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Aimed at the business user the nc6230 has been designed from the inside out to give maximum performance without the added extras required of a home or personal laptop.
HP have gained a reputation for unrivaled build quality in their business devices. The nc6230 maintains this standard with a sturdy and solid design that oozes quality and durability. While I wouldn't reccommend it you have the feeling this could fall from a great height and still keep going. Thankfully this solid design doesn't bulk up the maachine and it still feels relatively light and not oversized. Opening up the machine the power and option buttons feel firm and durable, the keyboard however doesn't feel quite so invincible; after 2 weeks of use the enter key came loose and requires reseating constantly.
Battery life is a major concern for business users, and it is usually here that many laptops fall short. The nc6230 however makes excellent use of Intel speedstep technology and the low power consumption of the chosen components to deliver an acceptable 4.5 hours of normal use on a single charge.
This does however require some tweaking of the power settings in order to obtain the desired performance as such things as watching DVD movies is hindered when on battery power as the speedstep technology attempts to reduce consumption.
With an abundance of connectivity options the nc6230 is a breeze to use in a networked environment, only the omission of Bluetooth is noteable by it's absence. The integrated WiFi produces a strong signal and outperforms every other device when it comes to strength and quality of connection. A shame however is that the device often ships with the WiFi radio disabled in the Bios (around 20% of the machines we have suffered this) and thus some knowledge of the device setup is required.
The addition of a MMC/SD card reader may be of debatable use though is welcome nonetheless. Add to that the 3 USB 2.0 ports , modem, LAN, and a single pcmcia and the device should meet most requirements. The nc6230 however does not contain either a parallel or serial port though in most cases these are not required.
This is not a gaming machine or a great device for heavy graphics or video. For most office packages and buisiness applications however the allocated RAM and video capabilities are more than sufficient. Screen quality is excellent at 1280x1024 with a sharp and crisp display which does however suffer from excessive reflection in bright conditions.
A noteable side effect of the compact design however is the excess heat produced by the cooling system which is on the verge of excessive.
Overall this is an excellent all-rounder which performs well with just a minimum of tweaking. The long battery life and excellent WiFi make it a good option for those on the move.
If however you are looking for a graphics capable gaming machine then perhaps this is not for you.