IoT botnets have been known for quite a while, but they gained household infamy after Mirai grabbed the headlines back in 2016.
HP Compaq Presario CQ50-114AU
Good value laptop for home users
- Easy to use, HDMI, relatively good all-round speed, stylish
- No 802.11n, no expansion slot
For running office applications, and even for some light media encoding, this laptop is ideal. It's well-suited to home users who want a second computer, or even as a first computer for the kids.
Price$ 1,099.00 (AUD)
Good looks and plenty of functionality are a couple of the traits of HP's Compaq Presario CQ50-114AU, which is a laptop that's been designed primarily with the home user in mind. It's a 15.4in model that weighs 2.8kg without its power supply, and unlike most notebooks we see, this one is based on an AMD CPU.
Specifically, it's based on an AMD Turion X2 QL-60 CPU, which is a dual-core CPU that runs at 1.9GHz and has a small 512KB of cache. It's not very quick in a straight line, but it doesn't need to be. This laptop isn't designed for running complex 3-D rendering jobs, for example, but instead for running everyday office applications, Web browsing, editing photos, watching movies and listening to music. It can also edit and encode videos and music, and it's a great unit for multitasking, too.
In WorldBench 6, it recorded a score of 64, which isn't fast. It was slow in the Adobe Photoshop and WinZip tests, but its media encoding, office application and Web browsing performance was relatively swift. This was backed up in our iTunes test, in which it took 1min 54sec to encode 53min worth of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s. This is about 45sec slower than the fastest laptops available, which is an admirable result. If you have a lot of CDs to turn into MP3s, this laptop won't disappoint. Its graphics performance wasn't as impressive though, as its score of 1055 in 3DMark06 can attest.
The notebook's NVIDIA 8200M G graphics card has its own memory, so none of the system's 2GB of RAM needs to be set aside for it, but it's not a powerful card for gaming. It will only run older games with any success. The best part of the graphics card is its HDMI output, which allows the laptop to be hooked up to a high-definition TV.
Storage space isn't an issue with this laptop as it ships with a 200GB hard drive. There is 176GB of usable space, and HP has created a recovery partition that can be accessed during start up (you need to hit F11) should you ever need to restore the system partition. A DVD burner sits in the right-hand side of the laptop. Meanwhile, the edges of the laptop are also home to three USB 2.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet, 56Kbps modem, D-Sub and HDMI ports. You also get an SD memory card slot. What the laptop lacks is an ExpressCard expansion slot, which would be useful for adding non-USB-based TV or networking adapters, for example. The lack of an expansion slot is disappointing considering the size of the laptop, especially when you consider that even the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC (FH441PA) has a PC Card slot!
The unit's built-in wireless networking is a bit of a let-down, too, as it only supports speeds up to 54Mbps in 802.11g mode. We would have liked an adapter with 802.11n to be installed, which would come in handy when using a fast ADSL2+ connection wirelessly, for example.
A full-sized keyboard with good key response makes typing on the CQ50 a comfortable experience, but the right side of the keyboard makes a 'hollow' noise when its keys are hit, which can be a little annoying. For navigation, the unit has a very large touchpad. It felt smooth during our tests and it was accurate; it didn't stick at all. Also, despite being so big, it didn't get in the way while typing. However, HP has included a touchpad toggle button just in case it does. After prolonged use, the unit didn't get overly warm, nor did its cooling fan get too loud, but it was noticeable.
The unit's build quality is also relatively solid, although we would prefer the DVD burner to be installed in the end of the base closer to the screen, so that when the laptop is lifted by the forward edges there is more reinforcement on the underside of the laptop. But this is just a minor quibble.
For watching movies, the 15.4 screen is vibrant and bright, but it does have poor vertical viewing angles. You'll have to adjust it if you change viewing positions.
HP supplies some software utilities that can tell you how your system is travelling in terms of its health; it can tell you if the battery is in good shape, if you're connected to the Internet, and if you've recently performed a backup, among other things. You get some trialware, too, which is annoying, but you can easily uninstall it. The bottom line is: this laptop is good value for money and suitable as a second computer for the home, or even as a first computer for the kids.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 2 Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 7 Plus review: Predictable and plus-sized
- 5 Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
Latest News Articles
- Apple’s new MacBook Pro: First impressions
- Microsoft teases new Surface hardware
- Fujitsu Launches a New Enterprise Thin Client Model
- Breaking down Dell's complex route back to becoming a public company
- Computex 2018: The VAIO laptop returns lighter than ever - but there's a catch
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Amazon Prime Day 2018
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 review: A budget phablet that swings above its weight
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?