HP L2000 / Compaq V2000z / Compaq v2335 Comparison Review (pics, specs)

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by Dan, California USA

This is going to be a comparison review more than in depth into each model, and attribute.  As testing began it was obvious the HP L2000 and Compaq V2000Z are essentially the same, so benchmarks and performance sections will compare the V2000Z and the V2335US, while the style and aesthetics sections will compare the Compaq V2000 machines to the HP L2000. 

HP L2000 on the left, Compaq v2000z on the right (larger)

I am going to list any prices before taxes to keep it simple.  Add your own taxes as needed.

HP L2000 and Compaq V2000Z:

  • AMD Turion 64 ML-37 (2.0GHz/1MB L2 Cache)
  • 512MB DDR SDRAM (1x512MB)  (tested with 2x512MB)
  • 60 GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
  • DVD+/-RW/R & CD-RW Combo w/Double Layer Support
  • ATI RADEON(R) XPRESS 200M w/productivity ports
  • 54g Integ. Broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN & Bluetooth
  • 14.0″ WXGA BrightView Widescreen (1280×768)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition with SP2
  • Microsoft Works/Money
  • 12 Cell Lithium Ion Battery

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Two AMD Turion Notebooks being hatched, the v2000z (left) and L2000 (right) (larger)

Compaq V2335US:

  • Pentium M 750, with Centrino Technology (1.86GHz/2MB L2 Cache)
  • 1GB DDR SDRAM (2x512MB)
  • 100 GB 4200 RPM Hard Drive
  • DVD+/-RW/R & CD-RW Combo w/Double Layer Support
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
  • Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG WLAN & Bluetooth(TM)
  • 14.0 WXGA BrightView Widescreen (1280×768)
  • Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Pro Edition with SP2
  • Microsoft(R) Works/Money
  • 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery

Reasons for Buying

My daily workhorse, a Compaq n400c (700MHz P3, 512, 12.1″, 20GB) had to be replaced.  While very the n400c was very light, had decent battery life and was solidly built, the lack of optical drive had become a hindrance.  And it’s just plain old.  So it was time to find a new laptop, one with an optical drive, more screen space, Bluetooth and Firewire.  Battery life needed to be up to encoding live video at remote locations where power may not always be available.

I set my sights on the HP/Compaq family of 14-inch screen notebooks.  The logic was that I could use my existing Compaq AC adaptors and car chargers which are compatible.  Furthermore, with AMD and HP in my stock portfolio I thought I’d test out what I had invested in.  With the AMD powered notebooks I liked the fact the 64-bit processor would allow room for OS upgrades down the road.

Where and How Purchased

On July 1st I placed an order for a v2000z from Costco, and an identical L2000 from HPShopping.com as there were no models in retail stores at the time to base my decision.  The L2000 totaled $1168, the v2000z  $1102.  They both arrived FedEx the same day 10 days later.  HP supplied tracking info, Costco did not.

Within an hour of the laptops arriving, I was so surprised by the heat they both generated that I went to CompUSA and purchased a v2335us for $1379 that came with $180 in rebates, so the net price was $1200.  While there the salesman explained how the “Turion is much better” and I should buy an L2005 they carry, until he realized they were out of stock, and he then all of a sudden he was more than happy sell me the v2335us I wanted!   That seemed like a great deal, even though they likely gouged for the 1GB that was included, and the 4200rpm drive it came with will need to be sold and upgraded (so it’s not a bottleneck for overall performance) which will cost me money.

HP L2000 lid with LiveStrong branding displayed (larger)

After my trip to CompUSA I all of a sudden in the space of a day had 3 new laptops when I only needed one.  In my possession now were the HP L2000 (AMD powered), Compaq v2000z (AMD powered) and Compaq v2335us (Intel powered).  But only one could stay as a keeper.  I pushed and poked and ran benchmarks on each laptop to get the results for a winner.  And with 3 laptops in my hands, an AMD versus Intel battle, I figured it was a good time to do a review!

Form & Design

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Compaq v2000 atop HP L2000 (larger image)

All three laptops have the same exact shell.  The L2000 has a slightly different keyboard (more on that later), and has splashes of yellow over its black case and black keyboard.  The two Compaq’s are silver, with light grey keyboards, black lids and bases.  In my opinion, the all black look of the L2000, even with the ugly yellow (most of which can be removed), is the clear winner in aesthetics.  Using one color ties the laptop together, and gives it a much more professional look.

When it came to weighing the various laptops there was one surprise, and I can’t explain it.  All were weighed with no battery, 2x512MB Simms, empty CD-Rom.  Why the V2000Z is one ounce heavier I don’t know.

