The Good Nice case design; good performance; includes all the ports and connections most business users need; swappable bay for optical drive; good hardware and software security options; baseline three-year warranty.
The Bad Mediocre battery life.
The Bottom Line The well-designed HP Compaq nc6230 offers lesser battery life than others, but this thin-and-light delivers good business performance.
HP Compaq nc6230 for Business
HP Compaq nc6230
Editor's note: We have changed the ratings in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Find out more here. (5/19/05)
A thin-and-light built for the business crowd, the HP Compaq nc6230 joins the growing ranks of laptops outfitted with Intel's next-generation Centrino platform (code-named Sonoma). In addition to some updated components, the nc6230 features some nice design updates to its previous iteration, the , a CNET Editors' Choice. Unfortunately, the nc6230 lags behind the pack on battery life.
In redesigning the nc6230's case, HP seems to have taken some cues from one of our favorite corporate thin-and-lights, the IBM ThinkPad T series. HP ditched the nc6000's silver accents in favor of an all-black design, though the case, at 12.4 inches wide, 10.1 inches deep, and 1 inch thick, remains about the same size. The nc6230 appears slimmer, however, due to a slanted front edge--a design element also found on the ThinkPad T. At 5.4 pounds (6.2 pounds with the AC adapter), the nc6230 is a few ounces lighter than the nc6000 and about average for the thin-and-light category.
The nc6230 features two pointing devices: an eraser-head pointing stick and a square touch pad with a handy strip along its right edge for scrolling through documents and Web pages. The touch pad and the pointing stick each have a set of rubberized mouse buttons, which we found particularly nice to touch. The broad keyboard features a desktoplike layout with oft-used keys, such as delete, clustered in the upper-right corner and an isolated arrow pad in the lower-right corner. While we like the layout, we found the keys a bit noisy. A row of six useful buttons sits above the keyboard, giving you a quick way to turn wireless connectivity on and off, control the volume, and launch applications.