I bought this of a friend a year ago and it is still serving me well today. It is well over 6 years old and yet it does everything I need it to. I have a desktop for my gaming and music and all that jazz, I use this laptop for creating word documents and browsing the internet because thats all you really need a laptop to do. It's gotten slower with age and i'm not sure you can pick these up new anymore so if you do buy one don't expect it to be the fastest thing you've ever owned. If you keep it clutter free and look after it though, it will last. It has no built in wi-fi so you need a usb adapter or a pcmi card in order to wirelessly connect to the internet. Which brings me neatly on to the only fault i can find with it really. The usb slots, which there are two of, are located at the back of the device. Plugging in my USB wi-fi device is impossible because of a design flaw which means everytime the screen is moved the USB pops out. The soultion to this is to buy a USB extension cable which you can pick up cheap and probelm solved.
I brought this laptop about a year ago and although you probably can?t buy it brand new, I thought I would point out the positives it has and where these can be translated into newer laptops currently on sale. To start off, I will just mention the price. I brought this laptop for £700 in April of 2003 and my sister has just brought a new laptop June 2004 and we have almost the same spec for the same price. She has an Intel Celeron 2.8 GHz and a cd-rw but apart from that the spec is the same, oh and she has USB 2 ports instead of my usb 1.1. saying all this my laptop runs faster and that?s because Celeron processors are rubbish, I?m sorry but they don?t compare to a AMD Athlon or Pentium 4 and when you consider they cost more than the AMD Athlon chip, then it surely paves the way for Athlon chips. This is the first positive, and the main one, if you are money conscious like me, then I would recommend looking at Athlon chips instead of Celeron. I don?t know the technical reasons why Athlon are better than Celeron, but what I know, is that they run faster. Obviously if your not money conscious I would recommend a new Intel Centrino. They are designed specially so they use less power, thus leaving a longer battery life, but are more expensive to make, thus the higher price. This laptop has served me well and provided me loads of entertainment during free-periods at school, watching Simpson episodes, other DVD?s and listening to music. The internal speakers are very loud and clear (unless full volume) but you can hear things fine even in a noisy environment (common room at school). ~Screen Size~ The screen size is only 14.1" but you don?t notice a difference from a 15", which isn?t a problem, and probably saved me a few pounds when I payed for it. ~Keyboard~ the keyboard is a bit of a jumble, but then every keyboard I have seen on a laptop has been different, they use the normal QWERTY style for the alphab
et, but keys like INSERT, DELETE and the ENTER key have all been moved around. The ENTER key has been chopped in half, to save some space for another key. There are very useful buttons at the top which you can programme to load up different programs, with just one press of a button. There are also very useful function keys, which can operate windows media player, by skipping to the next song, pausing, playing or stopping the music altogether. Nearly all of the keys operate two functions and some operate three different functions. The keyboard is a bit daunting at first but you soon get used to it. ~Pre-installed software~ You get fairly basic software with the laptop. It runs on Microsoft XP Professional, so come with all the standard Microsoft programs, including Windows Media Player, paint and solitaire. Compaq supply intervideo WINDVD player, which plays DVD video. I didn?t get any word processing software, so I quickly brought Microsoft office, as it is the best word processing package around, as you also get Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Which have all proved important to me whilst at school. ~Simplified specification~ 2gz Athlon XP processor, 256mb of DDR-RAM, DVD Drive, USB1.1, 64mb of shared graphics. PCMCIA Slot (for connecting primarily wireless networking, but there are many other uses of this slot) That is all the important information, as I have said previously I don?t know a lot about the technical side of computers, I just know how to use them. If you brought a new computer you would receive USB 2 (which gives you faster transfer rate of data from digital cameras and MP3 players) and new laptops nearly all come with CD/RW, and some of the expensive ones come with DVD/RW. ~faults~ The only fault I have with the laptop is that over time (18 months) my screen has slightly curved, which means that when I close the lid of my laptop, it fails to immediately turn the screen backlight off.
Not a big problem, but all together it is a fault. When you close the laptop lid or screen, it pushes on a little button, which causes the screen to turn off. But there are plenty of battery saving modes, so my screen turns off if not touched for 5 mins, so as I said, it?s not a big problem. I am also considering buying some more RAM as I have lots of programs open at once, and it will make it easier to swap between these different programs. I would recommend this laptop to others, but you won?t be able to buy it brand new anymore, but I would also recommend Compaq and the use of Athlon XP processors. But I have seen this laptop being advertised on eBay, but have never seen the price it has finally sold for, but i'm sure you would be in for a great bargain.