compaq vs. hp

I am debating between an <A HREF="" target="_new">hp pavilion ze4145 notebook</A> and a <A HREF="" target="_new">Compaq Presario 915us notebook</A>. The specs are almost identical, except for an extra 256MB of ram in the hp which is offset by it costing $100 more.

I do like the form of the compaq better, but definately want 512mb of ram, which I would install myself.

I would like to know what others opinions are on both of these models/manufacturers. There are not many reviews online. This machine will be used mainly for programming purposes, so it must be reliable. Thanks to all.

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  1. I would recommend the Compaq, just because I prefer Compaq. I have had experience with both manufacturers, and the overall impression i got was that the Compaq was a more "suited to your need" notebook, whereas the HP is a no hassle, no fuss and no extras! Im pretty sure you can get an extra 256MB of RAM for the Compaq for less than $100, and I also just noticed that the Compaq doesnt have Ethernet port (which the HP does), although it does have a better graphics card (ATI Mobility Radeon - vs ATI IGP [Radeon])

    I'd go for the compaq, but id prefer to have a LAN card. Have you looked at other manufacturers such as Dell?

    Dell Inspiron 8200
    Intel Pentium 4 1.7GHz
    15" UXGA TFT
    ATI Mobility Radeon 9000
    384MB DDR
    30GB IBM HDD
    8x DVD
    24x CD-R/RW

    Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
  2. My first leanings were toward the Compaq, but as I said above, I then saw the HP with extra ram I thought it would be just as good.

    Also, I had assumed the the ATI Mobility Radeon (in the HP) was the same as the IGP in the Compaq. What chipset is the HP using if it is NOT using IGP? I think the only other ddr capable chipset out there is the SIS.

    As for the Dell, it is just too expensive. Plus I don't like the idea that the intel chips run at half speed while under battery.

  3. I haven't really researched, i think that the Compaqs wouldnt be as fully "integrated" as the HPs, but i think that they've got pretty much the same performance.

    i'll get back to you, but i dont think 256MB RAM is really worth $100.

    - Well you're right, they both have the Radeon IGP. I personally prefer the look and feel of the Compaq too. maybe if you could see them first hand, you could decide for yourself.

    btw, i hate the newHP website. it sux. the Compaq and HP separate websites used to be much better<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by RaPTuRe on 11/23/02 01:46 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  4. I have seen and used the Compaq 900 series. I like them. I guess its all a question of wether the ram is worth the money.

    Actually, I just checked, and if I order the hp through their website. I can get a free bag too. Kinda nice. Maybe I'll swing by Best Buy tonight and play with them some more. It's tough as I need to decide this weekend.

    Maybe I should just spend alittle extra for a dell.

  5. More on the dell note, what do you know about Intel's mobile solutions? I just know that the mobile pentium 4 runs at half speed while on batteries. Do you have any thoughts on them? Thanks!

  6. Firstly, you won't be dissappointed with a Dell. The 4150, and 8200 are the best IMO.

    The P4-m does not run at 1/2 speed on batts. It runs speedstep, i.e. my 1.7GHz will clock down to 1.2GHz, but you can control that, i.e. u can switch it on or off.

    I prefer AMD, better price, much better performance. if you get a P4-m 1.7GHz, don't expect it to perform even nearly the same as the AthlonXP 1800+. But Intel have much more support in terms of chipsets etc.

    If you want graphics ability, you have to go for intel, simply because of their chipsets' support for good graphics chips.

    The Radeon IGP is the best you can get for AMD (and its not bad at all)

    Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
  7. I have pretty much decided on a Dell. It is either going to be the Inspiron 8200 or the SmartStep 250N. Most likely the Inspiron due to it's slightly smaller form factor, and broader range of configurations.

    I actually pinged a friend of mine concerning the Dell's, and he said that I should skimp on the ram and replace it with crucial memory myself. The reasoning being that Dell uses cheap ram but charges you alot for it. Do you have any thoughts on this? I'm going to examine the costs associated with it and decide for myself.

    Thanks for all your input. I'll post the specs of the machine I order later tonight!

  8. You won't regret it. I dont like the smartstep because it uses a desktop P4 processor (which means it does run at 1/2 speed when on batts).

    I agree with your idea about the RAM, in fact, I was going to do that, but then Dell offered an upgrade to 384MB for free so naturally... But the RAM that I did get with the machine, is of surprisingly High Quality. I am impressed.

    When you choose your config, post it, and I'll give u a couple of suggestions if you'd like.


    Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
  9. Thanks again for all your input. Here are my system specs...

