My New Laptop

Disclaimer: The following article is based on my personal opinion, and it highlights my own experience, views, and observations. It is not sponsored or endorsed by any commercial organization. I’m not a representative for HP computers, nor do I sell laptops.

I was contemplating on buying a new laptop for the past few months due to productivity issues. I was using a Dell Inspiron 8500 for the past 2 years for work as well as home utilities. I loved the Inspiron 8500 for its robust built, great performance, widescreen display and the speaker sound quality, but it lacked several essentials (like mine didn’t have WiFi). It was also getting quite slow with development apps like .NET, SAP BO and SQL Server installed. Moreover the Inspiron 8500, kind of, became obsolete in today’s world of Core Duo’s. So I decide to get myself a new piece of gear.

For the past few weeks I searched around for the most suitable and economical laptop models in the market. My main requirements were a widescreen display (15.4″), WiFi ability, a Core Duo (not Core Solo) processor, substantial amount of memory (512MB+) and a large disk drive (60GB+). The main contenders I was looking at were Dell, HP/Compaq and IBM/Lenovo. Although my dream machine would have been an Alienware or a Sony VAIO, but these were either unavailable or too expensive for me. The IBM/Lenovo laptop’s are quite durable but I’m not a huge fan of their product design, which looks so retro. After much consideration and research over the internet, and calling/meeting with a couple of a laptop dealers, I narrowed down my selection to three models: Dell Inspiron 6400, HP Pavilion DV6114 and the Toshiba Tecra A8.

Dell only has online direct ordering which means that I couldn’t test-drive the lappy beforehand. But Dell gave much diverse options to customize the laptop with their online ordering process. The Dell model was well within my budget but I was unsure of its design quality. Also, I heard and read several stories about the poor personal customer service offered by Dell. Next up, I had a look at the Toshiba model at a dealers location and found it to be very well designed, quite durable and performance-oriented. The following day I called up a couple of HP dealers and went over to one to have a peak at the DV6114. I also browsed the Pavilion DV6000 series review at CNET and Laptop Magazine. The DV6114 also happened to be the Most Popular Laptop at NotebookReview.com (as of now).

At the showroom, my first impression with its look & feel was that its a “digital fashion statement”. The HP Pavilion DV6114 offered all that I was looking for and much more, almost at the same price as that of a Dell Inspiron 6400. I took a quick test-drive on the laptop and placed an order right there and then. One thing that I noticed was that the Dell Inspiron 6400 had a Core Duo T2300 processor while the HP Pavilion DV6114TX (TX is Intel, ZX is AMD) has a Core Duo T2050 (without IVT), which meant a slightly lower frequency, slightly lower FSB and no virtualization support for the Pavilion model. Regardless it was a negligible difference. But I was just blown away by the design quality and performance attributes offered by this Pavilion model which was launched just about 3-4 months back. And I could also count on HP customer service over the Dell customer service. And that same evening, last week, I was a happy & proud owner of a new HP Pavilion DV6114.

The HP Pavilion DV6114 has a stylish chassis draped with the unique HP Imprint Finish Wave pattern (based on a technique used by car manufacturers for interior design). The subtle, wavy lines are inspired by Japanese rock gardens, and the piano-black finish captures your attention (as well as fingerprints and smudges).

HP Imprint Finish

It exhibits a 15.4″ widescreen with BrightView technology. Under the hood is an Intel Core Duo Processor (1.66 GHz), Intel 945GM Chipset, 2 MB L2 Cache / 533 MHz FSB, 512 MB PC2-4200 (533 MHz) DDR2 RAM, 80 GB Serial ATA hard-disk (150 MB/ Sec @5400 RPM) and an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950. Other nifties include an 8x SuperMulti Double Layer (8.5 GB) DVD +RW/ +R Writer, integrated Bluetooth, integrated Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG WiFi, integrated Modem and an integrated 1.3 megapixel WebCam. It has Altec Lansing Stereo Speakers and a very useful 5-In-1 Digital Media Reader integrated. The HP Pavilion DV6114 is powered by the Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) and it is Windows Vista capable. A small remote control is used to drive the TV/Tivo-like MCE.

