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HP Compaq nx5000 versus HP Compaq nx7010??

by tetrarose / January 1, 2005 5:33 AM PST

My husband and I feel as if we've been to a computer seminar - we've learned so much from this forum! We went to the website (we're Canadian) and we're wondering whether the features of the Compaq nx7010 ($2149.00) - as recommended by KenSanramon - versus the Compaq nx5000 ($1599.00) justify the huge $550 price difference.

The computer we wish to buy will never be used to play games. I will use it to write and do research, and my husband will use it to access live video streaming of thoroughbred horse racing. The question is this: will the "shared system" Graphics Card on the nx5000 affect the quality of the video feed? Will the 40 GB hard drive on the nx5000 affect the quality of the feed? And can the 256 MB Memory be upgraded, after purchasing the computer? As offered on the hp website, these seem to be "fixed" models - not able to be customized.

After scrutinizing every last inch of the specs, these are the only differences between the two computers, with the main similarities being that they're both listed as "Intel Pentium M processor 725 - 1.6 GHz, 400 MHz Front Side Bus, 2048 KB L2 cache" and they both have "High speed 56K modem, integrated 10/100 NIC and Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG (802.11b/g).

nx5000: Display: 15 inch TFT XGA
Hard Drive: 40GB 4200 RPM
Memory: 256 MB DDR SDRAM (1 X 256MB)at
266 MHz
Graphics Card: Integrated Intel Extreme
Graphics 2 up to 64MB
shared system memory.

nx7010: Display: 15.4 inch TFT WXGA
Memory: 512 MB DDR SDRAM (2 X 256MB) at
333 MHz
Graphics Card: ATI Mobility Radeon 9200
with 64MB video memory.

So, in a nutshell, we're wondering if the upgrades (a 60GB hard drive and double the memory)can be purchased after the fact, for a whole lot less than $550? Also, it appears that the nx7010 doesn't even have CD capability - why would that be? I should mention that they're offering a free HP Photosmart digital camera (which we don't need) and a free wireless keyboard and mouse (which we don't want) with the nx7010.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Don't you wish you lived here - where we get to spend so much more money for the very same product?

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Breakdown on cost difference between nx7000 /nx5000
by KenSanramon / January 3, 2005 6:12 AM PST

The HPnx5000 has a standard CD-RW (CD Read write)/DVD ROM (DVD read only memory) which means you can read and write CD's but read DVD's only (For playing DVD's or loading software burned onto a DVD).

The HPnx7000 build has a DVD burner which is worth $150-$200 more as an internal drive. It is DVD + which means you cannot burn to DVD - (some other brands are multiformat DVD + and DVD - and more consumer DVD players have DVD -). Also, you are getting 512mb RAM instead of 256mb but you can add that yourself easily if you have 1 open RAM slot. And, you are getting a dedicated video card on the nx7000 - you are getting none on the nx5000.

Also, keep in mind the nx7000 has a 15.4" widescreen while the nx5000 has a 15" square LCD. Widescreens are better for spreadsheets and playing widescreen DVD's. If all you are going to do is view internet webpages, etc then you may want the 15" square LCD but otherwise the 15.4" widescreen (which is wider than the 15" square but a bit shorter in height) is nice.

So, Essentially the $500 cost difference is $150-$200 more for the DVD burner, $200 more for the dedicated video card and $100 more for the extra 256mb RAM.

The hard drive capacity is not what is most important but rather the hard drive rpm speed. A 5400rpm hard drive would be faster than a 4200rpm by up to 50% but you will not see any significant performance difference from a 40gb versus a 60gb or 80gb hard drive (assuming you don't completely fill the smaller hard drive and leave no available space for necessary functions).

So, again, keep in mind that the DVD burner is also a CD burner and DVD ROM by default (so with a DVD burner you can read and write both DVD's and CD's)

Also, keep in mind that the nx7000 is a business model with the 1 year international warranty and the hp business support (a bit better than consumer support but not a huge difference) so that is worth at least $50 in the cost differential.

The consumer warranty on the nx5000 throws you into the consumer service pool and the warranty is likely country specific (Canada only for 1 year)

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HP nx 5010 in canada
by kamran Khan / January 4, 2005 5:05 AM PST backlogged in Canada for a few months. I tried calling HP, resellers, distributors and everyone's telling me the same thing. It may take a couple of months before they get them back in.

