Manufacturing giant HP has its own entry-level Compaq Presario range, which offers home and business machines at unbelievably low prices. The Compaq Presario CQ62-220SA is a cheap and perfectly serviceable budget portable.
An Intel Celeron 900 processor provides basic performance, but good enough for browsing the web and running simple office applications such as word processors. However, if you think you’ll need to run several applications at once, you’d be better off with the Acer Aspire 5741Z.
The HP Compaq Presario CQ62-220SA has simple integrated graphics to cut costs. Unfortunately, it scored low in our benchmark tests, proving good enough only for viewing your photos and playing standard-definition movies.
HD movies are unplayable, displaying more like a slideshow, while only the most basic games, such as Bejewelled, will run well.
Battery life: 215 minutes
Mobilemark 2007: 210
3Dmark 2003: 1562
Most users will be satisfied with the 250GB of storage offered by the HP Compaq Presario CQ62-220SA, which offers enough room to store around 50,000 photos or MP3s. If you need to install a lot of software or have a large media collection, you’ll be better served by the Acer Aspire 5741Z’s 320GB hard drive.
Despite the boring black design, we were impressed by this laptop’s build quality. The firm chassis proved resistant to knocks and scuff marks, and it’s easily portable at 2.5kg, even if it is rather bulky.
The battery lasts 215 minutes between charges, which isn’t great compared to its rivals in this price point, but isn’t the worst either.
The keyboard is just as firm as the body, with slightly bevelled edges to distinguish between the keys. It’s comfortable to use, but annoyingly has a row of shortcut buttons along the left edge which we kept hitting by mistake when we wanted the Ctrl or Shift keys. The touchpad is integrated into the palmrest, and is spacious and sensitive.
The 15.6-inch Super-TFT screen is reasonably colourful, although not as vibrant as the eMachines G627-202G25Mi’s display. However, if you want to enjoy movies or music on your laptop, the integrated Altec Lansing speakers put out impressively strong sound considering the price.
If you have a wireless network at home, you can connect to the internet using 802.11n Wi-Fi. An alternative option is 10/100 Ethernet, which allows you to network by plugging the laptop directly into a modem. Other ports are standard, with three USB ports and VGA and HDMI connections available.
If your needs extend only as far as browsing the web and your photo collection, the HP Compaq Presario CQ62-220SA is a cheap and cheerful laptop that does the job. It’s well built and portable, with only a few dodgy niggles.