Hewlett-Packard Australia Compaq Nc8230
- Lightweight, long battery life
- Easy to ruin the cheap screws on the underside of the laptop, difficult to remove the battery
A handsome design and quick-launch presentation button make this wide-screen notebook a great fit for business travellers.
Price$ 2,995.00 (AUD)
If you yearn for a wide-screen notebook for business travel and don't mind that a 15.4" model tends to engulf your lap or airline tray table, the HP Compaq Business Notebook NC8230 could be your perfect travelling and boardroom companion. It's relatively lightweight for a 15.4" widescreen notebook, at 2.71 kilograms (not counting the power adapter).
We looked at an NC8230 with a WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050 resolution screen, which is just right for most work. (HP offers two other widescreens: 1280 x 800 WXGA, and 1920 x 1200 WUXGA.)
At their default Windows settings, icons and screen elements are smaller than average at this resolution, but not eyeball-bustingly tiny. You should be able to put in several hours of work at a sitting without eyestrain, especially if you spend most of your time in graphics programs.
The NC8230 delivers blessedly long battery life: five hours and 11 minutes on one charge in our tests, which is plenty of time to hammer out a presentation during a plane ride. A port on the bottom of the laptop accepts an optional second travel battery, which would double the notebook's battery life, according to HP (we did not test it).
In the boardroom, the black and graphite NC8230 with its art-deco power button cuts a handsome figure. A quick-launch presentation button with a user-settable power scheme will get your talk off to a smooth start. The speakers stylishly flank the keyboard; though the sound they emit isn't standalone speaker quality, it is loud and rich enough for small-group presentations, and you can control it with a nice set of keyboard volume buttons.
The NC8230 is among the few laptops that do justice to dual pointing devices. Its pointing stick, located in the centre of the keyboard, is an easy-to-steer nub with a finger-friendly texture. The traditional touchpad handles well, too. Each comes with its own set of mouse buttons, including a full-size third button in the middle for scrolling documents or zooming in CAD and animation programs; this eliminates the need for an external three-button mouse or a function key combination that requires two hands. All six mouse buttons sink deep into the case when pressed, unlike the stiff buttons we've found on many other laptops. If you prefer buttons with plenty of feedback, you'll love these.
The NC8230 offers all the basic connections you'll need: three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, a TV-out port, and a stacked threesome of SD card slot, smart card security slot, and PC Card slot on the left-hand side. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi both come built in, and you even get an old-fashioned serial port.
The fixed right-hand side combination drive on our test unit let us view DVD-ROMs but burn only CDs; upgrading to a DVD burner is possible.
The NC8230 is one of the first HP laptops equipped with the new spring-loaded modular optical drive design. Just remove a security screw (which can remain uninstalled) and press the front of the drive to pop it out. It's the easiest way we've seen to swap modular bay devices.
Our review NC8230 came with 512MB of RAM, but it also offered one empty memory slot in a compartment on the bottom of the notebook. The hard drive is located in another easy-to-access compartment. Either of two optional bottom-mounting docking stations (a simple port replicator or a more advanced add-on) provide desktop convenience and additional ports.
We noted two minor design weaknesses: first, we had to take special pains to remove the bottom panels' small, cheap Phillips-head screws without stripping them. Second, removing the battery is a three-handed operation--you must hold open two sliding releases while simultaneously tugging out the battery.
Nevertheless, the NC8230 is a fine wide-screen portable; and when equipped with a 2GHz Pentium M 760, it can handle any type of mainstream work or heavy multitasking. Our review unit earned a WorldBench 5 score of 85; two similar laptops equipped with 2GHz Pentium M 755 CPUs--the Dell Latitude D600 and the Acer TravelMate 8000--scored 81 and 89, respectively.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Razer’s updated Blade Pro is the first ever THX-certified laptop
- More iPad screen sizes unlikely to stop slump
- Android struggling in tablets as Windows 10 2-in-1s come on strong
- Samsung unveils Galaxy Book, a Windows 10 tablet aimed at the Surface-curious
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- TPAgile Implementation LeadNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior BANSW
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectSA
- FTSnr Salesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- CCAutomation Developer - LinuxNSW
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!WA
- CCService Desk ConsultantACT
- FTProduct Manager / Business Analyst Clinical Solutions (Lorenzo)QLD
- FTLinux / Unix Systems AdministratorSA
- CCFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- FTGIS Software DeveloperQLD
- CCDocument Scanning OfficerACT
- CCProject Manager Retail Supply Chain OptimisationQLD
- FTDatabase DeveloperQLD
- CCBusiness Specialist - Data ManagementNSW
- CCSenior Full Stack Web Developer - Port MacquarieNSW
- TPTechnical Analyst - 6 Month Contract - Great Rates Of PayNSW
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- FTInformation Security ConsultantACT
- FTSecurity ArchitectWA
- CCNetwork Security Engineer - Finance - Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTSolutions ArchitectSA
- FTBusiness Development ManagerQLD