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HP zv5220us Versus HP ze4805us

by rdahlin356 / August 3, 2004 5:10 AM PDT

I am considering the HP zv5220us machine as a first time laptop for my college-bound daughter - for fairly mundane use - word processing, web surfing, some DVD watching, but not heavy gaming. I've done quite a bit of web surfing the last few days to try to find any user opinions/reviews but have been unsuccessful - not sure if this is because it is a newer machine or not. Would appreciate any opinions on specific problem issues that anyone is aware of -

Primary Specs are:

Athlon XP-M 3000+ Processor (claimed 1.6 Ghz speed)
NVIDIA GeForce 4 420 Go Graphics with 32MB Dedicated Video
60 Gig HD
15.4" WXGA TFT WVA High Definition display
Integrated 802.11 g/b wireless, Ethernet

We had been looking at the HP ze4805us, at $200.00 less after rebates, with an Athlon 2000+ processor with claimed faster speed (2.13 GHz) but only 256 RAM, 15" XGA TFT Display, and 64 Meg shared Video memory. To increase RAM to 512 would run somewhere around $120 more, almost bringing price to same as former.

We clearly saw a much better display on the 5220's HD screen, but one downside could be the sheer larger size of the 5220...

Also would appreciate any thoughts on a different machine that is about same price range if better alternative.

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Re: HP zv5220us Versus HP ze4805us
by rdahlin356 / August 3, 2004 5:14 AM PDT

Sorry, correction to post - the ze4805us machine has an Athlon 2800+ processor...

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Re: HP zv5220us Versus HP ze4805us
by KenSanramon / August 3, 2004 7:01 AM PDT

Athlon cpus are very decent and when 64 bit operating systems appear (some updates in Windows service pack 2 this month) they will run somewhat faster.

However, the Pentium M Centrino notebooks give you the best combination of performance, battery life (especially when using wi-fi), weight, and notebook thickness (much thinner do to lower heat requirements for Pentium M Centrino cpus).

You will also notice that the ZT3000 and X1000 have reviews on Cnet -- both 8.0 -- the HPZT3000 also has a 90% positive user rating (see user reviews) and the X1000 has a 80% positive user rating (X1000 came out first -- model has been issued in various iterations since mid 2003).

At any rate, I highly recommend you get a notebook with dedicated video and get 64mb if possible as it is not upgradable.

You will notice that Athlons compare themselves to the similar Pentium 4 (or notebook 4M) cpu they are equivalent to in performance. By the same token, a Pentium M will perform between 1.5 and 2x as well as Pentium 4M. So a 1.7 Pentium M Dothan cpu would be equivalent to a 2.55 to 3.4 Pentium 4M (likely somewhere in the middle so say 3.0 ghz.

I see you are already looking at the 15.4 widescreen or 15" square screen and also HP/Compaq so I don't have to explain this issue to you.

I have the Compaq X1000 which is the same as the HPZT3000 series (example of retail is HPZT3380 at Circuit City). It has the 15.4" widescreen which is better for some widescreen DVD viewing at school, has a wider viewing angle (from the sides), allows more of a spreadsheet to be viewed (horizontal rows) and the notebook weighs 6.5 pounds (your Athlons above are thicker and somewhat heavier -- probably about 8 pounds).

If you daughter is going to college you need to order custom online -- you have already chosen good specs (get 64mb video dedicated for only $50 more than 32mb - you CANNOT upgrade video memory later).

Ordering online from HPshopping (either HP or Compaq models) you get the following:

1)APP student discount (college)
2)$100 HP/Compaq rebate for any custom order notebook through 9/12/04
3)you should order 256mb (1 slot) and then you can add 512mb yourself (Crucial/Kingston) for about $100 and end up with 768mb -- or you can add a 2nd 256mb yourself for much less money (you said 120 --probably pay about half that).

Also, you can order a faster 5400 rpm hard drive if desired and get the CPU you want -- the best bang for the buck is the 725 1.6 Dothan Pentium M with the new doubled 2mb system cache -- this will save you $125 over the 1.7 Pentium M that is sold a lot at retail (as on the HP3380US at Circuit City).