One week after the purchase and most of the software essentials loaded, I’m quite satisfied with the performance and durability of the laptop. I will highly recommend to anyone looking for a decent laptop for home or home-office use. I’ll load-test the laptop in the coming weeks and post more details later.

By the way, this is my first post using w.bloggar – a free offline blogging client.

211 thoughts on “My New Laptop

  1. Hi Ashutosh,

    While searching for a solution to my problem i came across this blog and finds it very interesting as it is pointing and solving the issues.

    I own a hp pavilion dv6114tx laptop in india and i have also made a recovery disc when i purchased. I lost these discs (3 Dvds) in transit. Now my laptop is giving problem while writing; it stop after writing 10% to the disc and say “writing failed”. It is not under warranty.

    I have asked for help from HP for the recovery disc, they said you need to get the hard disk imaged. I’m in Mumbai and contacted the service centre in andheri and santacruz but they said they cannot image the disk. Is there a way i can get the disk or is there a way i can image the disk.

    Secondly, i system was infected with “worm” which had been removed and after than also the drive was perfect. When i try to roll back the driver it says no drivers to roll back.
    Thanks
    Joe

  2. Hi Ahutosh

    I have a HP DV6114TX laptop with 2x512MB RAM. My 80GB SATA hdd failed recently and I tried to replace it with 160 GB seagate SATA hdd. On installing winXP pro sp2 it hangs and switches off where the devices get installed at 33 minutes remaining level. On restarting it does the same at exactly the same point. It is just before the screen comes up for region and language settings. At one piont it also showed a error log file saying it failed to install one of the devices that windows needed to install. My old 80 gb hdd, although gets heated up and with many bad sector, slowly and painfully boots up.

    Another issue is, in bios setup > system configuration setting, if I keep the SATA native support as enabled the XP installation will not detect the new hdd. Only if I keep it disabled does the installation will proceed further. ( and hangs & switches off at the same level that I mentioned above) The old hdd is detected and boots up in both the options.

    Another query is even if I move my finger just above the quick play DVD area on the panel the laptop starts up. Is it one of the feature or a case of extra sensitive touch panel.

    What could be the issue here? Do I need a bios upgrade or the new hdd is not compatibe ?
    Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Thanks

    Sunil

  3. hey Ashutosh i Have hp dv6226tx laptop i need all driver of win xp 64 bit

    and can u tell also wht is big differance between 32 bit and 64 bit

    Thanks in advance

  4. Hi Shiva,

    Sorry to hear about your laptop problem. If your laptop is under warranty then you can get your DVD drive replaced.

    I’m not a representative for HP computers, nor do I sell laptops. The review article (above) is based on my personal opinion, and it highlights my own experience, views, and observations. It is not sponsored or endorsed by any commercial organization.

    The DV 6114 that I bought in 2006 is still working very well. No one can guarantee that a Dell or HP or Toshiba laptop will work flawless, but you have to take care of your machine for it to last long. It’s the same with any electronic gadget.

    Good luck,

    Ashutosh

  5. brought this laptop in 2007 since then the dvd writer dosen’t write over 3.5gb or read over 3.5gb i have already visited the support store in bangalore 5 time but they are not able to help me. i made a big mistake buying ur laptop and will not recommed anyone any of hp products.

  6. hey have any of you guys figured out how to get this computer to make a sound when the battery gets low? i went to the sound options and it SAYS its set to make a noise, yet my battery keeps reaching the critical point and shutting off without me hearing any notification. its pretty irritating.

  7. Hi there
    I just want to know that i bought a toshiba laptop last month and i forgot to create recovery discs in my earlier days and after some days i realised that there r some spyware in my laptop and norton is unable to remove that spyware.Then i create recovery discs for my laptop now my question is if i’ll use that recovery discs then my laptop will return to its original condition or in that spyware condition when i create that recovery discs.Pls reply me as soon as possible.
    Thanks
    Kash

  8. Hi,
    Aditya Jain
    Here.,
    yar just wanted to know.,that till wht extend i can increase the hard disk and the ram in my lappy.,.,mine is hp dv6114tx.,!!