Weight measurements for each laptop as weighed by author:

  • 3lbs Compaq N400c
  • 4lbs 12.4oz  HP L2000
  • 4lbs 12.5oz Compaq V2335US
  • 4lbs 13.7oz Compaq V2000Z

The 6-cell battery was 11oz and the 12cell battery was 1lb 6oz.  The battery from the n400c was a mere 8oz.  So equipped with a 6-cell in each of these notebooks you are looking at 5.5 lbs of weight, and a 12-cell battery puts you up past 6lbs.

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The 12-cell battery causes the notebook to be raised and sloped more (larger)

Winner: L2000/V2335US

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L2000 memory module access and battery area access (larger)

Screen

HP L2000 on the left, Compaq v2000 on the right — same screens literally! (larger)

(larger)

All three laptops had the same 14″ BrightView widescreen with a native resolution of 1280×768.  Both Compaq machines had one pixel out, the L2000 had zero bad pixels.  The shiny surface of the screen took a minute to get used to, but for free or a $25 upgrade it’s the way to go — I highly recommend this option.

The first thing to do with these notebooks to improve screen appearance is turn OFF the Windows ClearType setting, why that is on by default I don’t know, I can’t stand it.

No winner — a three way tie.

Speakers

All three units share the same speakers, even with the different sound cards, I couldn’t tell any difference when playing MP3s or DVDs.

They are a huge step up from the tiny speaker on my n400c, and impressive for a laptop in my eyes (or ears I suppose I should say?).

No winner — a three way tie.

Processor and Performance (view screenshots for system processor and specs here)

Each machine took about 30 seconds to get from the pushing of the power button to on to the Windows welcome screen.

The AMD powered notebooks, the L2000 and v2000z, were handled by a 2.0GHz Turion (Lancaster) ML-37 processor.  The Compaq v2335 was moved along by an Intel Pentium M 750 processor clocking in at 1.86GHz.  The specs are detailed below.  From the photos you can see a slightly different fan setup between the Intel and the AMD machines.

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Compaq v2000 fan

L2000 fan

Both processors sit down at 800MHz while idle in portable/laptop power mode.  For browsing, word processing and most normal activity the processors both stayed down at 800MHz of clock speed, which as we will see later saves a lot of battery life, while maintaining very acceptable performance.

The AMD laptops carried Fujitsu 60GB 5400rpm drives, a nice balance of performance, speed and capacity.

The V2335 came with a Toshiba 100GB 4200rpm drive, which I did not find noticeably slower.  The capacity is overkill for me, as I don’t store content on the laptop.  If I keep the V2335 I will pull it, sell it, and buy an Hitachi 7k60 7200rpm drive for not much more than I will likely be able to sell the Toshiba drive.  For me speed wins over capacity when it comes to encoding.

Heat sensor used to take heat measurements (larger)

I pulled the 512MB out of the L2000 and put it in the V2000Z so the Compaq battle was fairer.  I think 1GB is the place to be on a laptop that loses 128MB to the shared video memory.  It makes sense to order the 512MBx1 with the laptop, and throw in a $40/$50 stick of memory from Newegg.com.  I don’t suggest ordering it configured with 1GB as HP is always going to charge more than an online retailer in the business of just selling memory, and it’s simple to install memory so you might as well take that route to save money.

As you will see from the benchmarks, these are not gaming laptops.  Just like I don’t take my Dell PC tower on the airplane, I don’t play games on laptops.  If you want a small gaming laptop start reading another review.

Benchmarks

I’ve included all the benchmarks, as that’s what a comparison review is all about.  Take your time comparing what you see as important.  For me it’s the encoding scores that garner interest, as well as the battery tests.  I loaded the AMD with 2 512MB sticks to keep it fair, so both units ran with 1GB RAM.  Both models were tested with a 12-cell battery installed.

Super Pi:

I ran the Super Pi test to calculate how long it took each processor to calculate Pi to 2 million digits both before and after running Windows Update, I say that because the results may surprise you.

 

Before Windows Update

After Windows Update

Processor

V2335

1min 48sec

1min 48sec (same)

Pentium M 750 1.86GHz 1GB

V2000Z

1min 54sec

2min 04sec (slower)

Turion64 2GHz 1GB

L2000

1min 54sec

2min 06sec (slower)

Turion64 2GHz 1GB

I don’t know what Windows update did, but the AMD processor notebooks sure didn’t like it, the processor calculation speed dropped by 10+ seconds, a degradation of nearly 10% performance.  Ouch.

