HP Pavilion ZV6000 Review (pics, specs)

Discussion in 'Notebook News and Reviews' started by billipo, May 4, 2005.

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  1. billipo

    billipo Notebook Enthusiast

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    by Bill Burgess, Tennessee USA

    The HP zv6000 is at the lower end of the price range for HP notebooks, but I feel it is an excellent value for all that is included. It is primarily intended to be a desktop replacement style notebook, but with 3-4 hours of battery life, it will definitely do the job of a portable computer. The processor is an AMDdesktop variant, and if you upgrade to the 64-bit AMD Athlon you will get the 939-pin chip! It is built on the 0.13 micron Newcastle core with 512kb of L2 cache which will provide excellent performance.

    [​IMG]

    HP ZV6000 (view larger image)

    HP Pavilion zv6000 Configuration

    • AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0 GHz processor
    • 768MB of PC2700 RAM
    • 128MB ATI Xpress 200m video (dedicated memory)
    • 8x Dual Layer DVD+/-RW drive
    • 15.4" wide screen (no BrightView)
    • 40 GB 4,200 RPM Hard Drive
    • Windows XP Professional
    • 12 cell battery
    • No built-in wireless selected (USB based wireless card solution used)

    Useful Links: Go here for possible configurations| HP ZV6000 MediaImage Gallery

    Reasons for Buying

    My original reason for wanting to buy the zv6000 was that I saw an offer in an Office Depot storeweekly circular that advertised this notebook with an AMD Sempron 3000+ processor for only $500. That certainly piqued my interest. I have been a fan of AMD processors since my firstmachine with an AMD K6 300 processor. I went to the local Office Depotretail store and talked with a salesperson, and the first thing I noticed was that they went to their TechDepot.com website to order it. This offer was only for "in-store website orders." This was kind of weird I thought, but they have their reasons I'm sure. After the salesperson started configuring the notebook with all the options I wanted I saw that thisnotebok was going to get over the thousand-dollar mark quickly. I left thinking that the offer on the zv6000 was just another marketing ploy to get you in the door and stack up the price before you knew what hit you.

    However, I started thinking about the two hundred dollars in rebates that they were offering and the fact the AMD 64-bit 3200+ processor is better than my desktop system. And so after a few days of looking for reviews and configuring the "perfect system" (for me, of course) about fifty times on Office Depot's website, I found the Notebookreview.com forums with people discussing the yet to be owned zv6000 machines. This siteeven had detailed pictures of the zv6000 up before HP's website. I wanted to see even more pictures, so I called HP to see if I could get more pictures and the tech support guy said they just didn't have any available. This was before the 3-D multi-angle view had been put on the HP site.

    So after thinking about things I decided to buy, and I ordered at the local Office Depot on April 14, 2005. Part of the reason the notebook was a bargain was because it had to be assembled in China and shipped here. This process took nine business days (arrived on 4/27/2005). I'm used to online orders, so this wasn't a huge issue. I had it shipped to my parents' house, and I had planned to wait until I got off work to go pick it up. This was before I started reading people on the forum post about dead pixels. Well, I couldn't just sit at work and wonder. So I rushed home during lunch and found the screen in perfect condition. Hoorah!

    Form & Design

    I have never been a fan of manufactured computers. Since learning how to build desktop computers, I haven't encouraged anyone to buy a factory-built PC due to corporate markup and the fact that the selected and combined parts make the PC, not the name. This notebook was the first change for me in not attempting to build my own machine. The zv6000 as I configured ithad everything I wanted in a desktop: Athlon processor, DVD burner, and a nice LCD screen. When I received my zv6000, I believed that a well-made desktop replacement computer could be manufactured by one of the "big companies." The design is very modern with the same lines as its predecessor, the zv5000. One downside that is to be expected of a desktop replacement is the weight. At a little over eight pounds with the battery installed, it is not fun to carry everywhere you go. However, it is what it is... a desktop replacement. That's exactly how I intend to use it, and one bonus is that it is portable in regards to battery power.

    [​IMG]

    HP ZV6000 right-side (view larger image)

    [​IMG]

    HP ZV6000 left-side (view larger image)

    [​IMG]

    HP ZV6000 back-side (view larger image)

    [​IMG]

    HP ZV6000 left-side open(view larger image)

    [​IMG]

    HP ZV6000 right-side open(view larger image)

    Screen:

    Another bonus is the screen. Though I kick myself now for not getting the BrightView option (it saved money not to), the 15.4" wide screen is a pleasure. Lines are crisp and the contrast is good. I had to adjust it a bit in the Windows Display Properties "Advanced Settings," but after I got the contrast set up just right, the Fn key on the keyboard has two buttons (F7 & F8) for adjusting brightness on the fly. I was a little surprised by the resolutions given by the preinstalled driver. 1280 x 800 is the native resolution so I figured that it would have other widescreen adapted resolutions. Nope. Standard 800 x 600 and on up are the only other options. After installing the latest Catalyst drivers I got some higher resolutions, but nothing above 1280 x 800 is really useful because it doesn't scale to fit the screen.

