 1xAA, 1xAF72.7 fps

Gaming Verdict

If you’re not exactly a hardcore gamer, you can spend many happy hours playing games on the Radeon HD 6770M. The graphics card is generally powerful enough to run the latest games on their medium or high detail settings. You shouldn’t go beyond a 1600 x 900 pixel resolution; the graphics card quickly runs out of steam on FullHD resolutions. We also advise caution with anti-aliasing, and would recommend going no higher than the second step. Gamers who are not prepared to make compromises like this should definitely look for a notebook with a high-end graphics card (a GeForce GTX 560M and upwards).

But back to the point. In its comparison against the GeForce GT 555M, the Radeon HD 6770M did well; its performance ranges between that of the models with a 128 Bit memory interface (e.g. Acer Aspire 8951G & Schenker XMG A501) and models with a 192 Bit interface (e.g. Alienware M14x & Dell XPS 17). You would certainly be hard pushed to find better gaming performance in a notebook under €800.

low med.high ultra
Need for Speed Shift (2009) 38.144.228fps
Resident Evil 5 (2009) 96.260.835.5fps
Risen (2009) 71.64329.821.3fps
CoD Modern Warfare 2 (2009) 98.348.74026.4fps
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (2010) 72.75739.821.3fps
Metro 2033 (2010) 76.140.122.68.1fps
StarCraft 2 (2010) 150.255.33924.7fps
Mafia 2 (2010) 71.250.14024.3fps
Fifa 11 (2010) 264.1192.4121.364.3fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010) 95.267.253.332fps
Crysis 2 (2011) 83.856.640.813.4fps
Dirt 3 (2011) 83.25446.317fps

Emissions

System noise

The cooling system made a good impression on us; at least it did when the laptop was idle. With very little or no demand on the system, the fan is pleasantly quiet, making an unobtrusive murmur. But with heavier use (graphics programs, games etc.) the fan speeds up noticeably. The big problem is not how loud it is (several rival notebooks are substantially louder) but the nature of the noise itself.

Compared to other notebooks the noise is very high-pitched, and if you don’t have a film, a game or some music in the background, the dv7-6101eg can start to get on your nerves - but remember this is only when the laptop is under stress. While we’re at it, the HDD is not particularly quiet either; even in idle, you can hear it rattling away to itself. You could get round this problem by switching to an SSD.

Noise Level

Idle 31.8 / 31.8 / 32.1 dB(A)
HDD 33.6 dB(A)
DVD 35.7 / dB(A)
Load 41.3 / 43.2 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft SL-320 (15 cm distance)
Stress test
Stress test (Bad Company 2)

Temperature

Like the system noise, the temperature increase while in idle is relatively low. The average temperature of about 25°C for both the top and bottom of the base unit is pleasingly low. The palm rest stays relatively cool, so you should be able to type for an extended period without problems.

With heavy use, the situation looks a little different. When gaming you may find that your ‘WASD’ hand heats up a little, as the surface temperature can reach 34°C (top) and 39°C (bottom) in the area near the fan. But overall we would still give the laptop a ‘good’ in this category; hardly anyone would have a problem here apart from very sensitive users.

As the Furmark stress test didn’t want to start with the dedicated graphics card, we used Battlefield: Bad Company 2 as a substitute. The temperature of the internal components did not give us any cause for concern, and there was no throttling (reduction in speed) from the processor.

Max. Load
 33.7 °C32.1 °C26.2 °C 
 32.2 °C33.1 °C25.0 °C 
 28.0 °C25.6 °C24.1 °C 
Maximum: 33.7 °C
Average: 28.9 °C
24.3 °C37.9 °C39.0 °C
23.5 °C34.7 °C29.8 °C
22.8 °C26.0 °C29.0 °C
Maximum: 39.0 °C
Average: 29.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  39.0 °C | Room Temperature 20.2 °C | Voltcraft IR-360
Beats Soundsystem
Beats Soundsystem

Speakers

The ‘Beats’ audio system (four speakers) failed to meet our expectations. We thought the sound had a somewhat tinny, artificial quality. Overall the speakers lack definition and sound a little ragged. Thanks to the built-in subwoofer, the bass is at least fairly convincing - for example, it can reproduce the sound of explosions without sounding disappointingly flat, unlike many other notebooks.

