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 Microsoft Works 8.0 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.
The Presario V2300, part of the V2000 series, comes in preconfigured versions, or you can build your own on the HP site. We explore the laundry list of available components in our HP Compaq Presario V2000 series review.
In CNET Labs' mobile benchmarks, the Presario V2300 trailed other $1,000 laptops we've tested. Due to differences in technology, however, note that the Intel and AMD CPU's performance shouldn't be interpreted strictly by the numbers. In real-world testing, we found the AMD Turion to be spry enough to handle basic computing work, such as Web surfing, e-mail, and other productivity taks; gamers and multimedia enthusiasts will need a more powerful system. Plus, the Presario V2300's 12-cell battery lasted 5 hours and 55 minutes--nearly twice the 3-hour average we expect from a six-cell battery in a midsize laptop.
HP bundles a typical one-year warranty with the Presario V2300; however, for a reasonable fee, you can extend the term to three years. HP will also cover the cost of returning the system for repairs throughout your warranty. The company's toll-free telephone-support lines are open 24/7 and offer free help during your warranty period. The HP support Web site includes one of our favorite support features--real-time chat with a tech rep--though the company limits your free chat time to just one hour. After that, you can try to troubleshoot problems yourself by searching through the site's FAQ database.
Mobile application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|BAPCo MobileMark 2005 performance rating|| |
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|BAPCo MobileMark 2005 battery-life minutes|| |
Find out more about how we test Windows notebooks.
Dell Inspiron 6000
Windows XP Home; 1.6GHz Intel Pentium M 730; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM PC3200 400MHz; Intel 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express 128MB; Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 60GB 5,400rpm
Windows XP Pro; Intel Pentium M 750 1.86GHz; 512MB PC3200 DDR2-SDRAM 400MHz; Intel 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express up to 64MB ; Hitachi Travelstar 4K40 40GB 4,200rpm
HP Compaq Presario V2000Z
Windows XP Home; 2GHz Turion 64 ML-37; 1,024MB PC2700 DDR-SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon Xpress 200MB 128MB (shared) ; Seagate ST9808210A 80GB (NTFS)
HP Compaq Presario V2300
Windows XP Home; 1.8GHz Turion 64 ML-34; 512MB PC2700 DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon Xpress 200m 128MB; Fujitsu MHT2060AT 60GB 4,200rpm (NTFS)