Review: This notebook is all business

The Compaq 6910p sets out to be a reliable business notebook and it does that well, but some bells and whistles would have been nice.

When I rebooted on AC power it was completely locked-up, all I could do was reinstall from the bundled Vista DVD. Which I did. However, it refused to accept the license key (pasted to the bottom of the notebook) as valid. I know Microsoft doesn't want you to install on Vista license on multiple machines, but I'd think re-installing it on the same machine would be acceptable.

I ignored the annoying pop-up messages and used the notebook without incident until, 30 days later; I was completely locked-out of Vista. An hour on the phone with a sympathetic HP-contracted technical support contact and a number of complicated workarounds couldn't resolve the license key issue. Not wanting to deal with Microsoft technical support, and being at the end of the loan period anyway, I got to a command prompt in safe mode, copied my files to USB key, and shipped the unit back to HP. Who says a little DOS command knowledge can't still come in handy these days?

While I can't fully blame HP for the Vista issues, it would be nice to see the vendors use their muscle to push Microsoft towards a more user-friendly licensing and anti-piracy regime.

Summary

While it would be nice to see HP get more creative by bringing some of their consumer innovations to their business lineup, as a business notebook the 6910p stacks up well with the Lenovo ThinkPads of the world and its other competitors in the space. Starting at US$1399, it's a good fit for the businessperson requiring a notebook for a mix of road and office use.

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Jeff Jedras

ITBusiness.ca
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