Hewlett-Packard Australia Compaq Presario V6610AU
- Design, Altec Lansing speakers
- Lacks features for its price bracket, screen brightness
This system is intended to be a value system when compared to HP's Pavilion range, offering fewer features and slower performance. Unfortunately it isn't priced accordingly.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
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Although the Compaq Presario range aims for value before power and style, the new design used on notebooks such as this HP Compaq Presario (V6610) looks suave and isn't totally devoid of useful features.
It's an AMD-based system, using the AMD Turion X2 TL-60 mobile chip running at 2GHz, with a solid 2GB of DDR2 RAM and a basic NVIDIA 7150M graphics chip. It's not a powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination, but is an acceptable choice for word processing, surfing the Web and watching the occasional movie.
A DVD re-writer is installed and the internal Altec Lansing speakers produce fairly decent sound, though they lack bass. Overall though this unit works well as a portable DVD player, should you find yourself on the road a lot. A 160GB hard drive is installed, though a small portion of it has been siphoned off as a system recovery partition. However, the remaining space is still plenty for the average Joe hoping to store some movies, music, documents and install some applications.
There's no internal camera on this model, but there is a digital array microphone. In terms of media functionality it has the basics, including volume control and quick access to HP's QuickPlay software. QuickPlay is a media centre-type software suite that can be quite useful as a light replacement for Microsoft's own Windows Media Center. However, if you prefer Microsoft's media toy, Windows Vista Home Premium has been pre-installed, so Media Center is included in the package.
Although we appreciate having these basic shortcuts for volume and QuickPlay, the layout doesn't quite compare to the HP Pavilion range, which trumps the Compaq Presario's with function and style. Still, it's enough to make this notebook that little bit more interesting. Ultimately, though, the Presario v6610 is lacking for its price. Although HP's own Pavilion Entertainment PC (dv2633TX) Verve Intel-based notebook got comparable benchmarks results (though slightly better), for the extra $200 it offers more features, including a LightScribe DVD drive and an HDMI port.
The 15.4in screen isn't quite as good as it should be, presenting fairly average brightness and contrast levels, and the viewing angle is about as poor as most notebooks in this price bracket. The resolution of 1280x800 is fairly normal for this sized screen.
In the benchmarks we got what we expected to get. In WorldBench 6 it scored a total 62, a palatable score in this price bracket, but a little below the Intel-based HP Pavilion 'Verve', which scored 69. In the MP3 encoding tests it took the Compaq Presario v6610 109sec to encode 53 minutes worth of WAV files using iTunes, then 137sec using Cdex (Cdex uses just one core of the CPU). These results are considerably slower than the comparably priced Intel-based system. In the DVD rundown battery test, the HP Compaq v6610 performed on par with other comparable systems, lasting 135 minutes.
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