MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
Hewlett-Packard Australia Compaq nx7400
- Outstanding battery life, Competitive price, Wi-Fi, Solid performance, Quiet
- Not ideal for games, Below average speakers
Outstanding battery life and solid performance make this an excellent choice for mobile professionals. If you don’t want to play games, this is an ideal machine.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
The HP Compaq nx7400 is an affordable all-purpose notebook with solid overall performance and outstanding battery life. It will suit those looking for a notebook unit that can comfortably perform office functions and play some basic digital media, but don't expect to use this unit for heavy duty gaming.
The nx7400 comes with a 1.66GHz Core Duo T2300 processor, 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM, a 60GB hard disk and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive. Wireless networking (802.11a/b/g) is included in addition to wired networking via side Ethernet and Modem ports. Unfortunately, the nx7400 doesn't include any other wireless features, such as Bluetooth or infrared. Instead, three USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, a FireWire 400 port and a standard 15-pin D-sub port for external monitor connection are present. A Kensington lock is also located on the left hand side for extra security.
The Compaq nx7400 received a World Bench 5 score of 78, which is fairly standard for a machine with these specifications. It does rely on integrated graphics (Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950) with up to 128MB video memory taken from the RAM. As such, it was no surprise to see this notebook exhibited lacklustre performance under 3DMark 2001 SE with a score of just 4842. It is important to note that the nx7400 isn't targeted at gamers though.
Coming with a 15.4in widescreen XGA display, it has a resolution of 1280x800 pixels and is clear and crisp for most uses. Unfortunately however, although the display is a good size, the screen is quite dark even with brightness settings at their highest. This is especially evident when watching DVD movies, with most dark scenes suffering a visible lack of clarity. The nx7400 display as a whole is sturdy enough though, showing minimal distortion when flexed.
Where the nx7400 shines is battery life, lasting a whopping 219 minutes during our DVD playback test using MobileMark 2005. This is an excellent result to say the least, making it perfect for slightly longer trips away from AC power. For those who travel frequently, the nx7400's battery life is ideal. We are pleased to report that the nx7400 is also a very quiet machine; fan noise was only audible during heavy load times and even so, the noise was barely noticeable. The unit didn't get noticeably hot either, so it should be comfortable for long periods of use.
Aesthetically, the unit is quite standard for a business notebook. It measures 357mm x 260.0 mm x 28mm and weighs 2.54kg. The nx7400 has a dark grey colour scheme with a matte black finish inside, and the top of the clamshell is emblazoned with a small silver and black HP logo. Flipped open, the nx7400 reveals a comfortable keyboard and a standard two button touchpad with scrolling pad that we found to be quite responsive. The touchpad buttons were easy to press and comfortable to use with both hands. On each side of the keyboard are speakers, but they aren't very loud; if you wish to watch DVD movies, perhaps a wise investment would be a decent set of speakers to obtain better sound quality. Mute and volume buttons are located above the keyboard for easy access.
HP claims the nx7400 is Windows Vista Capable, but we'd suggest buying more RAM as Vista requires a 1GB to run comfortably. The nx7400 also includes a one year limited warranty and toll-free 24-hour hardware technical phone support.
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