We were also pleased with the maximum volume; you don’t have to position yourself directly in front of the notebook to catch every detail. But anyone who is intent on getting the best possible sound quality should consider buying a Dell XPS 15 or XPS 17. These notebooks offer the best sound quality currently available.

Battery life

The notebook’s energy consumption is impressive when compared to the competition. While the similarly powerful Schenker XMG A501 helps itself to 84.4 - 107.3 Watts under heavy use, we measured a more moderate 62.7 - 82.6 Watts with the dv7-6101eg. In idle mode it was only 11.5 - 16.5 Watts.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.4 / 0.9 Watt
Idle 11.5 / 15.2 / 16.5 Watt
Load 62.7 / 82.6 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC-940
Readers Test
Maximum battery life (Readers Test)
Classic Test
Minimum battery life (Classic Test)

AMD’s graphics switching has a positive effect on the battery life as well as the energy consumption, as you would expect. In the ideal case, with maximum energy-saving options and the lowest screen brightness setting selected, the notebook can last for over six hours. You can surf the net over WLAN with medium energy options and maximum screen brightness for around four hours. Long films are no problem; our DVD playback test only stopped at the three hour mark.

On the other hand, once the notebook is under stress and the dedicated graphics card takes the reins, the battery runs through its energy very quickly. With maximum screen brightness and the energy-saving options deactivated, the 17-inch machine lasts just under 1.5 hours. It would certainly have been possible to achieve longer battery life; the six-cell battery (62 Wh) used here is not exactly a powerhouse.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
6h 07min
WiFi Surfing
3h 52min
DVD
2h 58min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 38min

Verdict

HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg
HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg

To sum up the dv7-6101eg in a few words: lots of hardware for an attractive price. You get a fast dual-core processor (Core i5-2410M) along with a large hard drive (640 GB), and even a Blu-Ray drive (which burns CDs and DVDs). But for us the absolute highlight is the graphics card: AMD’s Radeon HD 6770M delivers more than enough power for occasional gamers.

Because HP has gone for a graphics switching system, the energy consumption is reasonable despite its excellent performance. The battery run times are pretty high for a top-of-the-mid-range notebook. The smart and extremely well built case is a further point in its favour - the silver-grey metallic surfaces look very attractive. On the flip side, the 17-inch notebook loses credit for its mediocre range of ports, the awkward port layout, and the rattling hard drive noise.

But it was the glossy display that turned out to be the HP notebook’s biggest weak point. The user is confronted with an utterly bog-standard, uninspiring panel. The viewing angles are as weak as the colours, and the black is not at all rich. Not to mention the annoying reflections. It really does take away from the atmosphere in films and games; if possible you should attach an external monitor instead.

All the same, the notebook is worth considering for the price-conscious gamer. Other laptops going for a similar price can not even approach the dv7-6101eg in terms of performance.

By courtesy of ...
In Review: HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg, by courtesy of:
In Review: HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg

Specifications

HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM65
:: Memory
6144 MB, 2048 + 4096 MB DDR3-RAM (1333 MHz), max. 8 GB, 2 slots
:: Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon HD 6770M - 2048 MB, Core: 725 MHz, Memory: 1600 MHz, GDDR5-VRAM, 8.830.6.1000
:: Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1600x900 pixel, Samsung 173KT01-K01 (SEC3354), HD+, LED backlighting, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Toshiba MK6465GSX, 640 GB 5400 rpm
:: Soundcard
IDT 92HD81B1X @ Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 2x headphone output, 1x microphone input, Card Reader: SD, MMC, 1 Fingerprint Reader,
:: Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Broadcom 4313 802.11b/g/n (b g n )
:: Optical drive
HP DVDWBD TS-LB23L
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 40 x 416 x 275
:: Weight
3.122 kg Power Supply: 0.63 kg
:: Battery
62 Wh Lithium-Ion, 11.1 V, 0.328 kg, 6 cells
:: Price
799 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: TrueVision HD, Mains adaptor: 120 Watts, quick start guide, CyberLink PowerDVD 10, 24 Months Warranty

 

