by Johnny Hsu
Since acquiring Compaq, Hewlett-Packard has faced many challenges after the much publicized merger in 2002. Surprisingly, HP continues to push the Compaq brand quite heavily, and the Presario line of notebooks continues to maintain its strong presence in the consumer computing market. Some critics contend that HP is no longer known for its innovation and invention. Instead, HP seems to be in a position of playing catch-up and re-invention. Fortunately, the company remains a great source of technology and produces many quality computers. The new Compaq Presario V2000 is a great example of a quality product that we expect from HP/Compaq. The V2000 is targeted at users who desire a small, lightweight, effective, low-cost notebook computer.
HP is rather late in targeting this consumer segment. Other foremost computer manufacturers have already entered the market with small, portable, useful computers. Apple's iBook notebook line is immensely popular with students and professionals. Sony and Dell have also released their offerings into the niche market of light-weight notebooks. Now, HP is offering the HP dv1000 and Compaq V2000 to put up a fight with their competitors.
The Compaq V2000 is the sibling to the HP DV1000. Many features and specifications are shared among both, and you may want to consider both models if you are interested in a new notebook.
|This notebook is 4 inches taller and|
2 inches wider than a college textbook.
|If you get wireless built in, this button|
will activate the wireless functionality
After completing the setup procedure - the first task I tried to accomplish was to set up the wireless network card to access my home network. As much as I hate to admit it, I was stymied for a few minutes trying to figure this out. For some reason, I couldn't get Windows XP to detect my home network. I even resorted to reading the manual and instructions, but they didn't mention anything useful about my problem. It turns out that I forgot to push the wireless network button on the V2000. I had never used a notebook that had a push-button to activate or deactivate the wireless card. I really wish Compaq had labeled the button - or at least put something in the documentation about the button. Basically, I just felt really dumb for a few minutes. Once wireless was turned on - the wireless button takes on a peaceful blue glow. It took me 5 seconds to connect to my local wireless LAN.
Compaq bundles the obligatory "free" software titles that clutter your new computer's desktop. One free software title that I am rather irritated with is the Microsoft Office 2003 demo. I understand that it would be great to have access to Microsoft Word on your brand new computer, but it makes it very tedious to install your own copy of the software. On the bright side - it seems that Compaq is very confident in the V2000 running Office 2003.
I have a very strange habit when I get a new computer. I must reformat the hard drive and use the supplied recovery discs to see if I can restore the computer back to a working condition. In the past, I have had problems with recovery items not working right. I want to know what hiccups and problems that I should expect before I am placed in a tight position and must do a reinstallation.
To my delight, setup is amazingly easy. The Windows XP disc that is shipped guided me through the setup process without any problems. The enclosed Drivers and Applications CD was also very easy to use; reinstalling my wireless drivers and Bluetooth drivers took about 20 minutes. Last, the Windows Update DVD worked great. I must commend Compaq for their work in providing these recovery and restoration utilities.
How the Notebook Performs
I threw a variety of tasks at this notebook to see how it would handle under the workload that I was anticipating. Remember, I'm just using this notebook for school use; please don't expect me to try a gambit of tests like what you see in PC World or CNET.
|Be sure to observe how far back you can open your|
screen before you hit the power plug!
|The V2000 has a vibrant and clear screen|
|This is the 6 in 1 memory reader,|
but there is no slot for CompactFlash Media
Pricing and Availability
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