HP Compaq Presario CQ56

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HP Compaq Presario CQ56

A perfect balance of technology and appearance, this notebook makes it easy to do more and stay connected. This is the first choice for a worry-free P...

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Review of "HP Compaq Presario CQ56"

published 17/03/2011 | roktimdutta
Member since : 05/02/2009
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Amazing!! The Poms, the Kangaroos, the Kiwis, they all take the back seat we are right up there, in front of everybody. India wins ICC World Cup 2011. (Rating at Ciao.co.uk: some what helpful)
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"HP Compaq Presario CQ56-103SG (XH187EA)"

HP Compaq Presario CQ56-103SG (XH187EA)

A HP Compaq Presario laptop at around £303, what more do you want? The HP Compaq Presario CQ56-103SG (XH187EA) comes at this amazing price and must be what the students have been looking for. It is agreed there are many lows that can be attached with this laptop yet it is reasonably functional. I do have my reservations about its quality of display and its capability to handle high resolution graphics, the colour reproduction leaves a lot to be expected but then I wouldn’t buy this laptop for strictly professional use while considering video editing are even for jobs requiring extensive use of higher versions of Photoshop or Corel Draw is concerned. But considering the price HP Compaq Presario CQ56-103SG (XH187EA) is perfect for basic users.

It looks monolithic because of black casing with uniform mat finish on the surface, although made of plastic, it’s scratch resistant and the slight wedge-shaped base adds solidity to its looks. I have not found finger prints or greasy stains sticking to it primarily because of non-glossy surface. I accept the fact that it has nothing to look glamorous but I can not deny it does look trendy, all the same.


It will be interesting to have a look at its technical spechs so that reasons could be found out for its reasonably good performance at this budget price.

Display Size :15.6”
Processor: AMD V140 (2.3 GHz)
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 4250
Hard Drive Size: 250 GB
Hard Drive Type: SATA 5400Rpm
Optical Storage: DVD
Display Resolution: 1366 x 768
LAN: 100Mbit Ethernet
USB 2.0 Ports: 3
VGA: 1
Webcam: 0.3 Mega Pixel
Weight: 5.37 lbs
Width: 14.72 inch
Depth: 9.69 inch
Hight: 1.49 inch
Battery Cells: 6 Cells
Operating System: Linux
Warranty: 1 year



The 15.6 inch (39.6 cm) with Innolux screen has a resolution of 1366x768 pixel (WXGA) with a LED backlight which performs reasonably well under normal conditions but the these Innolux screen has their inherent weakness at low contrast levels. Although the glare type does improve the contrast optically but to the naked eye the black does look a bit grayish, this hardly an hindrance unless used on pro level. It is not a good idea to work with it, outdoors on sunlit day since it does not have an AR coating to prevent reflection. As with most TFT monitors it does tend underperform when looked from wide angles.

I would generally rate the display of the HP Compaq Presario CQ56-103SG (XH187EA) as below average (6/10) To be more explicit I would not definitely settle for this quality of display for demanding tasks like multimedia use, HD gaming, graphic designing and professional video editing.

When it comes to general office work, I don’t think there should be any hiccups. Watching movies (not in HD) is a reasonably good experience.

HP Compaq Presario CQ56-103SG (XH187EA) is equipped with single core AMD V140 (2.3 GHz) processor which is very much similar to Intel’s single core Celerons. Since the clock frequency is quite high the machine performs at a reasonable speed. Again only one of the two RAM slots is occupied and can be upgraded to at least 4GB. But for the purpose I mean, 2GB is enough of RAM. I have checked it with Windows 7 (32 bit please) ultimate and it works fine.


This one of the main highs of this budget laptop, they keyboard response is excellent for its price. A soft or spongy key board is a big minus for cheap laptops but HP Compaq Presario CQ56-103SG (XH187EA) is far ahead of its peers and even compares very favourable with the high priced ones. They fit tight and snugly on the entire surface. I must say the feel is excellent.

It is multi touch pad with a light sensor on the upper left corner. Cover it up the touch surface is disabled a nice little app to stop accidental input. With proper drivers the sensor can disable/enable the pad altogether.


I haven’t got anything unusual as far as system noise is concerned. But to be honest the fan does act funny and it is more pronounced during web surfing, frankly speaking couldn’t understand the reason may be heating with increased CPU usage. Generally there is a hint of annoyance regarding the inconsistence noise of the fan.

The performance of the loudspeaker is okay and not one its highs except that it does not distort at high volume.


The battery life of HP Compaq Presario CQ56-103SG (XH187EA) is definitely one of its highs. Under normal circumstances it gives more than 3 hours. No problems with a full length DVD movie. It takes bit more than 2 hours to charge fully.

Criticisms will be there and ought to be there but for me I loved the HP Compaq Presario CQ56-103SG (XH187EA).

When it comes down to recommendation, yes of course “Highly recommended for normal users”

Community evaluation

This review was read 3429 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • catsholiday published 17/03/2011
    I found some of this hard to understand eg " I accept the fact that it has nothing to look glamorous but I can not deny it does look trendy, all the same." I'm afraid this sentence really does not make any sense
  • kineticspade published 17/03/2011
    Great review x
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Product Information : HP Compaq Presario CQ56

Manufacturer's product description

A perfect balance of technology and appearance, this notebook makes it easy to do more and stay connected. This is the first choice for a worry-free PC experience, at a price you can afford. The Compaq Presario CQ56 notebook PC leads the trend of consumer notebooks. With its outstanding industrial design, it's environmentally conscious and easy to maintain - so it not only looks good, it'll make you feel good, too.