    Speakers:

    The speakers are nothing special. I think they replaced the Harmon-Kardons that are typical with HPs with some generic, low-cost 2" x 1" speakers. They don't necessarily sound bad, but I have to put the Master and Wave levels close to max to get volume where it needs to be. I recommend an external set of speakers, though, if you're going to keep it at a desk. The headphone and mic jacks work fine.

    Processor and Performance:

    The Athlon 64 3200+ is an amazing processor. I have edited video, recorded professional quality audio, and just surfed the Internet and it does it all without missing a beat. Boot time is about 90 seconds or more with all of the included software, but I have reduced this to about 30 after a fresh reinstall of the operating system. This is with a 4,200 RPMhard drive. A faster drive with a bigger cache and moreRAM especially would certainly produce better results. I am not a gamer, so I cannot tell you how well it plays the newest games.

    We use Super Pi to get a benchmark of processor speed. The Super Pi program simply forces the processor to calculate Pi to a selected number of digits of accuracy. Calculating to 2 million digits is our benchmark:

    Comparison of notebooks using Super Pi to calculate Pi to 2 million digits (plugged in):

    Notebook Time to Calculate Pi to 2 Million Digits
    HP Pavilion ZV6000 (AMD Athlon 3200+) 1m 51s
    Gateway 7426GX (AMD Athlon 3700+) 1m 39s
    IBM ThinkPad T43(1.86GHzAlviso Pentium M) 1m 45s
    Fujitsu LifeBook N3510 (1.73 GHz Alviso Pentium M) 1m 48s
    IBM ThinkPad T41 (1.6GHz Banias Pentium M) 2m 23s
    Compaq R3000T (Celeron 2.8GHz) 3m 3s
    Dell Inspiron 600m(1.6 GHz Dothan Pentium M) 2m 10s
    Dell Inspiron 8600 (1.7GHz Banias Pentium M) 2m 28s

    Keyboard and Touchpad:

    The keyboard is nice enough. I haven't used that many laptop keyboards, but all the keys are easily reachable on this one and not too bunched together. The only complaint I have is that the mouse scroll bar is directly under my right hand. This causes the page I'm typing on to move around intermittently. But! Thefolks at HP created a magic little button that turns off the touchpad, for this exact reason I assume. The virtual scroll zones are nice for vertical and horizontal scrolling.

    [​IMG]

    ZV6000 TouchPad and Keyboard area (view larger image)

    Input and Output Ports:

    Adding the 128MB 200m ATI card is one of the best options on this computer because it means an automatic upgrade to a 6-in-1 memory card reader and an IEEE 1394 port. There are also four USB 2.0 ports, 1 x PCMCIA, 1x Express 54 slot (w/ 128mb video card upgrade), 10/100 LAN, 56k modem, 7pin S-video, 15-pin analog video out, and headphone/microphone jacks. There is no parallel port, which is almost useless these days, anyway. One thing I wish it had is VIVO. I would like to be able to capture video without the use of an external device, but it can't have everything for the price it isI guess.

    Built-in Wireless G with 108 MB/s access is an additional option that I did not include. Bluetooth comes with this package. I just didn't feel I would have enough of a use for this because I don't have any Bluetooth devices, and I already have a USB based Wireless antenna card.

    Battery:

    I got the 12-cell battery, and I have been very pleased with it so far. I ran it down the day after receiving my notebook and ittook asolid four hours to get the battery drained. I ran MobileMeter (http://dssc3031.ece.cmu.edu/~tamaru/mobilemeter/mobilemeterreadme-e.htm) andthe new battery already registers as having 5% wear. I assume this 5% is simply lost through the chemical breakdown in the battery.

    Operating System and Software:

    My computer came loaded with Windows XP Home plus more preloaded software than I could deal with. The first thing I did was load a fresh install of Windows XP Professional that I already owned. This took a large burden off of boot-up time, and there is much less running in the background. I didn't really have a use for the software that came with it so I just reinstalled the drivers and was done with the factory-included cds.

    Complaints:

    The only complaints I can think of are a constant vibration when CD spin-up is at full speed and a constant, high-pitched note. The vibration sounds like something might need to be tightened to fix it, but I understand that faster speeds mean more vibration. Also, a constant high-pitched squeal is apparent when the battery is charging on AC power. I took out the battery and it went away, so I'm not sure what this is due to. I just know that it's present. Nothing a little music can't make you forget about!

    Praises:

    The most obvious thing I enjoy about this notebook is that it does everything my desktop system did, but there is no clutter and no huge desk required to hold it all. The LCD is the second best aspect. The wide screen 15.4" LCD looks so much better than even the 19" CRT that I'm used to. Another plus is the fact that my Tascam US-224 recording interface (http://www.tascam.com/Products/US-224.html)actually works with this system. It hasn't worked with any other system without some problem. Thank you HP! One last huge upside to buying this system was just that. For what is in it, I feel I got a very good deal. After rebates, the total came to $816. It would be hard to build a desktop system with all the options I chose for that price. However, I would gladly pay now for upgrading the screen to the BrightView option. Oh well.

