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Laptops used to be real luxury items at one time, but along with the
mobile phone they have become smaller, cheaper and more democratised.
And this is a good thing as you can pick up a good spec’d notebook
cheap as chips. But, it the quest to hit that low-priced sweet spot,
have the manufacturers cut too many corners. We’d had Compaq’s new
Presario C700 in for review and tested whether it worth worth its £329
price tag.

The device itself is probably not the lightest laptop (3.1kg) you’d
ever buy but compared to notebooks of yesteryear (our ageing
Fujitsu-Siemens notebook that’s still going strong and can be used as
weighlifting equipment) it is a size zero model on a diet. That said
you could buy a much lightweight laptop, but your wallet will similarly
pounds lighter.

The review model we tested out was the Compaq Presario C700 C765EM . This boasts a Intel®
Celeron® Processor 550, running at 2GHz with a Level 2 cache of 1MB. It
has 1GB of memory and an 8GB SATA hard drive. It also has a super multi
DVD rewriter that can just about handle any disc you chuck at it.

The screen is a 15.4" WXGA High Definition BrightView Widescreen and it
powered by an integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 video
adapter which uses up to 251MB of memory to power the screen at a
resolution of up to 1200 by 800. The screen is able to cope with the
demands put upon it by the Aero interface that comes with Windows Vista
Home Basic. But to get maximum processing power on our side we decided
that we could live with the classic interface, which gives the rest of
the machine some needed oomph.

Review continues on next page…{mospagebreak}The laptop ticks all the boxes when it comes to connectivity, boasting
an Ethernet port, a modem and integrated wireless (802.11b/g). We were
a bit concerned when we first used the machine that there was a problem
with the wireless as it seemed to be dropping connectivity. A little
investigation revealed that the laptop was not at fault whatsoever, but
the problem was more down to the ongoing problem with Vista having the
appropriately working drivers. A few registry hacks later and the
problem ceased to exist and the connection has been rock solid ever
since.

It also comes with an integrated webcam and microphone for carrying out
those video chats. Bundled in with the laptop is integrated Altec
Lancing speakers. We must say that these were a bit of let down and the
maximum volume wasn’t that high for our liking.

In everyday use, the screen seems to be a little too heavy for the rest
of the laptop when perching it on our laps, so it would tip ever so
slightly away from us, instead of sitting flat on our laps as we are
used to. Also, the keyboard was great except for a little problem of
the space bar not working as well as could be expected. This had the
unfortunateproblemofustypingwithoutanyspacesappearingbetweenthewords.

That aside, for the price you do get quite a lot of computer. If this
was your first laptop, you wouldn’t be going far wrong and niggling
problems aside it is worth a look in.

Rating: 8/10

Picture on next page….{mospagebreak}

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