Winner: Intel Pentium M based Compaq V2335

PCMark04:

 

V2000Z

V2335

System Test Suite

3028 PCMarks

3174 PCMarks

Multithreaded Test 1 / File Compression

3.07 MB/s

3.39 MB/s

Multithreaded Test 1 / File

30.46 MB/s

27.88 MB/s

Multithreaded Test 2 / File Decompression

23.81 MB/s

24.28 MB/s

Multithreaded Test 2 / Image Processing

12.24 MPixels/s

11.02 MPixels/s

Multithreaded Test 3 / Virus Scanning

1320.83 MB/s

1663.45 MB/s

Multithreaded Test 3 / Grammar Check

3.03 KB/s

2.92 KB/s

File Decryption

60.63 MB/s

55.85 MB/s

Audio Conversion

2640.12 KB/s

2560.89 KB/s

Web Page Rendering

4.76 Pages/s

5.65 Pages/s

WMV Video Compression

44.67 FPS

45.21 FPS

Video Compression DivX

46.43 FPS

51.56 FPS

Physics Calculation and 3D

61.09 FPS

88.83 FPS

Graphics Memory – 64 Lines

378.43 FPS

358.28 FPS

3DMARK05 :

 

V2000Z

V2335

3DMark Score

409 3DMarks

194 3DMarks

CPU Score

2260 CPUMarks

1786 CPUMarks

GT1 – Return To Proxycon

1.9 fps

0.8 fps

GT2 – Firefly Forest

1.3 fps

0.6 fps

GT3 – Canyon Flight

1.8 fps

0.9 fps

CPU Test 1

1.2 fps

1.1 fps

CPU Test 2

1.9 fps

1.3 fps

HDTune:

Measurement  V2000Z Fujitsu 5400RPM 60GB V2335 Toshiba 4200rpm 100GB
Transfer Rate Minimum  17.3 MB/sec  13.1 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum  34.4 MB/sec  28.1 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average  27.8 MB/sec  22.4 MB/sec
Access Time  17.9 ms  18.8 ms
Burst Rate  66.3 MB/sec  62.8 MB/sec
CPU Usage  5.9%  4.3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winner: Compaq V2000Z — the 5400rpm makes the difference.

Battery Eater Pro 2.51:

I ran these tests at the native resolution of these laptops 1268×768 32bit.  Brightness is maxed, wireless (Bluetooth and Wifi) are enabled.

For the Classic test the “Always on” Windows power scheme is used to keep the CPU pegged at 100%.  Screen savers are turned off, and all setting set to “never” so the machine doesn’t turn off the LCD, the HD or go into standby.  I also took some rudimentary temperature measurements from the base of the laptop (see pics).

For the idle test, the “laptop” power scheme is used so that each processor takes advantage of it’s speed stepping.

Both machines were tested with (optional) 12cell batteries, this raises the base of the laptop up off the desk, allowing much cooler operation.

Classic Test

Ambient Temp.

Test time (mins)

Base Temp.

Total Time Est.

V2000Z

72.4

30

83.2

2:25

V2000Z

72.0

60

83.0

2:31

V2000Z

72.4

120

83.8

2:26

V2335

72.1

30

81.3

3:08

V2335

72.8

60

81.2

3:06

V2335

72.9

120

79.5

3:05

This test shows that if you run each machine as hard as you can, you can expect the V2000Z to last just under 2 hours, while the V2335 will last another 40 minutes for just over 3 hours (on the 12 cell).  So the AMD powered unit will result in approximately 20% less battery life when the CPU is maxed.

Idle Test

Test time (mins)

Total Time Est.

V2000Z

30

4:14

V2000Z

60

4:30

V2000Z

90

4:26

V2335

30

7:06

V2335

60

6:51

V2335

90

6:36

This test is run with the CPU throttling enabled, but the screen still never turns off, nor does the HD stop.  The Pentium M helps add 2+ hours to the expected battery life, that’s about a 35% improvement.  So the low power Intel really shines while running down at 800MHz.

Winner: Compaq V2335.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Compaq v2000z keyboard (larger)

I am used to the “eraser head” that is common on the ThinkPad series of notebooks and also my Compaq n400c, but I found the touchpad on these new notebooks of mine usable.  With the wide screen, adjusting the sensitivity of the touchpad allows you to scroll across the screen without 3 swipes at it.  The default setting on all touchpads that allows tapping as a double-click alternative drives me crazy, that’s the first thing I disable.

HP L2000 keyboard (larger)

However, this is a comparison, and there is no difference between each machine’s touchpad, except the L2000 has an ugly yellow paintjob.  They all allow you to disable the touchpad with the press of a button.  That’s a bonus, allowing me to type away without bumping the cursor, while my Bluetooth mouse sits on the side ready to use.

