"HP Pavillion dv6tqe"3.5 starson by cheyguy
Pros: screen quality, speed, battery life, fingerprint reader
Cons: shows fingerprints, feels a bit flimsy, DVD tray button
Summary: Bought one to give to my IT Pro son, got to play with it. Toshi 655 with i7-740 was good, but ran hot often, slow to boot fully(software issue?), battery lasted maybe 2 to 2-1/2 hrs. Decided to check out newer tech, so ordered on HP this unit with dark umber color, BluRay, i7-2760, 750 7200 rpm hard drive, full HD screen, Beats audio, 2 Gb Radeon DDR5, 8 Gb DDR3 (1333), Windows 7 Ultimate, IE9, and a few other goodies. Agree, the bloatware is irritating, HP's "help" apps take some getting used to (not always logical to me, user since 1983). Booted in less than half the time (:30 to :45) of the Toshi (1:30). Screen has incredible detail and very good contrast for my old eyes. BluRay and DVD played excellently and with great color. No obvious ghosting or blur. Button for opening the tray is a bit difficult, but not awful. No backlit keyboard. 8 Gb Ram is a bit of overkill for most things, but nice to have some overhead for multiple (IE9, Office Home & Business 2010, Adobe Photoshop Elements 10). Unlike some, I find Norton much improved over its resource-hogging past, and 360 (v5.0 now) has some nice utilities. Has never been a problem for me. Runs only slightly warm exhaust, but running a DVD or BD does make it run a bit warmer. Several games ran well, and it does get significantly warmer running them. Have had up to 14 windows (Ultimate) open before it started to show instability. Do miss the backlighted keyboard. It beats the 2-year-old Toshi: 4 to 4-1/2 hours on the 9-cell versus 2 to 2-1/2 hours on the Toshi's 12-cell. And I have no problem with the 9-cell's slight bump, raising the typing surface slightly. Beats Audio is better than average, but I have year to hear any really good built-in laptop speakers. I have heard many bad things about HP help and support. In-computer help is like Windows: poor for most questions I had. One call to support was a non-starter. Used an online chat they have, and the guy from India wrote decent English, and helped quickly, so no present major complaint. All in all, my son and I found this to be a very good laptop. Since I gave him the first one (I paid $1300), I ordered one a few days ago (Jan. 2012), with the lower 720p HD screen, the 750 5400 rpm hard drive, but otherwise the same unit for $400 less on Amazon (third party seller with a good reputation). Actual savings would have only been $100 to $150 since I got the two slightly lower components. I hope it will be as essentially as good as the first one. I had problems with an HP rebate 5 years ago, and swore I'd never buy another from HP. Love my Dell desktop, but they offered a good laptop last year but tried to substitute the standard model for the better one offered. BBB and Atty. Gen. wouldn't pursue, though they agreed it was illegal. So finding the usually nice Toshi laptops to lack certain items I wanted, I decided to get the dv6tqe for my son. Now I've ordered this one, and if it does as well, I'll 'forgive' HP past sins. From friends, I've had reports from good to awful about HP, Dell, Toshiba, and others about support, hardware, software, etc. My experiences have often been different, though sometimes the same. Much depends on the unit (like cars, there can be "lemons"), the OS, each app provider, and attention to known and potential conflicts. So there is an element of luck in getting what you pay for. So far, I've been mostly lucky. So as my roommate in college from Nu Choizy used to say, "Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer cherce!" So far, I like this unit, and am looking foward to the 2012 models and Windows 8. We shall see...... Oh, yeah: I'm an advanced novice, having used computers (Windows PC) since 1983, and dealt with very elementary predecessors back in my nuke missile days. I use a wired mouse because I don't generally care for track pads or wireless. I really like USB 3.0, finding backups and transfers of large photo files (former pro photog), etc. to transfer (manual or Norton automatic) around 4 times faster than with 2.0 to an external drive.