    Conclusion:

    I definitely recommend this notebook to anyone who is looking for a powerful desktop replacement or just good notebook that they don't mind lugging around.

    Pros:

    • Very good notebook for the money
    • Solid construction
    • Bright, crisp screen even for the regular LCD
    • All the inputs/outputs I really need
    • New technology: i.e. first PCI Express video for AMD notebook
    • Replaces a whole desktop computer!

    Cons:

    • Have to wait for construction and shipping from China
    • Have to wait for rebates to come back
    • Speakers could be better

    HP ZV6000 Media Image Gallery

    Pricing and Availability

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015
  2. beammeup4

    beammeup4 Notebook Guru

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    Great review, Bill.

    A couple questions:

    1.) The battery specs seem very good! What were your computer's settings when you ran the battery tests? Full brightness, no underclocking? Running the DVD drive?

    2.) Any comments on the video card performance? I assume you're not a gamer, but being a college student next year, video card performance is of some importance for gaming and also video editing.
     
  3. calyxman

    calyxman Notebook Geek

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    Nice writeup. Short but to the point.

    I kinda feel good that I'm not the only one who opted out of the wireless option. Just like you I chose the 15.4" WXGA, not the brightview.

    The fact that it's a desktop replacement is almost an understatement. I would never consider going to a desktop system after using this machine. All the bells and whistles are in this thing--well, almost all of them . [;)]

    I don't have much complaints about the speakers though. I guess it's because I've spent the past few years listening from the cheesy little speakers on my iBook G3.

    I hope we start seeing dual core processors hitting the mobile market within in a year, because my next system I plan on purchasing will definitely take advantage of that technology.


    HP Pavillion zv6000
    AMD Sempron 3000+ 1.8GHZ
    512 Mb (2x256)
    128 Mb ATI 200M
    DVD/CDR combo/40 GB 4200 rpm
    Win XP Home / 8 cell batt

    Current beater: iBook 600 Mhz G3/ 384 MB / 15 GB HD / 8 MB vRam
     
  4. bluedevils

    bluedevils Notebook Guru

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    Great review. Thanks for taking the time to put it together and post it.

    Question: Your specs show 768 MB RAM. Did you order the machine with 256 and add a 512 stick yourself? 768 is not available on this machine OEM-installed, as far as I'm aware.
     
  5. RomeoNate

    RomeoNate Notebook Enthusiast

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    You mentioned: "1x Express 54 slot (w/ 128mb video card upgrade)"

    Does that mean that this laptop has the ability to upgrade to an additional 128MB on the video, for a total of 256mb? Or does that mean you upgrade to a new Video Sub-System that takes over the Radeon 200M?

    Also yes, please someone post their thoughts on the 200m Video Chip, I cannot find any reviews on it anywhere.
     
  6. RomeoNate

    RomeoNate Notebook Enthusiast

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    I found the answer to my own question!
    beammeup4: you might find this interesting as well...

    (I posted this elsewhere, but thought I would do it here as well.)

    This Laptop, when configured with 128mb of Video comes equipped with the ExpressCard54 card slot. This slot can be used for Video Upgrades. nVidia is working on the GeForce 6600 Go (256mb) MXM Card.

    You just pop that baby into the Express54 slot, and it takes over as your video processor. Pretty dang sweet if you ask me!

    http://www.nvidia.com/page/mxm.html
     
  7. beammeup4

    beammeup4 Notebook Guru

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    sounds good, but doesn't the zv6000 have an ATI card? Or does this notebook have an nVidia chipset?
     
  8. rfortson

    rfortson Notebook Consultant

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    <blockquote id='quote'>quote:<hr height='1' noshade id='quote'>Originally posted by beammeup4
    2.) Any comments on the video card performance? I assume you're not a gamer, but being a college student next year, video card performance is of some importance for gaming and also video editing.
    <hr height='1' noshade id='quote'></font id='quote'></blockquote id='quote'>

    The video card won't make any difference in video editing unless you're creating 3D animation from scratch. Memory, HD space, and CPU speed are the big drivers in video editing.

    BTW, Bill - nice review! Thanks for posting.

    Russ

    HP ZV5000z
    Athlon 64 3000+
    768mb RAM
    60gb 4200rpm HD
    nVidia G0 440 64mb
    DVD-RW/CD-RW
    1394, 5-in-1 card reader
    15.4" wide screen
    802.11 b/g w/Speedbooster
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  9. RomeoNate

    RomeoNate Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yes, it comes equipped with an ATI Radeon Express graphics chip.

    However, just like with Desktop PC's that have "onBoard" video, if you install a seperate Graphics "Card", it will automaticly disable the onboard video, and begin to use the card instead.

    Same thing here, you put in the MXM Card (Via your Express54 slot) and it takes over as the primary video adapter.
     
  10. RomeoNate

    RomeoNate Notebook Enthusiast

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    Okay, looks like I could be wrong about MXM and Express54 being the same thing.

    The article I read (at first glance) made it look like MXM and E54 were the same thing, but it does not appear so.. Bummer :-/

    I will keep searching.
     
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