Compaq v2000z (larger)

HP L2000 (larger)

The keyboards, however, are not the same.  The L2000 has a great, solid black keyboard with white letters/numbers.  That makes life easy in a low light situation, as keys are slightly easier to pick out.  The keyboard flex on both Compaq units makes them feel cheap, and I was surprised how different the HP L2000 was to the two Compaq keyboards.  Perhaps the L2000 keyboard is the same HP keyboard on the dv1000 notebook that everyone likes so much.  The other difference is cosmetic, the fonts and symbols on some keys are slightly different (see pics).

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HP L2000 Key fonts

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Compaq v2000 Key fonts

Winner: HP L2000

Input and Output Ports

All three units have identical ports.  I’ll list them for informational purposes:

  • 3 USB 2.0
  • 1 Audio – headphone-out
  • 1 Audio – microphone-in
  • 1 Video – VGA (15-pin)
  • 1 Video – TV-Out (S-Video)
  • 1 RJ-11 (modem)
  • 1 RJ-45 Ethernet (LAN)
  • 1 Expansion port 2
  • 1 IEEE-1394 Firewire (4-pin)

Winner: None, a three way tie.

Wireless

The L2000 and V2000Z clones use integrated Broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN and Broadcom Bluetooth wireless.  The V2335 uses the Intel Pro/Wireless 2200 802.11BG and Broadcom Bluetooth wireless.  Wireless is enabled and disabled by a button above the keyboard, or by using HP’s included management software.

I fired up Netstumbler on each machine, and let them each sit in the same place for 10mins.

  • The V2335 (Intel) found 19 Access Points
  • The V2000Z (Broadcom) found 9 Access Points
  • My old N400C found 7 Access Points (802.11 B only)

I’m not sure what’s more surprising, the fact that there were 20 Access Points within range of my home, or that the Intel chipset and antenna combo was so much more sensitive. 

Bluetooth modules are the same Broadcom units on all three machines.

Winner: Compaq V2335

Battery

The machines share the same battery, so you can use either a 6cell or 12cell.

See the test results in the benchmark section for battery performance.  It’s a clear win for the Intel setup; it puts up the same or better performance numbers than the 2GHz AMD, but uses anywhere from 20-35% less power to do it.  That’s the difference between lugging around a 1.5lb 12-cell battery versus making do with a lighter 1lb 6-cell battery.

The 12-cell not only adds double the power, but it also raises the back of the laptops up to provide a comfortable angle for typing.  However the battery only runs across of the back, making it a little unbalanced when you are trying to rest it on your lap.

Winner: Compaq V2335 

Operating System and Software

Included discs for documentation (larger)

The L2000 and V2000Z can be configured with XP Pro too, so no comparison to be made.

The software package appears to be the same, most of which I deleted.  Included programs that I axed were things such as iTunes, Office trial and so on.

Customer Support

It’s the same tech support number for all three.

Winner: None, a three way tie.

Complaints

The keyboards on the Compaq units are not up to standard.  I would go so far as to order a keyboard from an L2000 as a replacement if I knew it might work.  For me, the black lid, silver case look on both Compaq’s is a mistake, it should be all silver.

The yellow and grey graphics are a necessary branding evil on the HP L2000 LiveStrong branded notebook, they are ugly, but they can be removed easily enough (use plastic safe acetone).

Fan noise on both the L2000 and V2000Z is noticeably louder and more frequent than on the V2335.

All three laptops would benefit from retractable feet on the back of the base to help get air to the fan, and also make typing more comfortable.

Praises

The Compaq V2335 stands out among the three laptops, even though I didn’t necessarily want it to.  It won where it should have: battery life and temperature.  It tied where it counted: performance and raw power.  It lost in the only area that doesn’t really matter: 3D gaming.   The unexpected dominance in the wireless field for the v2335 was an added bonus. 

Conclusion

For me, the impulse buy V2335 stays, and the others have to go back, which is good, as CompUSA is not as great about returns as Costco and HPShopping.com.  That’s why I gave each of those laptops a first crack, having great return policies make me that much more likely to buy from them again.  With the prices being so similar, the two AMD offerings could not keep up with the Compaq Intel offering in my opinion, if there was a more pronounced price difference (i.e. the AMD based notebooks were cheaper) it’s a tougher decision.

I don’t think you can go too wrong with any of these laptops. They all compete well with much pricier offerings from Sony and IBM.  If I could have one laptop it would be the V2335, in black, with the ATI graphics card. 

No need to sell the AMD stock yet, but when it comes to mobile CPUs, Intel is still the clear winner.



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