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HP Compaq Presario V5000 review: HP Compaq Presario V5000

A budget system from HP's Compaq line, the Presario V5000T offers basic productivity and reasonable upgradability that straddles the line between consumer and small business needs.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
5 min read
HP's Compaq Presario line of laptops traditionally has fewer multimedia features than the flashier HP Pavilion systems, and the $524 (after rebate) Compaq Presario V5000T hews to this precedent, offering a stripped-down set of specs for basic productivity at a budget price. HP offers plenty of customization options for users who want some more kick, and even better, the underpowered 1.46GHz Celeron M410 in our review unit has now been replaced with a selection of Intel Core Solo and Core Duo CPUs. This raises the base price to $629.99 (after rebate), but it is a worthwhile upgrade from a performance standpoint and helps it compare favorably to other reasonably priced systems, such as the Dell Latitude D820.

The Presario V5000T's black-and-silver case measures 14.0 inches wide, 10.3 inches deep, and 1.5 inches thick; it's about average for a mainstream model. The edges are nicely rounded, softening the look for a more consumer/business crossover feel. At 6.6 pounds (the AC adaptor adds another 0.85 pound), it's not something you're going to want to lug around on your shoulder all day, but the system is definitely portable enough for a daily commute. The mostly plastic construction did feel somewhat flimsy in places, especially the button that releases the latch holding down the screen when the laptop is closed.


HP Compaq Presario V5000

The Good

Inexpensive; plenty of upgrade options; CPU options recently upgraded from long-in-the-tooth Celeron M to Core Solo and Core Duo.

The Bad

Some parts feel flimsy; performance and battery life fail to impress; display is not the best for movies and games.

The Bottom Line

A budget system from HP's Compaq line, the Presario V5000T offers basic productivity and reasonable upgradability that straddles the line between consumer and small business needs.

Typing is easy, thanks to a big, comfortable keyboard with full-size keys and a large touch pad with handy horizontal and vertical scroll zones. A selection of standard ports and connections are offered, including three USB 2.0, one mini-FireWire, VGA and S-Video outputs, and an ExpressCard slot. While our review unit did not include them, a traditional Type II PC Card slot and a six-in-one memory-card reader are now standard. The built-in speakers are provided by Altec Lansing, and the sound quality was reasonably good, but music and movies will inevitably be better served by headphones or external speakers. Wireless connectivity is provided by a built-in Intel a/b/g network connection. You can add a Bluetooth option for an extra $19.

The 15.4-inch WXGA wide-screen display has a lower native resolution than we're used to at 1,280x800; many 15.4-inch screens have a 1,650x1,080 resolution. A BrightView screen option is available for an extra $25; this option keeps the same resolution but, predictably, bumps up the brightness. The glossy coating a BrightView screen gets may not be to the taste of some people, business users in particular. The wide aspect ratio offers a good amount of screen real estate, but the image looks slightly washed-out. Playing back a DVD movie gave us acceptable image quality, and with graphics provided by an integrated Intel 950 GMA, the Presario V5000T is not going to do much for high-end gamers. This is a machine that is best used for office tasks. For a more entertainment-oriented HP laptop, try a Pavilion model, such as the dv2000t.

The Presario V5000T's basic specs are low end to be sure, but pretty much everything about it can be upgraded. While the included 512MB of RAM might have been fine a year or two ago, it makes more sense to invest the extra $75 to bump it up to 1GB. HP offers an option to knock the RAM down to a mere 256MB for a paltry savings of $50, but we'd strongly advise against that. Our review unit came with the smallest available hard drive, a 40GB 5,400rpm drive. Incremental upgrades are available, from 60GB ($35) to 120GB ($175).

To keep costs down in what is intended as a budget system, the default optical drive is a basic DVD/CD-RW combo drive. It's easy enough to swap in a DVD burner for $50 or a LightScribe DVD burner for $75. HP's proprietary LightScribe technology can burn grayscale text and images onto the top of specially coated optical media. You can get fairly professional-looking results, and the cost of media has come down to about 50 cents per DVD.

Our review unit included a 1.4GHz Intel Celeron M410 CPU. The lowest-end CPU currently available is the 1.85GHz Intel Core Solo T1350. Upgrading to a Core Duo T2050 is only $45 more, while maxing out the CPU--to a 2.16GHz Core Duo T2600--will run you an additional $295. It's no surprise that the Celeron-based version of the Presario V5000T we tested did not particularly shine on CNET Labs' benchmark tests, coming in well below other recent systems, such as the Toshiba Satellite P105-S6024, in the Photoshop CS2 test but holding its own on the iTunes test. With a newer but still single-core Core Solo, you can expect a performance boost--and that goes double for the dual-core Core Duo. Battery life clocked in at a paltry 2 hours, 24 minutes, with the default 6-cell battery, not nearly enough for a cross-country plane trip or an on-the-go workday. A larger 12-cell battery is also available, but it's heavier and sticks out from the bottom of the system.

HP backs the Presario V5000T with a one-year warranty, which you can extend to three years for $185. Phone support is via a toll-free, 24/7 hotline, and the HP Web site has plenty to offer for resourceful troubleshooters, with help that includes downloads of the latest drivers and software and well-organized FAQs.

Application performance (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
iTunes AAC to MP3 conversion   
Photoshop CS2 performance   

Mobile performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2005 performance  

Battery life
(Longer bars indicate better battery life)
BAPCo MobileMark 2005 (battery life in minutes)  

Find out more about how we test Windows laptops.

System configurations:

Dell Latitude D420
Windows XP Pro; 1.2GHz Intel Core Duo U2500; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM PC2-4300 533MHz; Intel Mobile 945GM Express 224MB; Toshiba MK6008GAH 60GB 4,200rpm

HP Compaq Presario V5000T
Windows XP Home; 1.46GHz Celeron M410; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM PC2-5300 666MHz; Mobile Intel Express 945GM 128MB; Seagate Momentus 5400.2 40GB 5,400rpm

Micro Express EL80
Windows XP Home; 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo T2600; 2GB DDR2 SDRAM PC5300 666MHz; NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 256MB; Hitachi TS72108G 80GB 7,200rpm

Toshiba Satellite A105-S4074
Windows XP Home; 1.6GHz Intel Core Duo T2050; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM PC4300 533MHz; Intel 945GM Express 128MB; Toshiba MK1234GSX 120GB 5,400rpm

Toshiba Satellite P105-S6024
Windows XP Media Center; 1.6GHz Intel Core Duo T2050; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM PC4300 533MHz; Mobile Intel 945GM 128MB; Fujitsu MHV2100BH PL 100GB 5,400rpm


HP Compaq Presario V5000

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 5Battery 4Support 6