HP dv6500t Specifications and Features

Like most large OEMs, HP gives customers the ability to customize their particular notebook. Here's a quick overview of the configuration options available on the dv6500t.

HP dv6500t Configuration Options and Features
Processor Core 2 Duo T7300/T7100
Chipset Intel GM965 + ICH8-ME
FSB Speeds 533/667/800 MHz
Memory Speeds DDR2-400, DDR2-533, DDR2-667
Memory Slots (2) x SO-DIMM, up to 4GB, DDR2, Dual Channel supported
Graphics Intel GMA X3100
NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS 383MB
Display 15.4" WXGA (1280x800)
Expansion Slots One ExpressCard/54
Hard Drive 80/120/160GB 5400RPM, 200GB 4200RPM
Optical Drive 8X DVD+/-RW LightScribe
HD-DVD w/ 8X DVDR
Networking/Communications Integrated 10/100 Ethernet and V.90 56K Modem
Intel 3945ABG (802.11A/B/G) Mini PCI Wireless or
Intel 4965AGN (802.11A/G/N) Mini PCI Wireless
Audio 24-bit High Definition Audio with 2.1 Speakers
Left Ports 2 x USB 2.0
1 x mini-Firewire
Flash reader (SD, MS/Pro, MMC, XD)
1 x VGA
TV-Out
Expansion Port 3 (for Docking/Port Replicator)
Right Ports 1 x USB2.0
Optical Drive<.br>ExpressCard/54
Power Connector
Front Ports Infrared
Microphone
2 x Headphone
Back Ports None
Keyboard 86 Key QWERTY (US)
Extras Microphone
Webcam (Optional)
Fingerprint Reader (Optional)
ExpressCard TV Tuner (Optional)
Battery Options 6-Cell 47WHr
6-Cell "High Capacity"
12-Cell 95WHr Lithium Ion
Dimensions 14.05"x10.12"x1"-1.69" (LxWxH)
6.14 lbs. (6-cell battery)
Power Adapter 65W
Operating Systems Windows Vista Home Basic 32-bit
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
Windows Vista Business 32-bit
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

Looking at the available features, it's pretty clear that this is not intended as a high-performance notebook, but rather it focuses on the entry level to midrange market. Processor options are limited to the T7100 and T7300, while the faster T7500 and T7700 are only available on higher end HP offerings. Considering the price increase and relatively small performance boost that comes with those faster CPUs, that's not a bad compromise. The platform is technically backwards compatible with earlier Core 2 Duo processors, but there's really no reason to use something other than one of the new 800FSB models.

Graphics options are similarly limited: you can stick with the standard integrated Intel GMA X3100 or you can spend $80 more to get NVIDIA's GeForce 8400M GS. While the X3100 is technically a fully featured DirectX 9 part with Shader Model 3.0 support, the 8400M GS offers DirectX 10 support and more importantly it has drivers that function properly with all DirectX 9 applications. The 8400M GS certainly isn't the fastest graphics chip on the planet, but it should still be able to run circles around the X3100. The laptop we were sent uses the X3100, but we should be getting some competing notebooks that use 8400M GPUs in the near future for comparison. We'll have a bit more to say about the graphics later, but if you're interested in even moderate gaming we feel the $80 upgrade is money well spent.

As with nearly all notebooks, the dv6500t comes with two SO-DIMM slots. Memory support tops out at 4GB, although you would want to install a 64-bit operating system in that case. HP does give you the option to install a 64-bit OS, but only if you choose to upgrade to Windows Vista Ultimate; at present, all of the other Windows Vista versions are 32-bit only.

Storage choices cover the usual gamut, with hard drive sizes ranging from 80GB all the way up to 200GB. As battery life is adversely affected by the faster 7200 RPM drives, only 5400 RPM models are available for selection, except for the 200 GB drive, which is a 4200 RPM model. Using the lower RPM drives also helps to keep prices down, which is again in keeping with the midrange target audience. We recently took a closer look at Intel's Turbo Memory technology, but HP doesn't bother supporting the feature on this particular notebook. An 8X SuperMulti DVD burner (with LightScribe support) comes standard, but HP does offer one high-end storage option with a $400 HD-DVD upgrade. The unit we were sent did not include an HD-DVD drive.

Standard 10/100 Ethernet and a 56K modem are included, but we wish they would have opted for a Gigabit Ethernet controller. Many people might not notice the omission, but we definitely missed the feature as during testing we routinely transfer more than 100GB of data over the network connection, and its inclusion certainly wouldn't have impacted price much at all. Wireless networking is provided courtesy of the typical Intel 3945ABG adapter, or you can choose to upgrade to the newer 4965AGN adapter with Draft-802.11n support.

Most of the remaining features are pretty typical and don't require further explanation, but there are a few noteworthy items. First, there are no display choices, so all users will get a standard 1280x800 LCD panel (more on that later). In the battery department, there are three different capacities available: a standard 6-cell, a high-capacity 6-cell, or an extended capacity 12-cell. We asked for and received both the standard 6-cell as well as the 12-cell. One of the more useful additions is a second headphone jack on the front of the laptop, so if you've ever sat with your significant other on a plane trip and tried to share a single set of headphones -- or even better tried to listen to the audio via the integrated speakers over the noise of an airplane -- HP has you covered.

An optional webcam and fingerprint scanner are also available, and our test unit included both. If you get tired of typing your password, the fingerprint scanner can be a very convenient and relatively secure way of locking/unlocking your computer. After a brief training session where you can scan multiple fingerprints, a quick swipe of your finger is all that's required to login to Windows. Once you're logged in, a second swipe will lock the computer. (Just try not to lose your finger....)


