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Summary (In case you haven't got time for the full review) Specifications (the model I purchased) Processor: AMD Athlon™ X2 Dual-Core 1.9GHz OS: Windows Vista® Home Premium Ram: 4Gb DDR2 Hard Drive: 250Gb SATA CD/DVD: DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL LightScribe Drive Display Size: 15.4" Connectivity: Broadband Wireless, Network and 56K
Those are the basic specifications, I could go on about the ATI Radeon™ and the Enhanced pre boot security but I won't. Suffice it to say that I have never had a serious problem with it, or even many minor ones. Anyway from the point of view of a student who needs a large hard drive for his music library, decent gaming ability and ease of use for work it seems ideal.
Price and Other Buying Matters Well, you can see the various options and the best price up to the left, however I'm reviewing my particular laptop which I bought from a reputable distributor (not sure if I'm allowed to give the name) for £379.98 which I thought was a pretty cushy price as it came with a year's drop in warranty. When I looked on ciao I was a bit bummed to see that I could have saved a good 80 quid if I'd have paid attention to the 'cheapest offer' box in the review so let that be a lesson to you all :-)
Basic Use I bought mine because I was having problems with my old desktop, I hadn't cared for it enough and it was starting to get difficult to use not to mention old with viruses popping up. Having had my new laptop since the beginning of November it seems that it may be impossible to let it get that bad even if I wanted to, there's a whole heap of security and ease of use features (follow the link at the end of the review for full specs) which mean that using the computer can be as easy as using a toaster. This can be a problem for some people; Vista had a lot of computer whiz's usually pallid faces red with anger at it's over the top ease of use and this can be especially bad with HP laptops which have their own such software. But I found that the more irritating ones (like the pop-ups that ask you if you're sure every time you run a program) can be turned off so it's not so bad. At the end of the day the software can be fairly easily altered to suit all skills except maybe at the very top level and it is also available with Vista® Business operating system if that suits.
The processor, RAM and hard drive can all easily cover any kind of eventuality or need that might arise in everyday use, you can store huge amounts on the hard disk and the processor and memory are great for gaming as well as the epic needs of Windows Vista itself. The bandwidth of wireless that the system can handle means great surfing prospects, if you're away from home (like me) and want to see and chat to your family (unlike me :-P ) there is an inbuilt web cam and microphone, if that's not enough for you there are four USB ports for anything else you may need.
All work … (Business use) Software wise, there is the usual Windows-fodder, as well as this the system comes with a test version of Microsoft Office®. Which basically means you can use it for free for 60 days, then if you still want it you can shell out 283 Euros (?!?) to carry on using it or otherwise delete it. Of course you workaholics will know that hard labour often means sitting in front of your PC for long periods of time, believe it or not I've done this a bit and I'd say that it is worth investing in a USB laptop mouse as it makes everything much easier. I would warn you, if you're sat in front of your PC while on the go with your USB mouse at your side you may well encounter the other big problem with this system: battery life, three hours is kind of middle of the road which would be OK … if the thing actually had three hours battery life which in my experience it doesn't, not even close at about one hour. If you're a jet-setter and used to working in business class on the redeye then this may not be the laptop for you. As I've already said there are no shortage of USB ports and the system is pretty much network ready, there are three different security modes for personal, public and business networks respectively. In fact security is one of the strong points of the laptop and you can have it as stringent or as open as you want.
… and No Play … (Gaming) So you want to be blown away by awesome graphics, highly synchronised sound and an alien with an improbably sized rocket launcher? For those familiar with graphics cards the one in this system is an ATI Radeon™ HD 3200, which is a very decent card. Its not top of the range but then powerful modern graphics cards can often be very expensive. On the other hand its far from dull, I know from experience that it can run games like Quake Wars and Oblivion at high graphics setting. For you graphics card familiar peeps: Its got a core and shader speed of 500MHz and up to 512Mbs of memory (shared with RAM), for you less familiar peeps that means it's pretty good but it does take away from your 4Gbs of memory rather than running separate. The sound card produces high quality, crystal clear sound which I personally choose to amplify through separate speakers rather than use the less than amazing on-board ones. For those who like to play on-line the large bandwidth will come in useful, the computer is network ready so you can start brutally slaughtering your friends almost from day one.
...Make Jack a Dull Boy, or not in the case of this laptop (The Summary) Compared to my previous PC I'm incredibly happy about this laptop, the ideal description of which seems to be sleek. It looks sleek with it's shiny black finish, the functionality is sleek and it's so easy to use it could be a games console. My only complaints would be the inbuilt touchpad and the battery life which in real terms is only about an hour or so despite what HP claim. For it's price it excels in almost every area and I cant think that I've ever been left wanting in any serious way. It's highly recommended for students looking for a decent laptop, particularly if you like to keep it reasonably simple, if you go in for the more intense IT functionality best steer clear but otherwise go for it.
For full specifications from HP got to: http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/sm/WF06a/321957-321957-64295-89315-893 15-3687621.html
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