Experiences with HP, Compaq?

D. Michael McFarland dmmcf at uiuc.edu
Wed Dec 24 10:47:14 PST 2003

Martin Cracauer <cracauer at cons.org> writes:

> I looked at some rebated HP/Compaq models at BestBuy yesterday.  The
> cheap celeron models I was looking at had no firewire and only USB
> 1.1.  You want to make sure those you are looking at have 2.0.

Good point.  Unfortunately, it eliminates both my original choices.

>>     For about that same price, Best Buy has an eMachines laptop w/17"
>> widescreen (1280x768) LCD, the same Athlon-M, and the same ATI video
>> chip.
> I looked at that part yesterday.[...]

> Anyway, I had a closer look and the whole thing feels so flimsy and
> cheap mechanically-wise that I am pretty much put off it.  I might
> have a second look these days but I really wouldn't like to buy a
> notebook with a keyboard that breaks.

I looked at the M5312 (the Athlon version), and was mildly impressed.
Then I tracked down a somewhat Linux- and FreeBSD-savvy tech (Who'd've
thought?), who expressed some concerns about eMachines hardware.  I
came away thinking that if I wanted to run Windows, that notebook
would be a great bargain, but for what I have in mind it might add
another layer of annoyance.

I've since raised my sights a little (aye, there he goes, right down
the slippery slope), and am looking at the Compaq 2580US, which is a
little newer than the models I started with (e.g., USB 2) but looks
similar enough in most of the hardware details that I can believe I
could get most features to work.  But feel free to contradict me---I
hate spending money, even on computers. :-)


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