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).
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.