The Compaq Presario X1000 series nearly matches the Dell Latitude D800 series in almost every category, making it one of the best desktop-replacement systems on the market. It also shoehorns a lot of capabilities into a comparatively trim profile. The model we tested featured a 15.4-inch, wide-aspect display; a top-shelf 1.6GHz Pentium M processor; 512MB of RAM; and an 80GB hard drive. In our tests, it readily crunched spreadsheets, displayed presentations, and ran DVDs and games. In fact, the only mobile hot button the Presario X1000 series lacks is a DVD-rewritable drive. (The company expects to offer a DVD+R/+RW burner as an option later this summer.) If you need a desktop replacement that's easier on the shoulder than many, the Presario X1000 packs in the features without packing on the pounds.
How do you compete with the Dell Latitude D800 series, one of the best desktop-replacement notebooks on the market? The Compaq Presario X1000 series does it by fitting a long list of features into a trim (for its class) package.
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The touchpad features a power button and a separate scroll section.
Trim is a relative term, of course. The Presario X1000's wide-body dimensions (14.2 inches wide by 10.2 inches deep) may strain the seams of the typical notebook bag, but it's slightly smaller and narrower than the Latitude D800 series; both are a reasonable 1.5 inches thick. At 6.6 pounds, the Presario X1000 weighs a pound less than the Sony VAIO GRT series and 10 ounces less than the Latitude D800 series.
The notebook's extrawide base is largely due to its 15.4-inch, wide-aspect screen, which makes for an ultrasharp and detailed viewing experience when you're fighting aliens, watching a DVD, or viewing huge spreadsheets. The case also provides enough room for one of the best keyboards we've seen among current models. Its 20.0mm keys, with 2.9mm of depth, feel firm, sound quiet, and respond well. The JBL Pro stereo speakers on each side of the keyboard achieve a wide volume range, but the louder they get, the hollower they sound. Compaq also placed volume and mute buttons by the right-hand speaker for handy access.
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|The Presario X1000's firm, responsive keyboard is one of the best we've seen on current notebooks.|
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|The JBL Pro speakers sound decent when they're not pushed to the max.|
The touchpad has other conveniences: a sliver of its right side is reserved for scrolling, and an On/Off button above the pad prevents accidental cursor strokes. Two mouse buttons form a curve underneath the pad.
Currently, Compaq offers only one preconfigured Presario X1000 model, with a 1.4GHz Pentium M processor, 512MB of RAM, and a 60GB hard drive. However, the company will soon offer a multitude of configuration options. In addition to the 1.4GHz unit, the Presario X1000 will be available with a 1.3GHz, 1.5GHz, or 1.6GHz Pentium M processor, and a 40GB, 60GB, or 80GB hard drive running at 4,200rpm, or a high-performance 60GB hard drive running at 5,400rpm. All models come with a 15.4-inch screen, but you can choose among native display resolutions of 1,280x800, 1,680x1,050, and 1,920x1,200. The Presario X1000 is the first notebook we've tested with the new ATI Mobility Radeon 9200; ours came with 64MB of video memory, but you can also get 32MB. You can also opt for the older ATI Radeon 7500 with 32MB of video memory. Our test unit came with a 1.6GHz Pentium M processor, 512MB of RAM, and an 80GB hard drive.
With one notable exception, the Presario X1000 series has room for every conceivable mobile feature to make life on the road a little easier. Parallel and serial ports let you connect older input devices and peripherals, while a trio of USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire port, and an S-Video-out port hook you into newer storage and multimedia devices. You'll also find a Type II PC Card slot, audio ports, and a handy SD slot for those who want to swap files with a digital music player or a digital camera. We're surprised, however, that such a multimedia-oriented system lacks an S/PDIF optical connector for linking the notebook with a high-end set of speakers or a digital amplifier.
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|The notebook comes with a DVD/CD-RW combo drive, but a DVD burner is not an option yet.|
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|The Secure Digital (SD) slot is great for swapping files with a digital music player or a digital camera.|
At least the notebook covers communications well. The Presario X1000 series features a 56Kbps modem, integrated gigabit Ethernet, an infrared port, and Intel's Pro/Wireless 2100 802.11b radio. An optional Bluetooth adapter is also available.
What's missing? Like the Latitude D800 series, the Presario X1000 series lacks a DVD burner, although HP expects to offer one later this summer. The DVD/CD-RW combo drive on our test unit will likely satisfy all but the aspiring video editor; unfortunately, the module is not removable, so you can't swap it for a battery or another drive, as you can with the Latitude D800 series. While the Presario X1000 series can use Compaq's basic port replicator, it pales in comparison to the Latitude D800 series' vertical docking station.
In addition to Microsoft Windows XP Home, the Presario X1000 series comes with Microsoft Office Small Business Edition and an adequate group of preloaded software; upgrading to a full version of Office Pro costs $350.
Mobile application performance
The Compaq Presario X1000 may have finished last in our small roundup of systems, but in real-world use, you won't notice the Dell Latitude D800's slight advantage. The Acer TravelMate 800, on the other hand, decisively beat both systems and remains the current mobile-performance leader among all of the notebooks we've tested.
Mobile application performance (Longer bars indicate better performance)
To measure mobile application performance and battery life, CNET Labs uses BAPCo's MobileMark2002. MobileMark measures both application performance and battery life concurrently using a number of popular applications (Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Excel 2002, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, Microsoft Outlook 2002, Netscape Communicator 6.0, WinZip Computing WinZip 8.0, McAfee VirusScan 5.13, Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1, and Macromedia Flash 5.0).
Although technically the Presario X1000 came in last in maximum-performance tests, it battled the Latitude D800 to a near standstill. The Latitude D800 beat the Presario X1000 on Internet-content-creation applications, while the exact opposite occurred on office-productivity applications. Overall, the Latitude D800 held a slight advantage; however, neither system could catch the TravelMate 800.
Maximum application performance test (Longer bars indicate better performance)
To measure maximum notebook application performance, CNET Labs uses BAPCo's SysMark2002, an industry-standard benchmark. Using off-the-shelf applications, SysMark measures a desktop's performance using office-productivity applications (such as Microsoft Office and McAfee VirusScan) and Internet-content-creation applications (such as Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Dreamweaver).