Widescreen Centrino notebook
Hewlett Packard has extended it’s Compaq Presario notebook range with the announcement of a new series of PC’s based around the X1000 model number. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a pre-production model – a 1.5GHz Centrino powered machine equipped with a sumptuous 15.4-inch widescreen WSXGA monitor running at 1680x1050. It’s obviously the month for this kind of thing as we also review the similarly specced Dell Inspiron D800 notebook on page 40. Likewise it also features a gorgeous looking widescreen display and this one is every bit as good – so good in fact I’m inclined to believe the screens may actually come from the same factory – although the D800 outdoes the Presario thanks to its top resolution of 1920x1200. Still, at its top resolution of 1680x1050 the X1000’s display was rock steady with sharp text and lush colours – not to mention there being 33% more desktop real estate to play with thanks to the widescreen aspect ratio.
The DVD-ROM/CD-R/RW combo drive is housed on the left side of the notebook along with a PC Card slot. Other than the power socket (situated on the right side) all other connection options are located around the back of the Presario, these include VGA output, S-Video out, three USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, 56kbits/sec modem, FireWire and parallel ports. Not as obvious but perhaps most importantly the device also comes equipped with 802.11b connectivity thanks to Intel’s Centrino technology.
Being a pre-production version the X1000’s specifications are subject to change and performance may not be truly representative of the actual retail units – as it stands the X1000 was delivered with a 32MB ATI Radeon Mobility 7200 graphics chipset and 256MB of DDR SDRAM system memory. Whilst the 7200 is a decent performer it’s not up to the same standard as say the Radeon 9200 series and 256MB of system RAM is really the bare minimum — in our benchmarking these two factors did appear to hinder the systems overall performance scoring just 94 in our PCWB4 testing. I suspect this score would jump dramatically with the addition of more RAM and better graphical horsepower. Still, the X1000 series is only just starting out and already HP have announced two new models sitting at different price points – one of which provides the power we’ve just been yearning for. The X1029 will feature a 1.6GHz Pentium-M, 512MB DDR SDRAM and Radeon 9200 graphics processing. If the build quality and smart good looks of the X1000 are anything to go by the new series of Presario notebooks should be a winner for HP.