Everyday users and multimedia enthusiasts will find a lot to like about the HP Pavilion dv6700t, an update to the dv6500t. This high-end configuration of one of our favorite all-purpose machines offers a stylish design, fast performance, and plenty of extras--including a Blu-ray drive and a TV tuner--for the dedicated diversion seeker. i'm think
Pavilion dv6700t Design
Measuring 14.1 x 10.1 x 1.0 inches and weighing an even 6 pounds, the dv6700t is yet another beautiful HP notebook. The system's lid features HP's eye-catching black-resin finish and Radiance pattern. Popping the top, you'll find that the Radiance pattern extends to the palm rests for a subtle touch of beauty.
We liked the spacious keyboard, which is conducive to smooth touch typing, and the springy keys that provide just the right amount of feedback. Above the keyboard is a row of responsive touch-sensitive multimedia keys and a cool volume strip that let us raise and lower the sound with a light finger swipe. A spacious touchpad and large mouse buttons are built into the base that features a vertical scroll strip and a button that locks the cursor.
Scattered about the perimeter of the dv6700t are several ports, including three USB 2.0, HDMI, S-Video, VGA, FireWire, two headphone jacks, microphone jack, 54mm ExpressCard slot, 5-in-1 memory card slot, and HP's Expansion Port 3, a proprietary port for use with HP's xb3000 Notebook Expansion Base ($249). You'll also find a fingerprint reader on the keyboard deck.
The bright and glossy 15.4-inch (1280 x 800-pixel resolution) BrightView display served up solid, if unspectacular, colors when we popped our Hitch Blu-ray disc into the drive. Viewing angles were excellent; we enjoyed the on-screen theatrics even from the most extreme positions. We would have liked to see a higher resolution display to better showcase the HD visuals, but you can always output the video and audio to your big screen using the HDMI connection.
Altec Lansing speakers provided a richer soundscape than typical notebook speakers. HP includes a 1.3-MP webcam that let us enjoy video chats with friends and colleagues, even in low-light situations.
Our configuration came with the HP ExpressCard Digital/Analog TV Tuner, an ExpressCard and antenna combo that let us pick up over-the-air signals. Video quality ranged from quite poor to decent depending on location, but being close to a window improved performance. Also included is an IR remote, composite and S-Video cables, and a cable for connecting the ExpressCard tuner to a cable box.
Speedy Performance, Good Mid-Range Graphics
The HP Pavilion dv6700t's blazing-fast 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 processor, 5,400-rpm 250GB hard drive, and a chunky 3GB of RAM (expandable to 4GB) made for an exceptionally smooth Windows Vista Home Premium experience. The notebook managed a score of 3,237 on our PCMark Vantage test, which is right on track for 15.4-inch systems, and 202 for MobileMark 2007, around 50 points above average for its class.
The Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS graphics card on the dv6700t notched a score of 5,255 on our 3DMark03 test, which is about 750 points above average for its class. On Call of Duty 4 with the resolution set to its native 1280 x 800 setting, we saw an average of 26 frames per second. The $1,249 Toshiba Satellite A305-S6845 was able to get the same frames per second (using ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 3650 discrete graphics) but at a lesser 1024 x 768-pixel resolution. In F.E.A.R. the dv6700t notched a playable 51 fps on autodetect mode (albeit on 800 x 600-pixel resolution). At the maximum resolution, the frame rates dropped to 15 per second.
Strong Wireless Performance and Endurance
Our dv6700t also turned in strong wireless scores. The 802.11a/g/n radio pushed data along at a rate of 19.0 Mbps at 15 feet away from our access point, and 12.5 Mbps at 50 feet away--just what we'd expect from a mainstream machine. Our configuration also had Bluetooth. The six-cell, high-capacity battery lasted 3 hours and 47 minutes on our MobileMark battery rundown--about 45 minutes longer than average.
Software and Warranty
The HP Pavilion dv6700t comes preinstalled with CyberLink DVD Suite, HP PhotoSmart Essentials, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 Edition (60-day trial), Microsoft Works 9.0, and Symantec Norton Internet Security 2008 (60-day trial). HP insures the system with a one-year standard warranty and 24/7 tech support.
HP Pavilion dv6700t Verdict
On the surface, the HP Pavilion dv6700t isn't much different from the dv6500t, but the powerful Penryn processor, optional Blu-ray drive, and TV Tuner should prove compelling options for multimedia mavens. Some may prefer theDell XPS M1530, which offers a display with a higher resolution (1440 x 900 pixels). Nevertheless, the $1,692 price tag and extras make the dv6700t a solid notebook for all but the most demanding users.