  9. @Bhargavi: Hi, you should have your laptop checked at a service center. Sounds like the CMOS battery may be dead or some glitch with the OS.

    @Mahuli: Hi, can’t offer much advice on how to increase speed with Vista, because I don’t use it myself. Google for it, and I’m sure you’ll find some tips and tweaks.

    @Srikanth: Hi, can’t offer much advice on dv2046tu since I haven’t used this model, but it should be pretty much better than the dv6114 I use. I would also suggest you to checkout the Toshiba 15′ models. I’ve heard good things about it. If you go for the HP one then make sure you get a 9-cell battery pack with it for a longer run time.

    Cheers :)

  10. Hi I bought HP pavilliondv 6114 in Oct 2006..
    However from past few months I have prob wit it..
    After i boot my system it turns off suddenly without giving any error message and if i restart it reboots without giving error for sudden shut down as well..
    I’m not sure if the prob is wit the battery or if its something else..
    Pls help me..

  11. I have HP Pavilion dv 6000 series laptop preloaded with vista home premium. Please guide me as to how to increase the speed of the system which is awfully slow as of now.

    Please let me know if my lap top would be compatible to microsoft SP1 ?

    regards

    Avinash

  12. hi ashutosh….

    i just sold my fujitsu n am willing to get a dv2046tu from my friend…. can u help me out giving me the pros n cons of this model… thnx in advance…..

  13. Hi Ashutosh,

    Thanks for the info, After i sent you the message, i just activated the plugin and it worked great.

    Reg. the HP notebook, yes its been good, very good. In the earlier days finding some things on Vista were irritating as I was used to windows XP from very long time. but Vista is more organized and fun to use.

    New problem I face now, just 4 days after my warranty ends is a blue screen with tcpip.sys error. I searched for it on the net, and found few options. There is a patch available, but I used another method and if it does not work then will use the patch.

    Before I end, please visit http://www.chetanbhagat.com if you like his books.
    -> (: this is an advt. lol. coz i made the site.

  14. Hi Amit,

    I posted about the overheating issue earlier (pls read comment #110). It’s a concern that I’ve had too, but it doesn’t occur too often.

    I’ve noticed that most of the times, the overheating is due to a background process (mostly HelpSvc) using too many CPU cycles. So I open up the Task Manager and kill the process that’s chewing up the CPU.

    In my experience, the two main causes of hardware overheating are: bad weather and/or bad software :)

    Cheers!

  15. Hi Ashutosh,

    I am using a HP DV6114TX with 2 GB ram. Its works great during winters but in summers it overheats and turns off. Today itself I have faced it 5-6 times :(. Doesnt your notebook heat up during long hours of use?

    Amit

  16. Hello,

    Nilkanth, hope you are doing well. Based on your advice I had purchased the HP laptop and it’s been a year since I got it.

    BTW, the reason for this post is, do you use any addon or plugin for this comments part in your blog? If yes could you please specify which is it and do you keep the option of manually approving a comment in your blog?

  17. Hi Karthik,

    I suppose you can upgrade the RAM to 4GB without any trouble since these models have atleast two memory slots. Check with a local dealer. I guess you’ll have to trade-in your current RAM chips and get two SIM’s of 2GB each. Try and get a good bargain on the trade-in.

    Good luck!

  18. Hi, I have a HP Pavillion DV2117TX and have been using it since Dec ’06. I have put it to some real rough use even in the Himalayas. Its was good then but over time it has become a tad too slow. I mostly work on Adobe Photoshop, Bridge and Dreamweaver and would like to know if I can upgrade the RAM to 4GB. I currently have 2GB RAM. Please let me know.

    Thanks in advance.

  19. i am having hp dv6000 laptop. i am unable to use reliance netconnect modem, since i couln’t find the required usb drivers for 64-bit os. if anyone have the solution for that please send to me.

