These times we all find ourselves constantly moving around. So the need of having a mobile platform that can move right along side us has become a necessity. While some get away with a “Smart Phone/Super Phone”, or what ever you call them, there are some of us that have adopted the use of a tablet into our daily/hectic lives. But for some of us out there, we need to have a portable computer at our disposal. This is where Laptop computers come in handy, because it gives the portability we need for our computers; as well as, gives us the full functionality of our home computers as always on the go.
Even I found myself having to break down, and get something that can accommodate my some what portable life style I found myself in, this being coming and going from school, and having to go to various places that trying to pack up my rather extremely large and not quite so portable main rig “Mini Me.” Not very fun having to tote a computer that weighs roughly 60+ pounds from place to place. So getting a laptop computer was the best course of action I needed to take. The question remains, which one do I go out and get? Man I forgot how difficult it is to actually sit my little ass down and do the whole “shopping thing.” I am just glad my mom was not present, because clearly she would have taken my already overwhelmed self of “Shopping” to a whole new level, like our mothers do from time to time. But, that’s why we all love our mothers ;). I wanted a laptop that would give the greatest amount of flexibility with out having to completely empty out my very own wallet. So after pondering for a very long time on this “Whole Shopping Endeavor”, my mom would be so proud of me :). I decided to pick up one of AMD’s newest CPU/APU member 3500M. The only laptop that contained this particular APU (This is not a typical CPU anymore, as AMD combined an integrated GPU with the CPU. And this technology is aptly named the APU, Accelerated Processing Unit) is a Hewlett Packard Pavilion DV6-6135DX.
So lets go see what this little Laptop is fully capable of, as I run it into the ground, in a typical Dragon fashion.
I am going to skip the entire packaging BS, as this laptop only came with an AC power brick and a laptop (well seems only logical they ad this because that is why we bought it).
As we can see the Hp DV6-6135DX Laptop has some rather nice curves to it. Also HP uses a brushed aluminum look and feel the the entire skin of the laptop. Now a good portion of the main upper/center skins of this laptop are made out of aluminum not a cheap plastic.
This laptop is not all that large, so it should easily accommodate us when all we have is a small work area to work off from.
The HP DV6-6135DX laptop is fairly thin as well, some of my college books (or most of them) are thicker then this laptop. The overall weight is around the 6 pound range so it is not all that heavy, transporting it in our arms or hands should be pretty effortlessly.
Lets look at the left side of the laptop. Starting from the front of the laptop (right) and working to the back (left) HP includes front Line in, Mic, and Headphone 3.5mm jacks, then we get 2 USB headers, followed by a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, an included HDMI output, and a standard D-SUB 15 pin monitor port. The slotted holes to the rear is the exhaust port for the heatsink.
A better upclose image of the exhaust port.
Then HP placed another small exhaust port for the heatsink on the right hand side of the rear of the laptop as well. This is not an intake, it is only an exhaust, you do not want to block these ports. The intake ports reside on the bottom of the laptop (will show these later).
The backside of the HP DV6-6135DX laptop.
Time for us to look at the right side of the laptop. Moving right to left (rear to front) we see the location of the main AC adapter plug in for those times when we need to charge up our battery, or some serious gaming. Next up are 2 more USB headers, (these look like USB 2 AND NOT usb 3 as these are typically blue not black), then finally we get the DVD burner/Blue Ray disc player.
Right next to the Blue Ray disc player are 2 white LEDs, these are for the power notification and for the HDD indication.
Then finally the front of the laptop. The long slot to the far left, is for SD cards, the other long slots are for the speaker system.
Pretty much a standard keyboard layout that I have seen on multiple different types of laptops. The touch screen that HP is using is a multi-gesture touch screen. One of the areas i was not to thrilled about this laptop is the LCD screen is glossy, and it reflects quite a bit back at the user.
Up close shot of the multi-gesture touch screen.
Another thing the HP added to this laptop is a biometric scanner.
Right below the LCD screen and to the far left of the upper laptop are 2 more small buttons. The silver button is the on/off power button, while the smaller black button is for you to access to your favorite browser.
Hp also includes a HD web camera, that is located right above the LCD screen and in the center.
Lets give a quick look at the bottom end of the DV6-6135DX laptop. This is where all of your fresh air intakes are located at, DO NOT BLOCK THESE INTAKE PORTS. the APU/Dedicated GPU are located on the far right hand side of the laptop.
