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HP Compaq Presario CQ56-103SG (XH187EA)


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Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:


Look & Feel

Comfort & Portability

Robustness & Durability

Value For Money

Memory / capacityExcellent

Ease of useVery easy

Range of Extra FeaturesGood

Instruction manualVery useful

Manufacturer SupportExcellent

23 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (70%):
  1. happysh2009
  2. Angela150
  3. danielalong
and 13 other members
helpful by (30%):
  1. CelticSoulSister
  2. torr
  3. TheHairyGodmother
and 4 other members

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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”
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Comments about this review »

catsholiday 17.03.2011 19:40

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 17.03.2011 11:45

Great review x

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This review of HP Compaq Presario CQ56 has been rated:

"very helpful" by (70%):

  1. happysh2009
  2. Angela150
  3. danielalong

and 13 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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