  20. hi if anybody interested in dv6226 laptop plz let me know..i bought it in u.s before 4monts.i’m again gng to u.s.thats y am selling…i’m reday to sell it fr 43k.

    if anybody interested plz suit a mail

    sasi

  21. Hi Ashutosh,
    I am looking for a laptop with config:Intel core2 Duo processor 1.5GHz or more, 1GB/2GB RAM,good sound & picture quality.confused between HP, Sony and Dell. sony has the best look but I have heard that Softwares like oracle can’t be installed in Sony laptops and with new CR series there is a problem with metal plate near the keypad that gives shock problems. Dell is relatively cheap (Model Inspiron 1420) but I would like to know about the support service and hardware quality. In HP, I have seen DV2601TX. Can someone please share his experiences with these models and advise which one is better? Suggestions on other Model/make are also welcomed.

  22. Hi i too need the recovery discs 4 my hp dv6226tx.If any 1 can help me please help me.I will bear all the expences hold.
    Thanx a lot

  23. Hi,

    Does anyone have HP Pavilion dv6114tx recovery disk?? If yes can u plz share that with me. I’m facing problem with my laptop.

    Thanx in Advance.

    Aditya Jain

  24. Hey Buddy i need your help can u please help me out actually i also have dv6114tx….nd d hard disk got currupted…i need recovery disk of it…if u can give me favour plz.!!!

  25. Hi all,
    I’m user of DV6114tx. can anybody tell me how to trouble shoot remote control supplied with the laptop. It is not working since last 10 days ?I’m using windows XP .

    PS: Battery of remote control is working fine.

  26. Hi,

    Does anyone have HP Pavilion dv6226tx recovery disk?? If yes can u plz share that with me. I’m facing problem with my laptop.

    Thanx in Advance.

    VJ

  27. hi asutosh i am using a HP Pavillion 6000 series laptop with vista 64 bit, i have observed that when i plug in a pen drive in a usb port then it automatically ‘lights up’. this is quite normal . but when i close the pendrive by clicking on the safely remove hardware icon then even after the ‘u can safely remove the hardware’ messege, the light in the pendrive remains on.

    is that a bug in the windows vista?
    or is that a problem in my computer?

  28. Hi Ashutosh

    i am going for a laptop. which one should i choose from lenevo,sony,hp for software developement purpose?

    My only issue is performance.

    Kindly suggest…………….

  29. hi ashutosh thanks a lot for the firewall! unfortunately they dont yet have a vista friendly version. hoping that they will release it soon!

    i dont understand about the battery backup. is that a software issue? i mean if its a software issue then perhaps they can do something about it through an upgrade! but if its a hardware problem then, is there any way they can resolve the issue for their customers who have already purchased the DV6000 series laptop?

    i dont think that they’ll do a battery or equipment recall!

    before purchasing the laptop even i did a research, maybe not as through as u did and i also dont have any doubt that performance and durability wise this is the right choice.

    i wish HP hadnt overlooked the battery issue!

    once again thank you for your time!

  30. Hi bodh, I can understand your view on the low battery life. HP must address it sooner than later. Before I bought my laptop, I did some research and read about the low battery life. I still went ahead and bought the dv6114 because I don’t use the laptop on the move that often or for a long time. I was more concerned about the durability and performance, which is quite well served by the dv6114.

    As for a free personal firewall, you can try Comodo Personal Firewall: http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/

    Hope it helps!

  31. hi ashutosh, thanks for ur reply.

    i really dont know but i feel that i have been cheated by HP. 1.5 hours of battery backup is a joke! guess i made a mistake by choosing HPdv6314. i’ll never recommend anyone to buy a HP.

    i want a free personal firewall. any idea where i can find one. i tried the zone alarm but unfortunately it is not compatible with my 64 bit vista ultimate

  32. Thanks Ashutosh for your reply. I will definitely get back to you when I have some specific models in mind. At present, I can’t locate any single model, which has all the features that I am interested in.

  33. Hi karthik, have you tried using a different PS2/USB convertor for the keyboard? Maybe its a faulty connector that’s causing the problem.