To remove the battery from the laptop is pretty simple task, just psuh the little switch to the left and the battery will be released so you can remove it. This step is necessary for you so you can remove the center cover on this laptop.
To remove the center cover so you can add/replace memory, change out HDDs is pretty much identical to how you remove the battery. But this time instead of sliding the switch to the left, you slide it to the right. Then carefully lift up on the upper portion of the cover until it is fully removed. To replace the cover just go in the exact opposite of removing this cover.
This is where you can remove the HDD, add/remove the memory, also remove/replace the Blue Ray drive if it is needed. The little card located right above the memory is the wireless B, G, N card.
A close up look at each of the 4 intakes on this laptop, again I implore you not to cover these intake ports up as it will cook your laptop.
Dimensions 1.4″ Height, 14.9″ Width, 9.7″ Depth, Total Weight 6 pounds
Processor AMD A8 1.5 GHz Quad Core CPU with integrated AMD 6620 GPU (3500M APU)
Processor Speed up to 2.4GHz single core applications
Battery Type 6-cell lithium-ion
High-definition LED With BrightView technology (1366 x 768) 15.6″
6GB DDR3 1333 MHz
Digital Media Reader
Networking Built-in 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector)
Wireless Networking Wireless-B+G+N
USB 2.0 Ports 2 USB 3.0; 2 USB 2.0
Laptop Weight Standard (more than 5.5 lbs.)
Battery Life Up to 5 hours and 15 minutes
Pointing Device Touchpad with support for multitouch gestures, LED border accent and on/off button
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
CyberLink PowerDVD; Adobe Reader and more
HDD Western Digital Blue 5400 RPM 640GB
Graphics Card AMD Radeon HD 6750M
As we can see this little laptop comes pretty loaded for only being roughly 650 USD. Now A quick word about the how the APU works with the Dedicated 1 gig 6750 video card. Now the newer APU’s from AMD when paired up with a AMD series video card will automatically run the two GPU’s in crossfire increasing the frame rates of our games. The idea sounds solid enough, but in reality of things well we will just have to wait and see how this type of technology works. The APU comes clocked in at 1.5GHz when running all four cores, but if you are just using a single core the AMD turbo feature will ramp the APU up to 2.4 GHz. I will comment a bit more on the usage of this laptop after I show the benchmark numbers. So stay tuned up next are the benchmark numbers.
Since I do not have another laptop comparable to this laptop, I will only be listing the performance numbers from this laptop only. Plus pitting this laptop up against my over powered desktops would not seem very fair at all for this laptop. All of the benchmarks I used will be listed below and their respected settings. I switched out the slow ass 5400 RPM HDD for a much faster 7200 Seagate Momentus 320 HDD. So your results will vary greatly from my own. Also all my testing was performed with out the battery plugged in, and while I was hooked up by the AC power adapter brick as well as using a laptop cooler.
DO NOT PERFORM THIS TYPE OF TESTING UNLESS YOU ARE USING A LAPTOP COOLER.
General usage CPU benchmarks
- Aida 64
- Cyber link Power Director Converted a 19 minute movie to both an AVI, and a MPEG 4 HD maximum Quality
- Bibble 5 Converted 100 RAW images to a JPEG format
- CineBench RC 11 Multiple Core Rendering and OpenGL testing
- PCMark 7 Standard settings
- CrystalDisk Benchmark
General Usage Gaming Benchmarks
- 3Mark06 Performance 1280 x 720
- 3DMark Vantage Performance 1280 x 720
- 3DMark11 Performance 1280 x 720
- Unigine Heaven High, Tessellation Normal, DX 9, DX 10, DX 11, 1280 x 720
- Stalker Call of Pripyat, Medium DX 10.1, DX 11, 1280 x 720
- Crysis 2, High, DX 9, DX 11 1280 x 720
- Medal of Honor Medium, DX 9, 1280 x 720
- Mirrors Edge, Medium, DX 9, 1280 x 720
- Aliens Vs. Predator, Standard settings, DX11 1366 x 768
- Hawx 2, Medium, DX 9, DX 11, 1280 x 720
- Dirt 3, Medium, DX 11 1280 x 720
- Darkest of Days, Medium, DX 10, 1280 x 720
I tired to give me a more robust benchmarks to gauge the performance of this laptop. Now again all of these benchmarks were performed while I was on the AC power adapter with the battery removed, also while using a laptop cooler. The use of the battery while trying to perform these benchmarks proved to be rather interesting. Also the HDD that HP used was replaced with a 7200 RPM HDD.
