HP Compaq Presario V2300
First reviewed by CNET in August 2005, we recently took another look at the HP Compaq V2000 series, specifically the V2300 model. The original configuration we reviewed sold for about $1,230 back in August; in this review we take a look at a less expensive $924 (after rebate) configuration.
Midsize laptops often feature uninspired case designs, but we like the HP Compaq Presario V2300's look. At 6.0 pounds, the Presario V2300 is right on the line between thin-and-light and midsize; add our unit's 0.8-pound AC adapter and 1.25 12-cell battery, and you end up closer to 7.5 pounds. The case measures 13.2 inches wide, 9.1 inches deep, and about 1.5 inches thick.
The system's 14-inch BrightView wide-screen display features a 1,280x768 native resolution; we found that it looked a bit dim. The Presario V2300's full-size keyboard is the same one found on the larger Presario V4000, and it's a joy to type on. Though the wide rectangular touch pad is small, it has a great on/off button above it so you can disable it while typing or using an external mouse. Handy buttons for volume control and Wi-Fi on/off line up above the keyboard, though there are no external controls for playing discs. The laptop's front edge offers a rare feature, especially for an inexpensive laptop: JBL Pro speakers that actually sound loud and clear. HP incorporates icons along the left and right sides of the keyboard to indicate where corresponding ports, jacks, and slots are located on the left and right edges.
Speaking of ports, jacks, and slots, the Presario V2300 has a satisfying selection: four-pin FireWire, S-Video-out, VGA, docking, and three USB 2.0 ports; Ethernet, 56K modem, headphone, and microphone jacks; and one Type II PC Card slot and a 6-in-1 slot that accepts six types of flash memory cards, including Secure Digital, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro, MultiMediaCard, Smart Media, and xD card. The less expensive (and less portable) Presario V4000 offers one more USB port and a PCI-Express slot.
Our HP Compaq Presario V2300 test unit came with Windows XP Home and the mini office suite, good for basic users who lack the big bucks to purchase pricey office apps. The software bundle also incorporates a few multimedia standards such as InterVideo WinDVD for playback and Sonic RecordNow and InterVideo WinDVD Creator for burning.
The Presario V2300 we tested had a 1.8GHz AMD Turion 64 ML-34 processor, 512MB of DDR RAM, and an intergated ATI Radeon Xpress 200M GPU that borrows up to 128MB of RAM, which is not great when you have only 512MB to begin with. Also onboard were a 5,400rpm 60GB hard drive and a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, as well as 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. This price-to-parts ratio puts it on a par with similarly priced configurations of the Dell Inspiron 6000 and the Gateway NX500X, though they each had better-performing Intel Pentium M processors.