The webcam is also a bit different from most of the webcams we've seen integrated into notebooks lately. It has a lower resolution, but it manages a much higher frame rate, and HP informed us that it's also tuned to work better in low-light situations. We did some basic testing of the webcam and found that most of their statements were true. In particular, the higher frame rate was definitely noticeable, and while the 640x480 resolution didn't provide as much detail as the 1.3 megapixel webcams, getting a lower resolution 30 FPS feed was much preferable in our opinion. As far as working better in low-light situations, it did appear that the camera managed this, but it came at the cost of drastically increased noise levels and a lovely green hue (night vision goggles, anyone?). One other complaint about the webcam is that the integrated microphone doesn't pick up your voice well at all unless your face is about 6 inches away, or else you scream at your computer. That's not unusual with webcams, though.

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  • Procurion - Sunday, June 24, 2007 - link

    Having bought a Sager after a LOT of research(and an RMA'd Ferrari-Acer, lol, not the car) I question the quest for extreme resolution. My laptop has a native 1900x1200 screen which I consider unuseable on a 17" screen....1024x768 puts a LOT of info on screens and I wonder why the preoccupation with "ultra resolution"? If this is a casual use/business use type of laptop, those high rez settings aren't necessary at all. Either that or my 40-something bespectacled eyes just ain't cuttin' it anymore...:) Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, June 25, 2007 - link

    Personally, I consider 1024x768 the bare minimum - I can't fit as much on the screen as I like. My Thinkpad has a 1400x1050 15" screen that I consider about perfect. As mentioned, the good thing is that both 1024x768 and 1600x1200 are available in the same screen size.

    On a side note, Lenovo still has T60s with Flexview IPS screens - we just bought one for work. They might not want to send one out for review though as word has it that the T61 will not be available with Flexview and will be hard to get with a 4:3 ration screen at all.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 24, 2007 - link

    I don't have a huge problem with the resolution - it's *okay* - but it would be nice to have options. Regardless, the quality of the display is not at all good compared to a lot of other recent laptops. Ideally, users should be able to choose from more than one screen config, but that's often limited to more expensive notebook models. Running Windows Vista, I feel 1280x800 is cramped, 1440x900 is passable, and 1680x1050 given enough room to make me happy. Then again, I run a 30" desktop LCD at 2560x1600.... :) Reply
  • Procurion - Monday, June 25, 2007 - link

    Point taken about the need for some options rather than "one size fits all"-as a matter of fact my post was inspired because my needs/resolutions are different than, say, yours. As you and several other authors here have pointed out in the past, for the costs involved it is beyond me why the manufacturers put some really awful screens out there on their laptops....After opening a laptop up and booting it, what is the first thing that makes an impression? And you have to look at it every time you use the damn thing? LOL... Reply
  • legoman666 - Saturday, June 23, 2007 - link

    You know... you could get rid of all the problems with your benchmarking programs not working on Vista by simply uninstalling it and installing Windows XP instead. My sister (not a big computer person) just bought a new laptop. The FIRST thing she and I did when it arrived was uninstall Vista and put XP on it.

    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, June 23, 2007 - link

    Which requires finding drivers for the chipset and slipstreaming them onto an XP CD. There's no floppy drive with this laptop. Anyway, like it or not, 95% of new PCs are going to be coming with Vista installed most likely, and I would say the number of people that plan on wiping the drive and installing XP instead is going to be very limited. Reply
  • legoman666 - Sunday, June 24, 2007 - link

    What do you mean you'd have to slipstream the chipset drivers into the windows installation? I've isntalled windows countless times on many different machines and I have never had to do such a thing. I just isntall windows normally, then once it's installed, I install all the drivers. It really isn't difficult... Nor would you need a floppy drive unless you plan on installing windows onto a RAID array. I don't mean to sound rude or anything, but neither of those arguments are really valid. Although, the bit about people not uninstalling Vista in favor of XP is probably true... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 24, 2007 - link

    I booted up off of the XP CD (see, I really did try to install XP), but because the hard drive is SATA XP apparently wasn't able to see it. I got the dreaded "No hard drives detected" error message, and that was pretty much it for my XP attempt.

    See, the BIOS lacks any options to set/change the SATA mode and so it appears to be running as an AHCI SATA drive. That setting generally requires drivers on a floppy in order to work (in my experience). HP isn't selling the laptop with XP, and they don't intend to support such a configuration. That being the case, why spend time trying to work around a limitation in order to test something most people aren't planning on using?

    If you want a laptop with XP, you'd be far better off purchasing a laptop that comes that way. There are still plenty of those available.
    Reply
  • NoGodForMe - Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - link

    Jarred is correct about slip streaming the drivers to boot XP. I have created a guide with step by step instructions to installing XP on the DV6500T. I can run XP or Vista. This laptop is a good all around performer. Not the fastest, but does everything needed and is really great with XP on it. I installed Tribes2 and UT2K4 and I've got the integrated X3100, plays both of them great.
    Here's my guide. This would be a good idea for the Macbook Pro, or the Asus G1S.
    http://www.nogodforme.com/HPDV6500T.htm">http://www.nogodforme.com/HPDV6500T.htm
    The key to my guide is that it's step by step with links to all drivers. Would be nice if someone did this for VMWare player, parallels, and bootcamp.
    Reply
  • Vidmar - Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - link

    Jarred,

    I just purchased a number of Gateway 155C convertibles (tablet pc) for my office. As you said XP won't install because of the lack of an appropriate SATA driver. But it's so easy to slipstream these SATA drivers into your XP build using nLite. I had a working XP install CD in less than 10 mins!

    In any case as other have said a look at lower weight laptops and tablet PCs would be nice to see. Take a close look at the Gateway 155C; it's a very good design.
    Reply

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