Actually HP Canada seems to be a shade of HP U.S. The much touted Z3010 and Compaq X1000 are not even available in Canada (beats me why) and you are left looking at the business models. Their support staff don't know anything either, you call one to find the technical info (one guy told me that the HP nx5000 wasn't a centrino and then later retracted his statement when i said it was), another to find the price etc. etc. unlike Dell where one person helps you till the last detail. Finally you can't customize anything if you live in Canada.

The price for a HP nx7010 is about $100 more than its competitor Dell Inspiron 8600...and there are pros and cons to both machines. The dell machine has better hard drive and memory card, so i'm tilting more to that computer. The other alternative is the HP nx9030 series which seem to be cheaper but have a shared video card.

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Dell D800 is business version of Dell 8600
by KenSanramon / January 4, 2005 5:44 AM PST
In reply to: HP nx 5010 in canada

The HPZT3000/Compaq X1000 was sold in Canada in the past and there were people looking at it earlier in 2004 even at retail in Best Buy Canada.

However, now these models don't seem to be offered so you only have the sister HPnx7000 series option (See for all 3).

The Dell 8600 is a consumer model and it has very decent specs but it is a bit heavier and thicker than the HPZT3000/Compaq X1000/HPnx7000 at 6.9 pounds to 6.5 pounds. The case is also not as well built and the keyboard is not as good. However, the Dell Business D800 is essentially the same notebook but with a better keyboard and a thinner and lighter magnesium case. But that is more money.

If you do get the Dell 8600 try to get one with the 128mb dedicated video RAM ATI 9600/9700 as that is its chief advantage over many others (HP's have only up to 64mb dedicated video RAM and a slower ATI 9200 video card). Also, the Dell has the Hitachi 7200rpm 60gb hard drive option which is screaming fast and up to 70% faster than a 4200rpm standard hard drive or 20% faster than a 5400rpm hard drive.

Those 2 items will raise the cost but they are well worth it on the Dell 8600 if that is your choice.

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D800 is heavier too
by Ryan T / January 4, 2005 7:12 AM PST

I should point out that the D800 also bumps the weight up to 7.1 lbs (I guess because of the magnesium alloy case). Internally they are the same though, as you noted.

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Magnesium case and heavier, eh? Interesting ...
by KenSanramon / January 4, 2005 7:54 AM PST
In reply to: D800 is heavier too

I didn't know that the D800 was heavier. You would think that magnesium like aluminum would be lighter but I guess in comparison to an all plastic casing (the 8600) maybe not.

Is the thickness of the case any less or is that the same as the 8600 also. The 8600 case was designed for a Pentium 4M cpu not a Pentium M Centrino so that is why it is thicker than many Pentium M notebooks are that have a 15.4" widescreen.

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Just as thick. In fact . . .
by Ryan T / January 4, 2005 12:41 PM PST

In fact, if you are so inclined, you can swap out the case of the D800 onto an 8600. In fact, for 9.99 (+14.50 shipping/insurance) you can get a D800 Palmrest with the touchpad and trackstick buttons on ebay. If you undo about 2 dozen screws the palmrest snaps right off and the D800 palmrest snaps in. Another $10 part gets you the LED/Hing Cover to fit, and a keyboard with track stick will run you $15.

I saw a guy who had bought an inspiron but swapped the palmrest, hinge cover, LCD cover, Bezel, and keyboard for the Latitude. Unlike me he had'nt gotten a mad deal on his Inspiron. So it begs the question, why wouldn't you just buy the darn Latitude from the get-go? But then again, this guy put LEDs in his speaker grilles, and painted the laptop plastics racing blue car paint (I think he said 12 coats on the LCD lid) and got a mirror finish. Obsess much?

Actually I just looked it up. The D800 is listed at 7.0 lbs, but the 8600 is listed at 6.9 and it says "with travel module, 9-cell battery, and hard drive". So they weighed that one with the CDRW out. It's also laughable that they mention that 6.9lbs includes the hard drive. Thanks. I was thinking of leaving that behind to save some weight. Wink

Then you consult the main Inspiron page and above the 8600 it says: "Starting at 7.3lbs". So there you have it. The Magnesium weighs .3lbs less.

Ah whatever. I'm still happy carrying it around. I benefit from the thicker Pentium 4 case by less heat from the hard drive. Interestingly that seems to be Dell's move lately. Design a P4 machine, make it centrino. We had the predecessor to the 600m, now the 600m. The 8500 evolved to 8600. The 9100 almost instantly became the 9200.

