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My attraction to buying this PC was primarily the price. I was in the market for a low price laptop just to use whilst away. I had done the tour of PC World, and even done the likes of Asda and Tesco.
As I was purchasing something that I know wont get used very frequently I had set my budget at around the £300 - £350 mark. The problem I having seemed to be that most of the laptops in this price range I had never heard of before. Although by laptop standards I was aiming at the lowest end of the market, I didn't fancy the idea of shelling out £300 on an item that in six months time was obsolete because the company who made it wasn't around any more, after all £300 is £300.
I had been recommended to a site called Misco by a freind and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could purchase a HP branded product that was within my price range. With delivery I paid a little under £330. This is the one bit where I wish I had used price runner first as I later found out I could have got the same item £10 - £20 less and with free delivery. As they say "You live and learn".
As for the laptop itself so far my opinion of it would be "Adequate". At the end of the day you do tend to get to a certain degree what you pay for. With this laptop you get just that. As a back-up for your PC or even for a basic office laptop it performs well and has a descent build quality. I will now go on to list it's advantages and pitfalls, do bear in mind though the purchase price.
CPU (Processor) ********************** Nothing grand, the laptop uses an Intel Celeron 1.4Ghz CPU. Not by any means the fastest CPU around but it does perform quite well. I have had no problems using internet browsing, MS Office, or Corel draw which can be quite a resource hungry graphics suite. With Corel it does take some time
to process applications but does remain stable without freezing.
RAM (Memory) ***************** Again Just the bare essentials. The laptop comes fitted with 512Mb of DDR-II RAM. Again for every day use it does cope quite well (I can remember not that long ago you thought you were doing well if you had 253Mb in a PC)The disappointing thing with the laptop is that the maximum RAM it will take is 1Gb. I do think this is a little short sighted on the part of HP's design team. Just putting the bare essential RAM in is understandable from a purely cost point of view Having a maximum of 1Gb makes upgrade potential very restrictive and appears more like a step back to the old breeze-block laptops rather than a step forward.
OPERATING SOFTWARE ***************************** Pre-installed is Windows XP home edition. For me there are no complaints here I think XP is the most stable and user friendly product ever to be launched by Bill and his cronies. The laptop is apparently Vista compatible, however I would have thought impracticable with the basic spec when purchased. It may well load but I would have thought it would be like trying to pull a 44 tonne truck with a mini.
HDD (Hard drive) ******************** Installed is a respectable 60Gb hard drive. Although this is not massive by any means, it is more than adequate. With the spec of the laptop it is not the sort of machine you would use for the likes of video editing so there is no real need to have a 100+Gb drive fitted. 60Gb will give you enough space to store literally thousands of photo's and still leave you with plenty to spare.
OPTICAL DRIVE (CD/DVD) ****************************** This I did find pleasantly surprising for the price. The laptop is fitted with a DVD Writer. Most machines at this end of the market tend to be fitted with a CD-RW/DVD combo unit. With these units you can watch DVD but not record to them. A DVD writer is particularly useful if you want to back up your hard drive as you can fit it all on far fewer DVD discs than if you were to use blank CD's. This is especially the case as this is a dual layer DVD writer enabling over 9Gb of data to be stored with one disc.
DISPLAY ************ Again the display is pleasantly respectable for the price. It comprises of a 15.4" wide-screen TFT panel. The reason why I say pleasantly respectable is the screen is nice and bright for viewing with quite a vivid appearance to it. I have seen some laptops within this price range where the display appears to be washed out or very dull to look at. This is certainly not the case with my HP.
OTHER FEATURES *********************** Other features on the laptop tend to be the norm' with virtually every other machine on the market. The laptop is WiFi enabled for cable free internet. I have used the laptop for browsing at the back of the garden (approx 150yds and through brick walls via my Linksys router) and browsing speed is still fast and downloads speeds are more than amicable. Extra ports are the usual headphone / mic. jack points, 2 USB ports, LAN port for network connection, fax / data dial up modem and a cable-lock point for securing the laptop to a worktop. The laptop has built in stereo speakers and a Soundblaster Pro on-board sound card. A PCMCIA slot is also provided which can be used for a variety of cards ranging from additional USB ports to mobile phone data cards.
MY OPINION ***************** If I was to compare this laptop to an aircraft, Concorde it certainly ain't. It does however do a job and does it well. For me the positive points are the very good display screen, the DVD Writer and the fact that you are purchasing from an established manufacture. The negative points are primarily the lack of upgrade potential with regards to the memory, only having 2 USB ports (an extra one would have been nice) and the battery life which at best only last around 1.45 between charges. Would I recommend it? To anyone wanting a good basic little everyday workhorse Yes!! To anyone who wants to do something more demanding then No!!
TRIVIAL BIT ************** On a light-hearted note just before I list the technical specifications, I must point out a bit I read in the manual that I found somewhat amusing. It states that the laptop can be used in temperatures as low as 5C, I was wondering if someone actually sat in a fridge for an hour to acquire this figure. If anyone has sat in the fridge with their laptop, please let me know, and if you are currently receiving medication for it.
SPECIFICATIONS ********************* Dimensions: 35.8 cm(W) x 25.7 cm(D) x 3.2 cm(H) : Weight 2.7 kg O/S: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition CPU: Intel Celeron M 360 / 1.4 Ghz : FSB: 400 Mhz L2 Cache: 1Mb RAM: 512 MB DDR II SDRAM - 400 MHz : (1Gb max) HDD: 60 GB - 5400 rpm IDE Optical: DVD±RW (+R double layer) Write speed: 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD±R) / 2.4x (DVD+R DL) Re-wrire speed: 10x (CD) / 4x (DVD±RW) / 5x (DVD-RAM) Display: 15.4" TFT active matrix 1280 x 800 ( WXGA ) Graphics: Intel GMA 900 Audio: Sound Blaster Pro compatible Interface: 2 x Hi-Speed USB 1 x audio - line-out/headphones 3.5 mm 1 x microphone - input - mini-phone 3.5mm 1 x display / video - VGA 1 x Fax / modem 1 x network - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet Wifi: IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g Battery: 4-cell Lithium Ion 2200 mAh (upto 2Hrs) Warranty: 12 Months Parts & Labour
- Elegant case conceived in top quality handcrafted leather - Practical thanks to its ... more
magnetic closure - Access to basic functions (multiple openings on the leather) - Protects the device in an optimal manner - Slim and padded design - Two microSD card slots - Camera lens access - Headphones and headset jack access - Charging and synchronization cable access - Speakers stainless steel mesh protector - Interior lining in fine cloth embroidered with the Noreve logo