Product Type: Hewlett-Packard laptops
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Much better than it's predecesor
Compaq Presario CQ56-101SA
Member Name: kiss_me_now9
Compaq Presario CQ56-101SA
Advantages: Nice design, good processor, no problems with it as yet.
Disadvantages: The keys down the side seem to have no use and are often annoying
After having a mare of a time with my old HP laptop (which I had for a month before it blue screened on me, resulting in a 6 month long battle with HP to get a refund!) I was more careful with my choice of replacement. After a little while searching for the right package, I eventually settled on this Compaq.
Now, I am totally aware that HP own Compaq, and was initially wary about buying from them or an affiliate again, but I'm glad I took the punt. The other laptop I had was a faulty model and was well known to HP and laptop 'geeks' alike as one to avoid as it was a long running problem with it. This laptop has no such shadow over it's name. From some careful googling I could tell that this was probably going to be the best for what I wanted. I'm not going to lie, a huge thing that I wanted on my next laptop was the capacity to play games such as The Sims 3. If you run a check on this laptop on CanYouRunIt? (a website designed to check your computers specs against any game you want to run on it) technically this laptop shouldn't be able to handle the game but it runs perfectly.
Now, onto the actual laptop itself... The case is a simple black case, with Compaq logo patterning over the hard surfaces on the inside. The keyboard is as with most laptops, full size but minus a number keypad, and the mouse tracker pad is below the keyboard (as I think is standard?). There's an extra row of keys down the left hand side that give you quick access to things like your email program, your internet browser and your calculator. Unfortunately these are more of a hindrance than a help as they will freeze up your laptop if you press them accidentally during a game or something! Which is really quite annoying. I can see why they were put there but I would opt to not have them if I had the choice. There's also a row of volume/brightness/screen control keys across the top which are much more useful in my opinion, though sometimes it's hard to work out whether you just press the button or have to press another key with it to make the alternative function (in this case your F buttons) work. The volume mute key is a little bit temperamental, which is a problem when you're trying to mute something quickly in the library!
Functionally, this laptop does what it says it will do - I've never really had a problem with the actual functioning of it. Mine is running Windows 7, though I believe you may be able to get them with other Windows packages (probably for cheaper as well). I paid around £399 (there was some discount applied because of the hassle I had with HP) which is a more than fair price for this. In fact, I wouldn't mind paying over £450 for this laptop brand new. It runs well, it's durable, and so far it's not given me any problems. Battery life is a standard 4 hours, 2 if you're running games but you can get bigger capacity batteries. Unfortunately I'm not a computer whiz so I don't know much about the RAM/gig of it or all the technical stuff - my Dad does that for me! I currently use mine for casual gaming, internet and the other usual suspects such as word processing for my uni course and playing around on Paintshop. Overall though I am impressed with this, and have almost had my faith restored in the HP/Compaq brand.
Summary: If you want a decent laptop for studies or general home use, this is a definite winner.
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