General CPU Usage
Time in Minutes
Time in Seconds
Looking at these results, and knowing how fast a stock Core i5 750 CPU handles this type of CPU work. The AMD 3500M Llano APU is not exactly the fastest thing on the planet. AMD needs to work on trying to figure out a way on increasing the CPU core speed, but considering that if you are going to do this type of serious tasking it be best to have a good desktop to handle it. The HP Pavilion DV6-6135DX laptop will get the job done if you find yourself in a pinch.
Reminder I switched out the 5400 RPM HDD that came with this laptop, for a fast Seagate Momentus 7200 RPM HDD. Looking at these performance numbers the HP Pavilion DV6-6135DX laptop is right on par with a desktop computer. I know the performance levels of these HDDs in a desktop environment as I am running 4 of these HDDs in RAID 0 on my main computer Mini Me.
General Usage Gaming Benchmarks
Reminder all of these tests were done at a resolution of 1280 x 720 at medium graphical settings. The only benchmark that did not fallow this resolution/graphical settings was Alien vs Predator as I could only use the native resolution of 1366 x 768. Again all other games were set to 1280 x 720, so if these performance numbers do not jive with you then please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. Located on the main front page.
Thank you, Dragon.
Direct X 10.1
Direct X 11
Looking at our gaming benchmarks we can see that the HP DV6-6135DX laptop does have the capability of playing most games with considerable ease. But, we can also tell that the low core speed of the CPU hinders the overall performance of the video card; therefore, bottlenecking the video card(s). If we look closely at Unigine Heaven 2.5 benchmark (as this was the only benchmark that allowed me to move between all three DX versions) we can get an idea that AMD’s APU is not properly Crossfiring with the 6750 video card (verified with MSI Afterburner as it would only show one GPU being utilized during DirectX 9 runs). Since this this laptop is considered a medium low end machine, I was not expecting much playability with any of the Direct X 11 titles. With the games Dirt 3, Hawx 2, and Stalker Call of Pripyat while under Direct X 11 showed some pretty impressive numbers.
I have used this laptop for over a week now. Mostly it has been going back and forth from home to school, and then sits here waiting for me to go back to school the next day. This laptop does boot up fairly quickly (of course the 7200 RPM drive helps out), and the connection over a wireless connection is pretty good as well. This laptop does not get hot enough for my “normal day to day” usage so i do not need to bring along the laptop cooler when I am in class as the bottom pads of the laptop are plenty tall enough to allow enough fresh air to enter the laptop to keep it cool. During this type of usage the battery will last me around 4 hours, this is with the power saving features of Windows 7 in full effect. I watched a Blue Ray movie and my time on the battery dramatically reduced to a mere 2.5 hours (roughly), I should mention I turned off all of the Windows 7 power saving features also turned the brightness of the main screen up from a 50% to a 80%, and i am running a 7200 RPM HDD. So your mileage may vary from my own. I do not recommend you run this laptop while gaming on the battery, as it will cut your frame rates in half, and your battery life will be significantly reduced. Not to mention it will start run a tad warm if you are not using a laptop cooler. So if you plan on doing some serious work on this laptop, make sure you are plugged into the AC adapter and hook up a good laptop cooler.
The Wrap Up
Time for me to wrap up this review. All in all the HP Pavilion DV6-6135DX laptop did quite well. Granted the CPU performance was not all that staggering, but it did provide me with enough power to do simple tasking. Since I got a massive home computer, any serious labor/gaming that needs to be done will be done on that computer. While I use this laptop as a go between. Typically when you purchase a laptop that is in the 650 USD range they are completely useless for any type of gaming, but this laptop will provide you with enough power to get your game on. I will have to mention this choose your games wisely, because this laptop will play most games quite well with a medium settings @ a resolution at 1280 x 720. On other games this laptop will give you less then desirable frame rates. Now considering that Ipads, and other tablets go for on around the 600USD range and are seriously hindered on what they can do, and this laptop is essentially a “portable computer” that will give you all of the benefits of a home computer but mobile, I will have say that the price to performance ratio makes up for more then enough. Did I mention that you can watch Blue Ray movies, burn DVDs, and do anything you can do on a computer? I want to see a “Tablet” do what this Laptop can do.
The HP Pavilion DV6-6135DX laptop earns a well respected and earned 7 out of 10 and the:
Silver Dragon Award