HP Business nc8430 (Core 2 Duo 2GHz review: HP Business nc8430 (Core 2 Duo 2GHz

Priced at $1,799, our HP Compaq nc8430 test unit included a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of midrange 533MHz RAM, a sizeable 100GB hard drive spinning at a quick 7,200rpm, and an ATI X1600 GPU with 256MB dedicated memory. On CNET Labs' benchmarks the nc8430 performed right in line with similarly configured systems from Gateway and Velocity Micro. The HP also bested the consumer-oriented Dell Inspiron E1505, which included a previous-generation Core Duo processor, on our CPU-intensive multitasking and iTunes tests. On our battery drain tests, the HP Compaq nc8430 held out for 3 hours, 50 minutes--above average for a laptop of its size but not quite as long as the Inspiron E1505.

Like most business laptops, the HP Compaq nc8430 comes with a three-year warranty that includes toll-free, 24/7 phone support and return-to-depot service. An upgrade to three years of onsite service costs $149. The company rounds out its service and support with a solid online help site that integrates a user forum and real-time chat with a tech-support rep.

Multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Multitasking test  


Adobe Photoshop CS2 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Adobe Photoshop CS2 image-processing test  


Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Apple iTunes encoding test  


BAPCo MobileMark 2005 battery life (in minutes)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2005 battery life  

System configurations:
Dell Inspiron E1505
Windows XP Media Center; 2GHz Intel Pentium M-T2500-2GHz; 2GB PC5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon x1400 256MB; Samsung HM120JI 120GB 5,400rpm

Gateway M285-E
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 SP2; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7200; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 664MHz; 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1400; 80GB Hitachi 7,200rpm SATA

HP Compaq nc8430
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7200; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 666MHz; 256MB ATI Radeon Mobility X1600; 100GB Hitachi 7,200rpm

Velocity Micro NoteMagix L80x Ultra
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7200; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 664MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce Go 7600; 100GB Seagate 7,200rpm SATA

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