We think the design is a real success.
We think the design is a real success.
The battery that comes with the laptop weighs just under 330 g.
The battery that comes with the laptop weighs just under 330 g.
As you can see, the display edging gets dirty very quickly.
As you can see, the display edging gets dirty very quickly.
The dv7 also has a built-in webcam, of course.
The dv7 also has a built-in webcam, of course.
The perforated loudspeaker cover merges seamlessly with the rest of the design.
The perforated loudspeaker cover merges seamlessly with the rest of the design.
Two of the arrow keys have been made much smaller than usual.
Two of the arrow keys have been made much smaller than usual.
There is a fingerprint scanner on the palm rest.
There is a fingerprint scanner on the palm rest.
The touchpad surface is lightly rubberized.
The touchpad surface is lightly rubberized.
The Beats audio system fails to deliver.
The Beats audio system fails to deliver.
HP have done a super job on the input devices.
HP have done a super job on the input devices.
The smart-looking logo has white backlighting when the laptop is on.
The smart-looking logo has white backlighting when the laptop is on.
HP see the dv7 as a powerful entertainment platform.
HP see the dv7 as a powerful entertainment platform.
Most ports are positioned annoyingly close to the front.
Most ports are positioned annoyingly close to the front.
A small card reader is hiding on the front edge.
A small card reader is hiding on the front edge.
The speakers sound artificial and lack definition.
The speakers sound artificial and lack definition.
The dv7 has four USB ports overall.
The dv7 has four USB ports overall.
Blu-Ray drives are getting more and more affordable.
Blu-Ray drives are getting more and more affordable.
The 120 Watt mains adaptor is not too bulky.
The 120 Watt mains adaptor is not too bulky.
The battery life is relatively good thanks to automatic graphics switching.
The battery life is relatively good thanks to automatic graphics switching.
Six GB of DDR3 RAM is definitely enough.
Six GB of DDR3 RAM is definitely enough.
HP combines smart silver surfaces with black elements.
HP combines smart silver surfaces with black elements.
The 17-inch case weighs a little over 3 kg.
The 17-inch case weighs a little over 3 kg.
Because of the glossy display, you often get reflections.
Because of the glossy display, you often get reflections.
The laptop’s height of 4 cm is completely fine.
The laptop’s height of 4 cm is completely fine.
The maximum opening angle is around 150°.
The maximum opening angle is around 150°.
The build quality is excellent except for a few minor details.
The build quality is excellent except for a few minor details.
You need both hands to open the lid.
You need both hands to open the lid.
The back edge is completely free of ports.
The back edge is completely free of ports.
When the base is shaken, the screen can wobble heavily.
When the base is shaken, the screen can wobble heavily.
The six-cell battery is fitted at the back of the machine.
The six-cell battery is fitted at the back of the machine.
The choice of materials gives the dv7 a high-quality appearance.
The choice of materials gives the dv7 a high-quality appearance.
Warm air is expelled from a vent on the left-hand side.
Warm air is expelled from a vent on the left-hand side.
Unlike the touchpad, the keyboard is not backlit.
Unlike the touchpad, the keyboard is not backlit.
To remove the battery you have to slide a catch.
To remove the battery you have to slide a catch.
The graphics card and processor are not directly accessible.
The graphics card and processor are not directly accessible.
HP has positioned a subwoofer under the laptop.
HP has positioned a subwoofer under the laptop.
There is room for a second hard drive in the case.
There is room for a second hard drive in the case.
The notebook arrives in black packaging.
The notebook arrives in black packaging.
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Compare prices

Pro

+Reasonable battery life
+Graphics switching
+Smart design
+Classy case
+Good performance
+Fair price
+2x USB 3.0
 

Cons

-Sound of the fan under stress
-Rattling hard drive
-Mediocre screen quality
-Reflective screen
-Awkward port layout

Shortcut

What we liked

The classy, well built metal case.

What was missing

A better quality display, preferably matt.

What surprised us

The excellent ratio of price to performance

The competition

In the 17-inch format, the Acer Aspire 7750G, the Dell XPS 17 and the HP Envy 17. In the 15-inch format, the HP dv6-6008eg and the Schenker XMG A501.

Rating

HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg
01/14/2012 v2
Florian Glaser

Chassis
85%
Keyboard
78%
Pointing Device
80%
Connectivity
70%
Weight
71%
Battery
84%
Display
68%
Games Performance
86%
Application Performance
89%
Temperature
84%
Noise
77%
Add Points
82%
Average
80%
80%
Gaming *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review HP Pavilion dv7-6101eg Notebook
Author: Florian Glaser, 2011-07-25 (Update: 2013-06- 6)