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7 pound weight barrier is significant psychologically
by KenSanramon / January 5, 2005 2:33 AM PST

Since most of the Pentium M Centrino competitors with a 15.4" widescreen are in the 6.2 (Toshiba M30/M35) to 6.5 pounds (HPZT3000/Compaq X1000) to the Acer 2025 ( if you can find one - 6.6 pounds) it obviously sounds better to keep the Dell 8600 listed as 6.9 pounds and still in the 6 pound range.

This shaving of the weight if accurate reminds me of when the Ford Cobras a few years ago (and even a certail model year update of a Mazda Miata) had less horsepower then advertised initially and the customers that caught it had to be compensated ..........

But in this case, of course, the 7 pound weight barrier is a psychological one and the actual weight difference is not significant.......

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We Found a Compromise - HP DV1040US Intel Centrino
by tetrarose / January 5, 2005 10:45 PM PST
In reply to: HP nx 5010 in canada

Just like you, we didn't get a whole lot of information and help from the Canadian HP people. Also, having dealt with Dell for the last three years, we know EMPHATICALLY that we will never buy a Dell again, so the 8600 is totally out of the question. You have to factor in the frustration factor here - and, although we don't anticipate having to rely on their technical support as often as we did in the beginning, the thought of having to make even ONE phone call to them is enough to just destroy your day. We decided to check out the website and found something that appears to be a pretty good compromise: the HP DV1040US. List price: $1899.99. KenSanramon often mentions the advisability of getting 5400 RPM's (or higher) versus the standard 4200 RPM's customarily offered. Somehow, unless you go with Dell (or spend way more money than our budget allows), this is a really difficult order to fill. So, keeping in mind that we will never be using this computer to play games, these are the specs:

Intel Pentium M Processor 725
Network Card: Integrated 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 Connector), Intel PRO/Wireless 2200 802.11b/g WLAN & Bluetooth
Cache: 2MB L2
CPU Speed: 1.6 GHz
CPU Type: Intel Centrino Mobile Technology
Fax/Modem: 56 KB
Hard Drive: 60 GB 4200RPM
Optical Drives: CD-RW, DVD+R/RW Combo
Product Weight: 2.42 kg
Screen Type: WXGA High-def BrightView Widescreen
Video Type: Intel Extreme Graphics 2 - up to 64mb shared system memory

It also has a 6-in-1 digital media card reader; touch pad with on/off button and vertical scroll; volume control and mute button on the keyboard - and comes with the following software: Norton Anti-virus; Sonic RecordNow; InterVideo; WinDVD; Intervideo Home Theatre; InterVideo WinDVD Creator Muvee; AutoProducer; HP Image Zone Plus Photo & Imaging Software; Apple iTunes; Apple iTunes Music Store; MSWorks; MSMoney; MSN Encarta Plus; MSOffice 2003.

There were none left on the BestBuy website but I was able to find one at a nearby Best Buy store. I checked out the keyboard and it's MUCH superior to the Dell keyboard, and the widescreen is simply beyond belief. The salesman put in a DVD and I couldn't believe my eyes! That widescreen just sells itself!

Thanks to everyone at c/net for all the invaluable help and information - we will tell everyone we meet about this incredible website.

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HPDV1000 a good choice but NO dedicated video card
by KenSanramon / January 6, 2005 3:58 AM PST

The HPDV1000 came out in October 2004 and a lot of them are selling in the US also as it is lightweight (5.3 pounds) and it has the instant on DVD/CD functions and a built in remote control. For people who want an LCD smaller than 15" it is a good choice. Gateway has a simlar model also at Best buy but I don't think it has the instant on CD/DVD functions or built in remote control.

However, the key thing you dropped by getting this model (as well as nearly any notebook under 5.5 pounds and some over 5.5 pounds) is a dedicated video card.

The HPZT3000/Compaq X1000/HPnx7000 have a dedicated video card with up to 64mb and the Dell 8600 has a dedicated video card with up to 128mb ----

So, if you don't need the dedicated video card that is fine but don't think that the HPDV1000 model will do that --it has Intel Extreme grapics (chip on motherboard only) and uses part of your RAM as well.

This is a great notebook for many people though and you still got the full 2mb L2 system cache Dothan processor (715 or above)

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