Product Type: Hewlett-Packard laptops
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Compaq's a punch
Compaq Presario CQ61-401SA
Member Name: ste87
Compaq Presario CQ61-401SA
Date: 12/06/10, updated on 12/06/10 (484 review reads)
Advantages: E-sata port, good specs
Disadvantages: dodgy CD drive
Compaq is a sub division of HP so you know from the name that this will be a serious piece of kit. The word is quality; everything about this laptop is stylish and sleek. The case is black and silver and when first bought shines like you wouldn't believe, a few days in though you realise it is a finger print and scratch magnet. Personally this doesn't bother me but I can imagine most people won't like scratching their brand new laptop. The screen is brilliant for watching movies and the quality is much better than other Laptop screens I've used. The layout of the keyboard and touch pad is a good design, having the touch pad slightly to the left aids in typing because its in the centre of the keyboard allowing for quick clicking between typing.
The performance of this laptop is great; with a dual core Intel and 4Gigs of Ram I can't see anyone having a problem with any commercial programme. I personally use some very processor and Ram intensive programs and I have to push to the extremes to get a 100% on the CPU. Having this much Ram means that switching between multiple programs is a doddle.
The built in webcam and mic are ok but are never going to live up to the quality of purpose built external ones. They are still very usable and you will have no trouble using Skype or other Voip programs. The light next to the camera is good it seems to brighten the picture just enough so that you can be seen in any light.
The built in WI-FI is great its fast and never disconnects, it automatically connects upon logging in. The laptop has many ways to transfer data too and from the laptop including a memory card reader which reads flash memory from digital cameras etc. Two USB ports with another in the E-sata input. The E-sata input is crazy fast if you have a compatible hard-drive. The CD, DVD player also does lightscribe, its good but mine is slightly temperamental and sometimes doesn't respond until you reload a CD.
You get some great software free as well as the operating system including: HP Setup, HP Advisor, HP Support Assistant, Cyberlink DVD Suite, Cyberlink Power DVD, Cyberlink YouCam, Cyberlink MediaShow, Windows Media Center, Windows Live Applications, Norton Online Backup (30-day trial), Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 (60 days live update).
The battery life is pretty good but I've seen better, it depends on what you do. Loads of processing heavy tasks will kill your battery life. If watching movies you might get 4 hours out of the battery.
This is a great laptop for anyone wanting a modern laptop to do pretty much anything on. The connectivity option for this laptop means its perfect for watching or listening to media. The price is fair (I paid £499 when it first came out) and this is a smart purchase for students.
Summary: Students should take a look
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