* Prices may differ from that shown
I'm assuming that I bought this at a different point in time from the previous reviewer, as I found this laptop to be particularly good value for money at the time.
When I purchased it it was advertised as a 'student' machine and it came complete with a range of features that I think take it well beyond that bracket and into 'gamer' territory. It came complete with a seperate graphics card, unusual in a machine that cost me less than £700 and has proven more than capable at playing everything I've thrown at it (albeit at slightly reduced settings as this isn't a massively powerful machine).
Aesthetically pleasing - fairly standard black trim, everything where it should be
Good processor - handles everything fine
Graphics - above average, good for the casual-intermediate gamer
RAM - ok if you keep the machine tidied up. I'm using Windows XP and agree that it would need more if you decided to use the 'dreaded' Vista :-D
Connectivity - brilliant! Has wireless and bluetooth as standard, a memory card reader and all the ports it needs
Screen brightness - no way to force the screen to brighten up when using the battery (laptop dims itself to conserve power)
Battery - poor quality, has held charge for less than two years before I chucked it
Power adaptor - again, poor quality. Mine frayed and had to be replaced during fairly typical daily use.
The design of this laptop isn't really anything to shout out about, and in some sense its even quite ugly. I however quite like its design, even though its quite basic and its only a one colour laptop. Its all black, which usually I hate as it makes a laptop look dull and boring, however this one doesn't come across as dull and boring and I think the reason for this must be how thin the laptop looks, it actually comes across as really thin and sleek and looks really cool, yet defying the black coloured look.
The installed ram on this laptop is an average 1 gb. This is ok but could have been dramatically improved if it was a 2gb of ram.
The ram can however be upgraded, and it can be upgraded to a maximum of 4 gb so if this is something you think you could do your self then you could easily buy cheap ram off eBay and install it yourself, however if you don't know what your doing then this could be quite a costly process and might not be worth doing. However it really would make a huge difference to the performance of this laptop.
This laptop however does still run really fast despite its smallish ram. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo T2500 processor which runs at speeds of 2 Ghz. This is really good processor speeds and makes this laptop be able to perform fast and load those demanding programs quickly.
Its hard drive is also only average, its got 80 gb's which seems to be about the minimum they are making new laptops with these days. It is a fair amount however as most of the software and all your operating system should only take up about 20 gb of space so you'll still have a whole 60 gb of hard drive to store what ever you want on, this might not be enough for some people but I save a lot of my data, music and pictures on portable hard drives any way so that it doesn't slow don my laptop, so this hard drive space isn't a problem for me.
There are many things making this laptop ultra portable, firstly its quite small, it also has a smaller screen size than most laptop. It has a 15.4 inch TFT screen, which is only about an inch smaller than most laptop screens a will take little getting used to. It also has active matrix technology. This is something being used by more and more laptop manufacturers to date, and its amazing results. Its makes the screen lighter, meaning the laptops lighter, its makes the screen sharper, the pictures shaper and brighter too and makes the whole computing experience so much better.
It also only weighs 2.7 kg which is a nice weight for a laptop, it means you wont really feel all that weigh on your shoulder if you do have to carry it around with you all day.
The real reason why it's a great portable laptop is its battery life though, it can last 4 hours and that's because of its 8 cell lithium battery. This has two more than most laptops have which means it can last a lot longer than most.
Because this laptop is made for business men, it comes with windows vista business, this means it also comes with some extra features and software you wouldn't get with other editions of vista. You'll get Intervideo WinDVD, HP Quick Launch Button Software, HP ProtectTools Security Manager, HP Client Manager Software (free download), HP Help and Support, HP Wireless Assistant, Synaptics Touchpad Driver, Norton Internet Security (60 days subscription), HP Backup and Recovery Manager, Roxio Easy Media Creator 9, HP OpenView Radia Management Agent, HP QuickLook, HP Universal Print Driver. All these programs are free to install and use, however some are just demos for a limited number of days.
If you want a fast portable laptop then this is great, it will cost around £600 though which is quite expensive for a laptop that only has 80gb of hard drive and just 1gb of ram. This might put you off it however it is very portable and its got fantastic battery life as well as looking a lot nicer than most laptops designed for business men and portability so altogether it's a fantastic laptop.
Designed for professionals who take their tools as seriously as their work, the powerful HP Compaq nc8430 Notebook PC combines cutting-edge mobile computing technologies, high-end graphics, and high-resolution displays into a thin and light package.
|Product Description:||HP Compaq Business Notebook nc8430 - Core Duo T2400 1.83 GHz - 15.4" TFT|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||35.8 cm x 25.9 cm x 2.8 cm|
|Localisation:||English / United States|
|Built-in Devices:||Stereo speakers, wireless LAN aerial|
|Embedded Security:||SmartCard reader|
|Processor:||Intel Core Duo T2400 / 1.83 GHz ( Dual-Core )|
|Cache Memory:||2 MB - L2 Cache|
|RAM:||1 GB (installed) / 4 GB (max) - DDR2 SDRAM - 667 MHz|
|Hard Drive:||80 GB - Serial ATA-150|
|Optical Storage:||DVD±RW (+R double layer) - integrated|
|Display:||15.4" TFT 1280 x 800 ( WXGA )|
|Graphics Controller:||ATI Mobility Radeon X1600|
|Video Memory:||256 MB DDR2 SDRAM|
|Audio Output:||Sound card|
|Telecom:||Fax / modem - MDC - 56 Kbps|
|Networking:||Network adapter - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet|
|Input Device:||Keyboard, touchpad, pointing stick|
|Power:||AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )|
|Battery:||8-cell Lithium Ion|
|Run Time (Up To):||4 hour(s)|
|Operating System:||Microsoft Windows XP Professional|
|Environmental Standards:||ENERGY STAR Qualified|