We’re giving one of these away to one lucky back-to-school student! You should check it out.

In all, the HP dv6 is for a very specific type of student. You gotta need power or crave an intense amount of media. The size (and even the price) just isn’t going to be worth it if all you do is write papers and watch YouTube.

The Power

This computer is about as decked-out as you can get. 4GB of RAM is enough to have your zipping around your graphic design and video editing assignments. If you’re in a computer-intensive major, the dv6 will be capable with anything you throw at it.

As a media machine, the dv6 also exceeds expectations. 500GB of space will probably satiate your craving for (illegal) downloads. Buying a Blu-ray DVD player is probably not in a student budget — but if it’s built in to your computer, that’s a pretty good buy. The dv6 also comes complete with the DVI out that you’ll need to hook this up to an HD TV if you have one. But it’s a little puzzling: if this computer is a supposed media fiend, why would you have a TV at all?

The computer also has a remote — one that slides into the side of the computer! Now that’s a great idea.

It runs Vista, which I needn’t rehash here. You’ll be fine if you can tolerate programs inexplicably crashing.

The Feel

The dv6 is busting at the seams and it’s not worth it for a screen that ends up being only 15″ long. This will stay glued to your desk.

The keyboard is a little stiff and it’s not back-lit. If your major requires a numeric pad, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find one here — you don’t see many notebooks which squeeze it in.

As far as “touch” goes, the dv6 really gets an F. The trackpad is not responsive. If there’s a little bit of an oil build-up on there, consider it disabled. The scroll bar on the side of the pad works just about as poorly as when they came up with the idea 5 years ago. The click buttons feel like a stubborn retractable pen. Above the keyboard is a volume adjustment and a Wifi-disabler-button (what are they thinking?), both of which are some how worse than the trackpad.