HP Business Notebook Nx9110 (Pentium 4 3 GHz review: HP Business Notebook Nx9110 (Pentium 4 3 GHz

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.8
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Battery life: 8.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Great price; good performance; excellent battery life; flash memory slots; dual-band Wi-Fi radio.

The Bad Big and heavy; large AC adapter with three-prong plug.

The Bottom Line The nx9110 is an excellent choice for business travelers who are willing to take on an extra pound or two in exchange for performance and battery life.

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Review summary

The HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 is aimed primarily at business travelers, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with it. From its wide, 15.4-inch screen to its 3GHz Pentium 4 processor, the HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 is just as good at shooting aliens or watching DVDs as it is at churning through spreadsheets. What's more, the nx9110's dual-band Wi-Fi adapter is sure to find a compatible wireless network. One of the best-equipped notebooks anywhere, the $1,550 HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 is also one of the best priced. It all fits into a thick, 8.5-pound case and has a battery that delivers nearly four hours of life between charges. All in all, it is a great notebook for business travelers who, nevertheless, spend more time behind a desk than an airline tray table. For more-frequent flyers, we recommend a lighter powerhouse, such as the IBM ThinkPad X40 .

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The nx9110's wireless on/off switch can help you preserve battery power.
Like a Swiss Army Knife, the HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 has a variety of tools to deal with all sorts of situations, and as a result, it's a tad bulky. At 2.0 by 14.3 by 11.2 inches and 8.5 pounds, the black-and-silver laptop is an armful. Add the 1.4-pound AC adapter, and the nx9110 weighs a hefty 9.9 pounds. It's thicker and heavier than the Toshiba P15 and a few ounces lighter than the Dell Inspiron 9100 , both of which deliver comparable hardware.

One nice design touch on the HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 is its wireless on/off switch, located near the front edge of the laptop. The switch lets you eliminate the risk of an open connection and preserve battery power.

HP offers a wide variety of configurations and components for the HP Compaq nx9110, starting at $1,350. You can order the system with Pentium 4 CPUs ranging from 2.8 to 3.2GHz and memory that varies from 256MB to 2GB; there are 40GB, 60GB, and high-performance 80GB hard drives. You can choose a 15.0- or 15.4-inch screen for your HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110, and there's a $175 DVD-writer option that uses the DVD+R/RW format.

Stocked with a good assortment of premium components, the HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 that we tested comes with a 3.06GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512MB of 333MHz DRAM, and a DVD/CD-RW drive. The crisp 15.4-inch WXGA screen uses ATI's Mobility Radeon 9000 IGP graphics accelerator that taps into up to 128MB of the system's memory. The 4,200rpm 60GB hard drive is adequate, though nothing unusual for an entry-level business laptop.

It all comes together for a pleasing $1,550, which makes this notebook a good deal. It's $500 less than Toshiba's P15 (which has a TV tuner) and $100 less than Dell's Inspiron 9100 (which has a high-performance hard drive and a DVD writer).
The HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 has an impressive array of well-marked ports, including a parallel port, an S-Video connector, a VGA connector for an external monitor, four USB 2.0 ports, and a FireWire port. In addition to a Type II CompactFlash PC Card slot, the system can handle SmartMedia, Secure Digital, and Memory Stick cards, and it includes a unique but redundant USB digital drive Secure Digital card reader that snaps into a recessed USB slot. For connectivity, the nx9110 has an integrated V.92 modem, an Ethernet port, and a dual-band wireless adapter that works with 802.11a, b, or g networks.

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The nx9110 includes HP's answer to the floppy drive: the USB digital drive.

The keyboard flexes a little too much in the middle, but it provides 19.4mm keys that offer 2.3mm of depth. While the nx9110's large latch release is easy to press, it requires a second hand to pull the lid open. The laptop's JBL Pro speakers deliver very good sound and have push-button volume controls.

The HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 includes the standard, bare-bones software package that is the hallmark of a business system. The laptop comes with the Windows XP Pro operating system, as well as the CD-burning software Record Now and Express Labeler, which prints labels for optical discs.
The HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 came out on top in mobile performance in our latest testing group of mainstream laptops. It scored 24 percent higher than the Toshiba Satellite A45-S250 and 12 percent better than the ABS ZForce F1. The difference in the mobile performance of these similar machines can be attributed mostly to their processor throttling. The processors in each of the laptops throttle their respective speeds down when running on battery power to save on battery life. Both the ABS ZForce F1 and the HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110, house the Pentium 4-3.06GHz CPU, but the HP Compaq nx9110 comes out on top, thanks in large part to the fact that its CPU's speed isn't throttled as dramatically. While this is good for the HP's mobile performance, it can adversely affect battery life unless precautions--such as including a bigger battery--are taken by the manufacturer. That said, the HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 is a good mobile performer that will have no problem running office-productivity and content-creation apps.

Mobile application performance  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 performance rating  
HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110
166 

Find out more about how we test notebook systems.

System configurations:

ABS ZForce F1
Windows XP Home; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB; Toshiba MK6022GAX 60GB 5,400rpm

HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110
Windows XP Professional; Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 IGP 128MB (shared); Hitachi Travelstar 60GN 60GB 4,200rpm

Toshiba Satellite A45-S250
Windows XP Home; 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME (up to 64MB); Toshiba MK6021GAS 60GB 4,200rpm The HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 came in a distant second in battery life in our latest testing group of mainstream laptops. Second place, however, is nothing to sneeze at in this case, as the system lasted nearly four hours, thanks to its powerful 14.8V, 6,000mAh (89WHr) battery. The HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110, however, could not hold its own against the Toshiba Satellite A45-S250, which lasted more than five and a half hours with its 10.8V, 8,400mAh (91WHr) battery. While these specs may not seem that different, remember that the Toshiba Satellite A45-S250 is drawing less power from the battery because of its 2.8GHz processor, which is 266MHz slower than the HP Compaq's nx9110's 3.06GHz Pentium 4. The ABS ZForce F1 brought up the rear because of its average, 14.4V, 4,000mAh (58WHr) battery. Thanks to HP's foresight in giving the nx9110 a powerful battery, the notebook is able to offer the best of both worlds: good mobile performance and great battery life.

Battery life analysis written by CNET Labs assistant lab manager Eric Franklin.

Battery life  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 battery life in minutes  
HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110
234 

To measure mobile application performance and battery life, CNET Labs uses BAPCo's MobileMark 2002. MobileMark measures both application performance and battery life concurrently using a number of popular applications (Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Excel 2002, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, Microsoft Outlook 2002, Netscape Communicator 6.0, WinZip Computing WinZip 8.0, McAfee VirusScan 5.13, Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1, and Macromedia Flash 5.0).

System configurations:

ABS ZForce F1
Windows XP Home; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB; Toshiba MK6022GAX 60GB 5,400rpm

HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110
Windows XP Professional; Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 IGP 128MB (shared); Hitachi Travelstar 60GN 60GB 4,200rpm

Toshiba Satellite A45-S250
Windows XP Home; 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; Intel 82852/82855 GM/GME (up to 64MB); Toshiba MK6021GAS 60GB 4,200rpm The HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9110 comes with a short one-year warranty on parts and labor, which you can extend to three years for a very reasonable $100. Phone support and downloads for the nx9110 are available for the lifetime of the product. HP has a copious collection of online resources, including electronic manuals, online forums, and even advice on recycling an old notebook. The HP support site also hosts BIOS updates, drivers, and a variety of software enhancements. Our favorite is the interactive troubleshooting application that can help track down technical problems. The company provides 24/7 toll-free phone support, and you can also contact HP's technical support staff via e-mail. When we called, we were chatting with a live support tech in less than five minutes.

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Where to Buy

HP Business Notebook Nx9110 (Pentium 4 3 GHz, 512 MB RAM, 40 GB HDD)

Part Number: DV102U#ABA Released: Mar. 1, 2004

MSRP: $1,379.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Mar. 1, 2004
  • Installed Size 512 MB
  • CPU Intel Pentium 4 3 GHz
  • Resolution 1280 x 800 ( WXGA )
  • Color Black
  • Weight 7.7 lbs
  • Optical Drive CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo - fixed
    CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo - fixed
  • Graphics Processor ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 IGP
    ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 IGP