    Hi Mahesh, I suspect that you are getting the bluescreen errors due to device driver problems (i.e. Vista incompatibility with a system device). Have you installed any new applications (or hardware drivers) recently after which this problem started occuring? If so, try uninstalling it and see if the problem persists.

    Hi Aman, the choice between HP 6000 series and Sony Vaio series depends on what you would use the laptop for. HP 6000 series doesn’t have a great battery backup so it might not be the best option if you plan to use your laptop on the move. Sony Vaio on the other hand has great display quality, but some models are heavier to carry around and don’t offer as good performance as the HP notebooks. If you have any specific HP or Sony model in mind then maybe I can offer some precise advice.

    Hi Ranjeet, I haven’t faced the LED problem you mentioned so I may not be able to offer much insight on it. As for backup, Windows has a basic backup utility built-in (see under System Tools), or you can also use SyncBack (search on google). Good luck!

    Hi bodh, battery life has been a problem with the HP 6000 series for a while. You can read several messages on this topic above. Its not sufficient enough to last longer than 1.5-2 hours. Its mainly becuase of the fact that the dv6114 and most other standard laptops have a 6-cell battery pack. The battery pack can be upgraded to a 9-cell one for a slightly better power backup. Hope it helps!

  34. i hv purchased HP dv6314 laptop. i guess its the same as dv6226 only that its core2duo with a 1gb ram. the machine is really good but the battery sucks . i dont get more than 2 hrs of backup. is that a problem of the battery ? i have done a battery check , it says the battery is fine . have nt done a battery caliberation. is that necessary?

    is there any other way i can increase the battery bkup?

    Also when i mouse over the battery icon it shows the power left only as a % not in hours and minutes

    Guys, any solution?

  35. Hi Ashutosh,
    I bought a dv6114tx around the same time you did. I have been using it extensively for the last 10 months now and am very happy with the performance.
    Lately, an irritating problem is faced: the LEDs for the QuickPlay shortcut keys on the laptop start dancing every now and then – have you faced a similar problem?
    Since it’s under warranty, I am taking it for HP to have a look at it. They have asked me to keep a back up of the Windows Media Center – which they will not be able to provide in case the laptop requires a reload of the OS. Can you point me to the procedure to take a back up?

  36. All other things being equal, should one give preference to HP 6000 series or a Sony Vaio (for mixed home and office use)? Sony Vaio were very expensive, but lately Sony has been introducing some budget laptops viz CR series N37 etc. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

  37. Hai…
    I am using dv 6226 tx model. I am continuously getting Bluescreen error(Physical memory dump) Please suggest me to avoid this problem.
    If I installed XP I am not getting any problem, only with vista OS am getting this problem.
    If I went to any service center simply they are re-installing OS but each time I am loosing all my data.
    Please suggest me regarding this…

    Thanks
    mahesh

  38. hai..
    im using HP DV6226tx and am facing a problem wid da external keyboard i connect.some times the ctrl or the shift key gets stuck ..it behaves as if these buttons r pressed..may be it got sumthing to do wid da stiky keys..i tried changing the settinds for stiky keys..but doesnt change..it continues to behave in that fashion untill ieither logoff/hibernate/restart/i plug out the keyboard and wait a few seconds. so i think it got some thing to do with the hardware.it is becoming very difficult to play multiplayr games like counter strike etc. i could really use ny piece of advice. btw the external keyboard is that of hp (ps keyboard connecting wid a usb converter) the in built keyboard works fine…yup i also tried one of my friend’s usb keyboard which worked fine for a few hours and then again started the same prblm.. please reply

  39. Hey guys, I recently upgraded the memory (DDR2 RAM) of my laptop from 512Mb to 1Gb. It took a few minutes to put in another 512Mb slice and all good to go. It costed me 2k.

    The dv6000 series laptops have 2 memory slots under the case. Ideally, when upgrading, one of the slots should be kept vacant for future use. But I simply squeezed two 512Mb chips for now.

    The most important thing when upgrading memory is to make sure that the running memory and the new memory are of the same speed (eg: 533Mhz), same voltage, and preferably the same make as well. Different speeds or makes can cause memory problems and system crashes.

