Save up to $90! Great Deals on Norton 360 antivirus starting at just A$79.99 Get comprehensive protection with Norton 360 including Antivirus, secure VPN, a Password Manager, PC Cloud Backup, and more. All backed by 60-day Money Back Guarantee and 100% Virus Protection Promise.
Hewlett-Packard Australia Compaq Nc8230
- Lightweight, long battery life
- Easy to ruin the cheap screws on the underside of the laptop, difficult to remove the battery
A handsome design and quick-launch presentation button make this wide-screen notebook a great fit for business travellers.
Price$ 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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HyperX x Ducky One 2 Mini keyboard review: The most ambitious crossover in gaming keyboard history
- 2 ROG Zephryus G14 review: Powerful Payoff
- 3 RealMe 6 review: It's about time Oppo got some Real competition
- 4 RealMe C3 review: Fumbled fundamentals
- 5 Logitech StreamCam review: The pricey pandemic webcam you’re looking for
Latest News Articles
- Huawei hold their own with new Matebook laptops
- Razer refresh Blade lineup with 300Hz screens and 10th Gen Core processors
- HMD are pitching the Nokia 5.3 as budget-friendly and 'Android 11-ready'
- Apple ‘biggest update’ to Logic Pro X in years bring Live Loops, no native iPad app
- Tile connectivity is coming to the next generation of Intel laptops
PCW Evaluation Team
I have had the pleasure of owning notebooks from Dynabook’s predecessor Toshiba for both work and leisure in the past. Toshiba’s attention to quality of build and design of the notebooks is second to none. The re-branding to Dynabook and the launch of the new range was completed in early 2019. I am pleased to confirm that not only did Dynabook further refine what Toshiba has left off; they have set a new benchmark for the ultra-light notebook category.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review
- Dell XPS 13 (2020) review:
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G review: Speaking the language of overkill
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?