The Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition and the HP ENVY dv6t-7300 offer good overall quality, 15.6-inch displays with 1920×1080 resolutions, Windows 8, Intel dual-core processors and dedicated graphics cards. Our comparison evaluates the finer points of both machines including their build quality, display quality and the overall user experience.
See our full review of the Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition here:
HP and Dell made use of aluminum on the exteriors of these notebooks; Dell went with a honeycomb pattern and HP went with a more traditional brushed look. The overall build quality of both notebooks is good for consumer class machines; there’s little flex and the attention to detail is there — these computers need to attract eyes on a display shelf, after all. This section goes to the HP ENVY dv6t (and by the way, HP moved the dv6 notebooks from the Pavilion line to the “Envy” family after building up the brand for a few years) because of its sleeker appearance — it’s both thinner (1.16″ vs. the Dell’s 1.3″) and lighter (5.66 lbs vs. 6.4 lbs).
A real highlight of the Inspiron 15R and the ENVY dv6t is the availability of 1080p (1920×1080 resolution) displays. An added bonus is that they’re both anti-glare — no reflections as with glossy surfaces, in other words. This section is a tie because both displays offer good color reproduction and solid overall quality.
A backlit keyboard is standard on the Inspiron 15R while it’s a $20 option on the ENVY dv6t. The feedback and overall quality is good between them, but the ENVY dv6t takes the cake because it has a separate numeric keypad. The Inspiron 15R strangely lost the feature for this latest iteration.
These notebooks for our comparison are equipped with the standard 6-cell battery; an extended 9-cell is available and offers approx. 50% more battery life in either configuration. The 6-cells provide between five and six hours of usage for normal tasks such as Internet surfing with low screen brightness. More or less we’re looking at a tie in this section.
The MSRP of these notebooks similarly equipped with 1080p displays and so on is within $50; the real value comes from getting these notebooks below the MSRP. Dell wins the value decision because we were able to score it for $250 less than its $849.99 MSRP using Dell Coupons — an excellent deal, in other words. HP coupons aren’t nearly as frequent or numerous, meaning you’re in all likelihood going to pay closer to MSRP.
The overall winner is the Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition for offering a similar level of quality and refinement at a lower price point; the MSRP as equipped between the Inspiron 15R and the HP ENVY dv6t is similar but Dell’s coupons make the Inspiron 15R too good of a deal to pass up. Its minor downsides next to the ENVY dv6t are the less exciting design, slightly higher weight and lack of a numeric keypad; otherwise it’s well matched for less money.