* Prices may differ from that shown
Upon purchsing this laptop The unusually heavy weight (although not too heavy) made me wonder what they had put in it, but considering the beating it has taken in my ownership compaq have put some pretty tough parts inside
At the time of purchase this was a fairly high specification machine. With a fairly strong processor, good amount of RAM and 32Mb Radeon graphics combined with quite a large Hard drive this machine was suited for any of a variety of uses. So how did it perform?
The machine itself is more than capable of handling the unwieldly windows xp professional and came with a linux disk for those so inlined. There was no sign of any struggle at boot up and ran smoothly any errors encountered were due to the opertaing system and not realated to the machine.
Its seperate graphics system means RAM is not wasted by an integrated chipset and can focus fully on gaming. I have used games with a system requirement for systems above the spec of this laptop yet it handles them without any major issues. The use of radeon graphics means that a suitable overclocking software package can be downloaded of the internet to further boost perfomance. Suffice to say given its perfomance with computer gaming other media such as music and video presented no problem and could all be played in full screen without any jumping or pauses.
Although some models come with a modem there is no wireless built into the machine and must be purchased seperately. However this is not entirely a bad thing as the user is free to select a good wireless card or change them at will.
For general work such as word processing and the like, there were no issues what so ever and ran fine.
At the start of its life the battery ran for a good 3 hours and continued to hold charge after 3 years(daily charging) of cycles. Naturally it's full charge fell with time however even then it still had a 2 hour capacity.
It has a tough construction, over the time I have owned it, it has been dropped, splashed, burnt and dropped some more. Still it continued to function after 3 years of service until it finally did end when tea was spilt on it (oops). Although the laptop itself survived such abuse under normal wear and tear several componets did give up. Most noteably the left mouse button on the pad, this wore down quickly, faster than what I belive it should and in the end I had to resort to buying a USB mouse. The cdrw/dvd-rom eventually gave up the ghost too and required replacment. The ac adapter lasted a year before the need to replace, I feel this should not happen as a mobile computer should have cables that can resist the wear and tear of moving better than that.
Obtaining spare parts is a nightmare, they are readily avialable however compaq and HP charge extortionate amounts of money for these parts (prices rival the laptop!) I later learned this is because they would rather you buy a new computer than new parts.
The computer has the usual array of ports, however the USB ports are low speed and would require an additional part to bring them upto scratch.
Despite its age, it is more than capable of keeping in track with newer machines as it was fairly high specification at it's begining. Indeed it continues to out perform some other newer model's that have higher specifications.
In conclusion I would say to anyone thinking of buying this latop that today it would do a good job, but if you want something to last many years this is not the model fo you. It is more than suited to any bussiness use and can handle well any graphics packages such as solidworks. In short you could do a lot worse. Prices these days due to its age can be quite low if you find a good seller.