HP Compaq nx6325 laptop

Dual-core processing is changing the way we look at notebooks. At one time, you’d expect a notebook to be able to run MS Office applications with ease and hopefully give you a couple of hours battery life too. Now, you can run multiple applications at once, including multimedia, and not seen any drop in performance.

The HP Compaq nx6325 is the latest budget business machine to pack the power of two cores onto one chip. However, instead of using Intel’s offering, you’ll find the AMD’s Turion 64 X2 Mobile TL-52, which is just as effective but comes with the added benefit of being 64-bit.

This means you’ll not only get great performance from standard applications but should you run 64-bit ones too, you’ll get decent speed out of those too.

The only problem is, is the notebook ships with 512MB of memory, which is mean, as you really need 1024MB to make the most of two cores. Not that we’re complaining about performance, as it ran swiftly enough but nothing flew like it should.

While we’re having a moan, the screen is a standard 15-inch panel. So, no Super-TFT coating and being a 4:3 aspect ratio panel, you’ll be running videos in a window with large black bars across the top and bottom.

The thinking behind this panel choice is two-fold – cost and the long-term belief that it’s what business users prefer. We like widescreen panels, simply because when you’re trying to work on the train or plane, the panel takes up less height, so less chance of being squashed down when the guy in front reclines his seat.

What’s better about this system is the battery life. Weighing in at 2.8kg, there is a fair degree of portability and as we managed to get well over four hours from the battery, you’ll be able to make the most of it for long periods of the day.

To help you stay active on the road, the build quality of this notebook is great. It’s solid and firm where you expect it to be and the addition of a biometric fingerprint scanner means unauthorised users are kept locked out. Business usability is supported by strong connectivity and compatibility. 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet allow for high-speed networking. The built-in optical drive supports DVD+/-RW, dual-layer discs and uses LightScribe technology for burning your own labels to disc.

Verdict

Considering the asking price, there is plenty to recommend here. While performance wasn’t as quick as we’d like – opt for more memory at the time of purchase and you’ll be happy – the build quality and battery life more than make up for it.

It’s not the perfect business notebook by any stretch of the imagination but if you’re on a tight budget, it’ll be hard to ignore.