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(Pocket-lint) - HP has recently knocked Dell off the number one spot for best notebook seller in the world, according to figures from analyst firm IDC, and it has done this with an aggressive pricing policy and a range of machines that more than live up to expectations.

The HP Compaq nx7300 is one just machine that is ideal for use either for a small business or in the home where basic tasks, such as using the internet for home work or home projects needing a PC are needed. For the price you’ll find an impressive specification. Fitted with an Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 chip, which runs at 1.66GHz, this may not be the fastest chip in the range but as it’s dual-core, it’s nibble enough to run most tasks without too much stress. Couple with 1024MB of memory and a 80GB hard drive, you won’t need to upgrade this machine for some time.

The chassis itself comes with a 15.4-inch widescreen panel, which dominates the size and shape of the machine. The screen has a standard finish so while images aren’t glossy and pinpoint sharp, it’s a good screen for the money, as it’s bright and clear. Graphics come as part of the chipset so are the most basic on offer, which limits what you can actually run but as long as your needs are simple, it’s fine. You’ll find little rubber stoppers are the case, which stops the screen from rubbing against the keys when in transit, which is a nice touch and helps prolong the life of the screen.

We were surprised to find the notebook weighed in at a reasonable 2.7kg, so could well be carried on shorter journeys. Less impressive was the battery life or just over 2 hours from a single charge, so you may well need to invest in second battery or take the power brick with you, which adds to the overall burden.

What really strikes you with this machine is the build quality, which is solid and robust, particularly for a budget notebook. The keyboard offers large keys that are firmly attached and comfortable to use. The touchpad and mouse buttons are also great to use.

Rounding out the rest of the machine is a multi-format DVD rewriter for watching movies or simple backing up your files. Connections are standard, with 802.11g Wi-Fi, 10/100 Ethernet and three USB ports scattered around the casing.


In terms of power and performance there are equally impressive notebooks in the same price point as the HP Compaq nx7300 and ones that certainly offer more in the way of battery life.

However, what this machine delivers is an overall quality that almost guarantees a long and productive life and for that reason alone, we like it.

Writing by Mike Browne. Originally published on 3 May 2007.