Product Details

Long Name: Compaq Presario CQ56

RAM / Installed Size: 2 GB

Display / Diagonal Size: 15.6

Hard Drive / Capacity: 250

Display / Native Resolution: 1280 x 800

Weight: 2.93, 2.6 kg

Storage / Type: Hard Drive

OS Provided / Type: Windows 7 Home Premium

Processor / Type: AMD Sempron

Processor / Clock Speed: 2.3

Manufacturer: HP

Product Type: Notebook

Processor: Intel Celeron T3500 / 2.1 GHz / 1 MB Cache, AMD Athlon II P320 / 2.1 GHz / 1 MB Cache, AMD V series V140 / 2.3 GHz / 512 KB Cache, Intel Celeron 900 / 2.2 GHz / 1 MB Cache, Intel Pentium T4500 / 2.3 GHz / 1 MB Cache, Intel Athlon II P320 / 2.1 GHz / 1 MB Cache

Product Description: Compaq Presario CQ56-113SA - 15.6" - Celeron T3500 - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - 3 GB RAM - 250 GB HDD

Networking: 802.11n , 10/100 Ethernet

Display: 15.6" LED backlight BrightView 1366 x 768 / HD

Colour: Black

Battery: 6-cell

Graphics: Intel GMA 4500M, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250

Optical Drive: DVD SuperMulti DL

Storage: 250 GB HDD / 5400 rpm, 500 GB HDD / 5400 rpm, 320 GB HDD / 5400 rpm

Memory: 3 GB DDR2, 4 GB DDR3, 2 GB DDR3, 2 GB DDR2, 3 GB DDR3

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Environmental Standards: ENERGY STAR Qualified, ENERGY STAR Qualified , EPEAT Silver

Microsoft Office Preloaded: Includes a pre-loaded image of select Microsoft Office 2010 suites. Purchase an Office 2010 Product Key Card or disc to activate preloaded software on this PC.

Dimensions (WxDxH): 37.4 cm x 24.6 cm x 3.8 cm

Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year warranty

Localisation: English / United Kingdom

Environmental Standards

ENERGY STAR Qualified: Yes

EPEAT Compliant: EPEAT Silver


Technology: 6-cell Lithium Ion

Processor / Chipset

CPU: Intel Celeron T3500 / 2.1 GHz, AMD Athlon II P320 / 2.1 GHz, AMD V series V140 / 2.3 GHz, Intel Celeron 900 / 2.2 GHz, Intel Pentium T4500 / 2.3 GHz, Intel Athlon II P320 / 2.1 GHz

Number of Cores: Dual-Core

Chipset: Mobile Intel GL40 Express, AMD M880G

64-bit Computing: Yes

Cache: L2 - 1 MB, L2 - 512 KB


Slots Qty: 2, 1

Empty Slots: 0, 1

Form Factor: SO DIMM 200-pin, SO DIMM 204-pin

Technology: DDR2 SDRAM, DDR3 SDRAM

Max RAM Supported: 8 GB

RAM: 3 GB ( 1 x 1 GB + 1 x 2 GB ), 4 GB ( 1 x 4 GB ), 2 GB ( 1 x 2 GB )

Audio & Video

Sound: Stereo speakers , microphone

Camera: Integrated webcam

Total Available Graphics Memory: 1309 MB, 1917 MB, 893 MB, 1405 MB

Memory Allocation Technology: Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0

Graphics Processor: Intel GMA 4500M, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250

Max Allocated RAM Size: 797 MB


Type: Keyboard, touchpad


Wireless: 802.11n

Network Interface: 10/100 Ethernet

AC Adapter

Output: 65 Watt

Connections & Expansion

Memory Card Reader: 5 in 1 ( SD Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, xD-Picture Card )

Interfaces: 3 x USB 2.0 ¦ VGA ¦ LAN ¦ Microphone input


Microsoft Office Preloaded: Includes a pre-loaded image of select Microsoft Office 2010 suites. Purchase an Office 2010 Product Key Card or disc to activate preloaded software on this PC.

Software Included: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Cyberlink PowerDVD , Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Norton Online Backup (30 days trial), Omnifone MusicStation, CyberLink DVD Suite, Windows Live Messenger, CyberLink Youcam, HP Support Assistant, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, HP Advisor, HP Games Console, Norton Internet Security 2011 (60 days subscription), HP Setup


Included Accessories: Power adapter

Colour: Black

Localization: English / United Kingdom

Dimensions & Weight

Weight: 2.6 kg

Height: 3.8 cm

Depth: 24.6 cm

Width: 37.4 cm


Interface: SATA 1.5 Gb/s

Main Storage: 250 GB HDD / 5400 rpm, 500 GB HDD / 5400 rpm, 320 GB HDD / 5400 rpm

Disc Labeling Technology: LightScribe Technology

Optical Drive: DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM


Features: BrightView

Image Aspect Ratio: 16:9

LCD Backlight Technology: LED backlight

Widescreen: Yes

Resolution: 1366 x 768 ( HD )

Type: 15.6"


Product Type: Notebook


Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition

Recommended Use: Home use

Manufacturer Warranty

Service & Support Details: Limited warranty - parts and labour - 1 year - pick-up and return

Service & Support: 1 year warranty


Listed on Ciao since: 28/10/2010