HP Pavilion DV6-2162NR Laptop Computer

The HP Pavilion DV6-2162NR is basically the same notebook as the previous models with a new CPU/graphics combo that greatly improves performance. Like the previous DV6 generation it is well constructed with a metallic toned black exterior (HP also offers versions in white). Take a good look at the shell art since it is something that may not appeal to everyone. I bought mine for my mother-in-law and she definitely appreciated having something a little more individual than the usual dull grey exterior. Despite the glossy exterior we haven't noticed much in the way of finger prints or any scratches despite the helping hands of our kids who love to "help" grandma with her computer.

The specs for this model are set well above what the average home owner needs today which (in my mind) future proofs it nicely. If you are on a tight budget you can get what you need for less (look at the HP Pavilion G60 line). If you have a little bit more to spend and you want some headroom to handle your computing needs for the next few years this is a great choice.

CPU - This is one of the first models from HP that sports Intel's new "Core i5" line of CPUs. The short version is that it outperforms the older "Core2" chips and is slightly better than the (also) new "Core i3" chips. As noted in the description it's 2.26GHz part that can "Turbo Boost" up to 2.53GHz. What isn't mentioned is that this is a dual core part with 3MB of cache. That may sound a lot like the old Core2 chips but don't be fooled: this chip will outperform the old Core2 by 20%-50%. If you are trying to decide between the "Core i5" and "Core i3" I would recommend the Core i5 to gamers and people who run high end applications (like CAD software) and the Core i3 for people running business applications (like MS Office) and web browsing. If you want to know more read on. If nerd stuff bores you then just trust me, this is a great chip to have in your laptop.

Okay here is why the Core i5 is a big deal: The Core i5 (and Core i3) have Intel's newest, fastest and smallest CPU core (also known as the "Westmere" core) which is two generations newer than the "Penryn" core used in the Core2 line. Because with each generation the parts get smaller they get cheaper to make. Also with the Westmere core Intel has bundled the chipset and a new graphics chip onto one package which also reduces cost (and allows Intel to do some new and cool performance tricks). One thing the Core i3 and i5 have that Core2 does not is "hyperthreading." Hyperthreading is a feature that makes two CPUs act like four. To do this Intel has enabled each CPU core to act on two software threads at once. So the two CPU Core i5 is almost as good as a four CPU part for a lot less money and requiring a lot less power (there are a few four core mobile CPUs out there but the battery life is terrible and I don't recommend them). Hyperthreading is something that every user can benefit from: no more watching your computer slow to a crawl because your anti-virus kicked in. Windows 7 just dumps that off on a new thread and you keep humming along surfing the web or playing a game. The main difference between the Core i3 and i5 is that the Core i5 has "Turboboost" (which can speed up your CPU or the graphics chip as needed) and the Core i3 does not. If you aren't stressing the CPU or the graphics chip then the Turboboost found in the i5 isn't going to do a lot for you.

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