Go to to see how to get all the discounts and how to order the best specification for students (there are many there ordering) for the lowest cost. You should come out between $1000 and $1500 easily and closer to $1000 especially if you get the lower memory 256mb now.

As an alternative, the Toshiba M35S456 is outstanding and has nearly identical specifications and weighs only 6.2 pounds. It can also be ordered custom (model above at Circuit City is 1999 retail as it has DVD burner (200 dollars more than CD-RW/DVD ROM) -- but it does have the Trubrite screen technology.

For the benefits of the alone (10,000 users of just the X1000/ZT3000/nx7000 -- they are all the same except for the case appearance) you will like this notebook especially since you are already looking at HP.

You can sign up and view or post questions there if you like the models above or you can also send me a message there (same screen name).

Note, ordering the 5400 rpm hard drive option gives you a 50% faster hard drive than the standard 4200 rpm's. Most desktops have 5400 or 7200 hard drives if she is used to a faster desktop hard drive this is a worthwhile desktop upgrade as well.

Also ordering custom allows you to select a higher resolution than the standard XGA for $50 more (SXGA) or $100 more (UXGA). I didn't do this but some people like the more extreme resolutions (but LCD's have only one NATIVE resolution unlike multisync CRT monitors so be careful).

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Re: HP zv5220us Versus HP ze4805us
by KenSanramon / August 3, 2004 7:10 AM PDT

One other thing that benefits the X1000/ZT3000 -- they have excellent keyboard feel. Go to Circuit City and compare the ZT3380US and the Compaq X1480US (same machine except for appearance and Compaq has a small ridge between the scroll function and mousepad area on the touchpad) to the Toshiba M35 series and others.

IBM has them beat but they are much more pricey and don't have a 15.4" LCD either.

As I said also, the Centrino notebooks are thinner -- also the touchpad is centered below the spacebar on the keyboard. Some other HP models and other notebooks are not centered and this makes a big difference when using the touchpad.

Another big benefit is you can turn off the touchpad with a button above it (while using external mouse) to avoid hitting it and having the cursor jump. Even Toshiba does not have this feature.

There are 3 USB 2.0 ports and 1 firewire port on both the HP/Compaq and Toshiba.

Wi-fi use 100% of the time (either machine) will be 3.5-4 hours battery life. Not using wi-fi (button to turn it off) will be higher up to 5 hours and over. DVD playing is about 3.5 -4 hours also.

A Pentium 4M is lucky to get 2 hours battery life (and a larger and hotter battery to boot) and an Athlon 64 system may get 2.5 hours - 3 hours but the Pentium M is the top dog right now for versatility.

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Re: HP zv5220us Versus HP ze4805us
by KenSanramon / August 3, 2004 7:14 AM PDT


even if you do decide to get one of the HP Athlon models order it custom online to get the $100 HP/Compaq custom order rebate, the ability to order only the 256mb RAM, the 64mb video, etc. -- and to get the student (APP) discount.

I ordered the X1360US retail at Circuit City and I got a good price on it in May 2004 ($1299 after rebates) but I have only the 32mb video and I also would have liked the 5400 rpm hard drive. And, your daughter will get the benefit of the school discount as well (and order 1.6 Pentium M 725 for maximum value -- don't order 705 Banias 1.5 -- it is not a new Dothan Pentium M and has only 1mb L2 system cache instead of 2mb.

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Re: HP zv5220us Versus HP ze4805us
by mini87 / August 4, 2004 11:39 AM PDT

I own a similar HP Pavilion ze4427wm laptop and it is great. It dosen't do games well, but I didn't buy it for that. It is mainly for Word Processing, Music, DVD Watching (Which looks great on the screen) and some other stuff. If I had a choice, I would have bought the zv5000, but the $898 deal at Wal-Mart for my computer with a HP PSC 1210v All in One printer was too hard to pass up. I think that both are a good deal, but if I had to choose, I would get the zv5220.

Also, if she wanted something lighter, you might want too look in to the HP zt3000/Compaq x1000. They are great computers and have a even better forum Ken knows alot about the x1000 series and you should ask him about those models.

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