All three of the notebooks share the same general port layout, which ends up being pretty decent although nothing particularly special.

At the front of the notebooks, you have:

- Microphone jack
- Headphone jack

On the right side of the notebooks:

- USB 2.0 port
- S-Video output

Moving onto the left side of the notebooks:

- VGA output
- Ethernet jack
- Modem jack
- USB 2.0 port
- PC Card slot

And finally at the rear, you have the power connector for the AC adapter:

Although all of the notebooks in this roundup felt relatively similar in terms of build quality, the Compaq notebooks offered the most rattles right out of the box.  The culprit appears to be the hinges used to attach the display to the base of the notebook, which had far more play in them on these Compaq notebooks than on the Gateway and definitely more than on the Dell. 

The top and bottom of the Presario notebooks is a matte black plastic, while the inside and outer edges are silver.  While the black/silver color scheme can work, Compaq goes ahead and complicates it with a number of other colors or shades of silver.  For starters, there are two shades of silver on the keyboard area itself.  Then, you have the keyboard, which is this grey color that isn't aesthetically pleasing at all.  Then there are the amber LEDs that Compaq uses everywhere; Compaq should know by now that amber LEDs aren't cool anymore. Even their wireless NIC LED is blue. Why couldn't the rest of the machine follow that trend?  So, what you end up having is a notebook that is black, silver, "silver-er", grey, amber and neon blue.

The Compaq V2000

The Compaq M2000

The one design decision that Compaq did make good on was the styling of the exterior of the notebook.  The rounded corners along the edges of the notebook are very well done, and the profile of the unit is quite modern.  With the lid closed, the notebook has a very nice black/silver look, which is almost slimming - until you get an idea of how big these things are.  They aren't of a desktop replacement size, but it's tough to actually keep the word "slimming" in the last sentence without cringing. 

Compaq Presario V2000, V2000Z and M2000Z Compaq Usability


View All Comments

  • trexpesto - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    Didn't notice much about screen quality. Reply
  • cactux - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link


    Such articles are great, but you say nothing about the Linux compatibility of these PCs.
    In only 5 minutes, you could test them, using for example a Knoppix. This Linux distribution boots are works from one CD.
    This would allow you to say what works and what fails (sound, screen, nouse, etc.)

  • CB1 - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    Want Linux? Get an Acer. A version of the Acer TravelMate TM2312LCi has been sold briefly with a Linux boot disk and no OS. There is an Asian linux distro linked at Acer's website.

    HP has had an Ubuntu option available in Europe.

    I've just booted a Compaq X1000 from the latest Ubuntu live disk, and it produces a perfectly working desktop, at the correct screen resolution. I wasn't in a location to check the modem or wireless, but I doubt there would be problems. Win 2K wouldn't give me the proper screen res or colours without the Compaq driver disk.

    Short of gaming, you'll have as many issues with Win as Linux. I don't think it requires special consideration in the test.
  • nullpointerus - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    I'd love to see a test like this, too.

    In the meantime you take a look at building your own laptop from Linux-compatible parts:">
  • artifex - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    ...because a couple of weeks ago, we bought my sister a v2000z, with a 3000+ chip, for $400 or so after rebates. I think the office supply company that sold it to us figured out they screwed up, because it hasn't been that low, since :) Anyway, at these prices, look at the Sunday ads before you buy, because if one is substantially cheaper than the Gateway, like ours was, go for it instead. Reply
  • Myrandex - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    I have seen plenty of laptops for sale under $600 with 512MB ram. Well at least on a sale and not a regular price. I wouldn't buy a machine w/ 256MB of ram at all anymore :-/ Reply
  • bupkus - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    What's with these 90 day warranties? Reply
  • unclebud - Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - link

    heartily enjoyed!
    and also printing out to share with my coworkers -- the most asked question for me "is how good is this laptop?"
    can just give this to them (to read) instead...
  • MacLean - Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - link

    You can't review low price great bang for the buck laptops without including a model from Acer. The Acer AS3003 is AMD Sempron based, has WI-FI and all the of the specifications reviewed for the other models.

    I am very interested to find out how the integrated SIS Mirage 2 graphics go head to head vs. Intel and ATI.

    Hardly a beauty contest if you don't invite all the contestants.
  • CB1 - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    I too was surprised by the absence of a model from Acer. They are ubiquitous in the market here in Vancouver, and have a good reputation for quality. Their bottom end models, both Cel M and Sempron, use SiS chipsets. I could care less about gaming capabilities of the onboard video, but would really like to know about the performance and battery life of the Cel M Acers with an SiS chipset.
    Please include one when you test the new Dell model.
    Otherwise, this was a very well done and thorough test, up to the usual Anandtech standards. The idea of testing the loss leader versions was brilliant.

    Bottom end model locally is the Acer TravelMate TM2312LCi-H.

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