    After the memory upgrade, the laptop has become more responsive with heavy apps (like Visual Studio, DVD burner etc). There is a noticeable performance boost.

  40. Hi Anandi, what are your programming requirements which you suspect won’t be able to work on Vista?

    Hi sharfudeen, I suggest you have the laptop checked by a local service shop. Also, have you looked at the BIOS settings to make sure that HDD support is valid.

    Hi KK, Yes I still stand by my review. The dv6114tx I bought has been a great companion (except maybe for its power backup). I use it for long-hours almost everyday and the stablity & performance have been great. Dell’s support in India is horrible and I’m not a big fan of their product quality (althought recently they have introduced colored cases etc.). Have a look at their newer models though. The latest HP model is this spec category is dv6226tx, so you can have a look at it as well.

    Hi Abhishek, one way you can extend your laptop battery life is by getting a 9-cell battery (if you currectly have a 6-cell one). It shouldn’t be that expensive, but its a must if your laptop travels with you a lot. I hope HP addresses the issues with their dv6000 series laptop battery life. Its the only main setback for this lovely laptop. HP dv6114/6224 laptops come with a BrightView anti-reflective display. I’m not quite sure how to verify that in Windows though. I’ll see if I can hack out something.

    Hi Hemal, check the audio settings under Control Panel > Sounds/Audio Devices. Make sure the speaker is not on mute. Hope it helps!

  41. Hi Ashutosh;

    Can you please guide how to enable inbuilt spekar for HP DV6114?

    Right now I can only listen with the headphone.
    Regards
    Hemal

  42. Hi Ashutosh,

    Your review of the dv 6114 was quite helpful. I bought my dv 6226 a couple of months ago and am impressed with its visual form and ergonomics. Pretty much the only ‘issue’ (which u have highlighted in a post) is the really shoddy battery life of 1.5 hours which doesn’t even outlast the time one’s allowed to use a laptop on a delhi – mumbai flight. Wonder if HP is addressing this issue with a newer longer-lasting battery which I would (sadly) have to purchase as the current one is wholly inadequate for usage while traveling. Also, any idea how I can find out whether my model comes with a brighview screen?

  43. Hi Ashutosh,
    Do you still stand on the reivew you posted about 10 months back on the HP Pavillion laptop? I had always been a Dell Favourite but recently i bought one and had some horrible experiences with them back to back on couple of my purchases. I was planning to buy the following configuration:
    HP dv6000t, Intel(R) Core(TM) Duo T2450, 2.0 GHz, 15.4″ WXGA, 2GB RAM, 200GB, 8X DVD+/-R/RW w/Double Layer Support, 802.11b/g, HP Imprint Finish with Integrated Microphone + Webcam, Windows Vista Home Premium

    What are your thoughts?

    Please let me know.
    kumsimohan@yahoo.com

  44. I bought a compak laptop DUO core toshiba 142 GB HDD .they have installed Windows vista on my system.But i want to change it to the windos XP.
    while I boot through the windows XP CD.It is not able to detect my HDD.It says there is no Hard disk drive on this computer.

  45. Hi Ashutosh

    I am bying the laptop but there are some problems, they say if you buy hp notebook you will get vist n you can not use vist for programing purpose where i want to buy the notebook for one n only purpose of programming and if u upload xp it doesnt support the drivers. This is wht i have been told, could u suggest me. My one n only condition is I want core 2 duo processor. what woud i do.

  46. Hi Mahesh, you should contact the HP customer support in your city regarding the Vista-compatible drivers. If that doesn’t help, drop me a message (via the contact form) and I’ll give you the e-mail address of their US division who may assist you with more information. Vista is still very new in India, so the support from hardware vendors will catchup a bit slowly.

    Hi Harish, If you want to watch TV on the laptop, then you’ll need a TV tuner USB device. If you want to relay the laptop display to the TV, then you can use the S-Video output socket (top-left side of the console) along with a 4-pin S-Video cable (please check on this with HP support once). Also checkout this small note on configuring external display: http://tinyurl.com/yo45np (on HP website)

    Hope it helps!

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