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HP Compaq nx6125 review: HP Compaq nx6125

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MSRP: $999.00

The Good Low price; wide keyboard; lots of extra buttons; fingerprint sensor.

The Bad Subpar performance; lacks a Trusted Platform Module option for extra data security.

The Bottom Line The inexpensive HP Compaq nx6125 Notebook PC may help businesses conserve cash, but its slow performance on basic productivity tasks could adversely affect their bottom lines.

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5.2 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 6
  • Performance 3
  • Battery 5
  • Support 5

HP Compaq nx6125

Editor's note: In our original review, we mistakenly stated the length of the warranty for the HP Compaq nx6125. HP backs the system with a standard three-year warranty. We regret the error. (6/22/05)

The HP Compaq nx6125 attempts to balance price, portability, and performance, and it succeeds--in part. At $1,249, it's certainly less expensive than other business laptops, and for the price, it delivers some nice design features. Slightly larger than the average thin-and-light, it's still light enough for moderate travel. Unfortunately, the nx6125's AMD Turion 64 processor clocked exceptionally slow scores in CNET Labs' productivity benchmarks. You'd be better off with a mainstream notebook such as the ThinkPad R52, which offers much more speed and the same amount of battery life for a similar price.

Measuring 12.9 inches wide, 10.5 inches deep, and 1.6 inches thick and weighing 6.2 pounds, the HP Compaq nx6125 pushes the limits of thin-and-light laptop territory, though not as far as the Acer Aspire 5000, which runs an inch wider and almost a half-pound heavier. Still, other business thin-and-lights, such as the ThinkPad T43 and the Dell Latitude D610, are slightly smaller and fall in the 5.5-pound range. The nx6125's AC adapter tacks on another 0.8 pound to your travel load.

The somber, steel-gray nx6125 won't turn heads, but its well-conceived design will help employees get their jobs done. The broad keyboard is comfortable to use, and the good-size touch pad features a handy line down its right side to show where you should place your finger for scrolling. Two mouse buttons sit below the pad and have horizontal divots that help you feel where the buttons begin and end. Six buttons above the keyboard serve handy purposes: one turns the built-in wireless radio on and off; another automatically launches presentations with the application, video, and power settings you specify; and three control the laptop's sound. The final button opens the control panel window, giving you easy access to configure program settings (and the functions of the buttons themselves).

When it comes to ports and connections, the HP Compaq nx6125 sticks to the thin-and-light status quo. You get FireWire, S-Video-out, VGA, and three USB 2.0 ports. Jacks are limited to those for a 56Kbps modem, Gigabit Ethernet, headphones, and a microphone. Where slots are concerned, the nx6125 includes one Type II PC card slot, one smart-card slot, and one 6-in-1 slot that accommodates the major flash-memory card types: Secure Digital, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, MultiMediaCard, SmartMedia, and xD. Our test unit also included an ordinary Broadcom 802.11b/g Wi-Fi card, Bluetooth, and a single-layer DVD burner for the fixed internal bay.

The business-focused nx6125 comes preloaded with Windows XP Professional. Like most business systems, it doesn't ship with an expensive productivity suite such as Microsoft Office. However, HP bundles a few standard apps for disc playback and burning, including InterVideo WinDVD 5.0 and Sonic RecordNow 7.0.

The laptop also comes preloaded with HP's ProtectTools program, which helps defend your data and manage the system by setting passwords, specifying boot-up scenarios, and more; it doesn't include a Trusted Platform Module chip, which is becoming a security standard among enterprise business portables (HP plans to include this feature in future nx6125 iterations). However, like more and more corporate laptops, the nx6125 does have a fingerprint sensor integrated into the lower-right corner of the wrist rest that lets you log on by swiping a finger instead of typing in a password.

HP sells the nx6125 through various online resellers and the company's own Web site. You can choose from among several preconfigured versions of the laptop or customize your own. Get the skinny on the range of available configurations in CNET's HP Compaq nx6125 notebook PC series review.

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