    Dell Inspiron 8200
    Mobile Intel Pentium 4 1.8 GHz
    15.1in UXGA Screen
    384MB Ram (free upgrade, but I ordered a 256MB SODIMM from crucial as it was cheaper, and I plan on swapping out the 128 MB stick from the dell and selling it. Total savings on my part are about 60 bucks!)
    40GB 5400rmp HD
    GeForce4 Go 32MB (Couldn't justify the Radeon 9000)
    Combo DVD/CDRW Drive
    Windows XP Pro
    Extra Li-ion battery.
    Standard Nylon Case.

    ...all in all I'm really happy with the configuration. It should arrive early next week sometime.

  10. That looks really good,
    -CPU is good, (to me, CPU speed makes no real difference to my life, my 3DMark Score beats that of most 2.2GHz P4-m's, and thats what I care about, and if I need to encode DivX or something, I'll just use my AMD desktop)
    -15.1" UXGA is beautiful, but you'd be surprised what a difference the Ultra Sharp UXGA makes - I couldnt afford it)
    -Looks like you've got a good deal with the RAM too.
    -Those 5400rpm hardrives are beauts, but they suck up a bit more power, thou you should check to see if it's a Toshiba HDD or an IBM HDD, because the Toshibas used to cause havoc with DVD drives, but hopefully they've fixed that, otherwise download new drivers)
    -GF4 GO 440 32MB, is a nice graphics chip, and from what you've told me it should server your needs (you can upgrade it a year or so down the road if you want).
    -The Combo Drive sounds good, is it the 16x CD-R or the 24x CD-R? (i dont like combos)
    with two batteries, you'll be away from the wall for 5 hours, if you are just typing and stuff.
    -The Nylon case is really high quality, but i find that it is almost too small for the I8200, mine just fits with the charger.

    I Wish you luck, I hope you enjoy.

    Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
  11. Just a quick question...

    How can I access the different speed steps that the mobile p4 offers? Basically, I want to make sure that while I'm plugged in I'm running at full speed, and when i'm on batteries that I'm stepping appropriately. Thanks!

  12. You have two speeds, Full speed (or normal speed), and Speedstep (Predefined). I.E. a 1.7GHz P4-m speedsteps to 1.2GHz. When you set your notebook for "Maximum Battery" Power scheme, Speedstep will be activated provided that Speedstep is enabled in the BIOS (Which it is by default), "Always On" will run at fullspeed all the time. When Speedstep is on, it can switch between Full speed and SpeedStep almost instantly.

    Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
  13. These two models make from a same OEM manufactory (Quanta) and they only have a little bit differece. If you can install extra ram by youself, I think that Compaq Presario 915us is a better choice. You can save a lot money to upgrade your notebook or do anything you want.
  14. Ever since HP aquired Compaq their products are getting more and more identical. I believe the New 900Us models have the same motherboard as the Hp ze4000 series. Thanks my opinion.

    My heatware: dannybek
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  15. Wait - I missed something - what made you choose the Dell? I didn't catch why that was better than the Compaq which I think you started out preferring.

    I'm asking because I need a laptop and have similar requirements.


    BTW I just came from a Gateway store and got this quote. Any comments?
    model 600S
    P4-Mobile 2.0 GHz
    512 DDR SDRAM (266 MHz; in 2 modules; max is 1 GB)
    30 GB
    15" XGA, 1024 x 768
    and a few other things they said are better-than-average: "High Capacity" battery; Intel Pro 10/100 VE Network connection; SoundBlaster Pro; ATI Mobility Radeon 900 Video w/ 64 MB DDR. (I don't need networking or video-game graphics, actually)
    $1599 with 1 year warranty; add $119 for 3-year
  16. The Dell is better than the compaq in many respects. The modular bays was a big plus, the fact that you could get almost 6hrs battery with two batteries together, the UXGA TFT display, and the Dell was cheaper. Another thing is that you can customize the Dell.

    In my experience, I would stay away from Gateway. They often cut corners and sacrifice quality to improve the price. For one thing look at the XGA monitor (thats 1024x768) I could never go back to an XGA 15" from a UXGA 15" (especially with UltraSharp - increased viewing angles, contrast, and response times).

    Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
  17. Okay, that's good to know. But I'm curious whether the cutting corners / lower quality of Gateway (or other brands... any I should know about?) is going to matter given the fact that all laptops are somewhat fragile and have to replaced rather than upgraded in a few years when they're out dated anyhow.

  18. The main thing that I would make sure about is build quality. The actual of quality brands like Sager (and some of the Gateways I've used) were rather shocking. I'm not saying that the Dell is anything special, the construction quality is mediocre to good at best. If you want a high quality, sturdy machine you will PAY for it. IMO the Dell was the best compromise.

    The other reason that I bought the Dell is that the graphics card, CPU, Hard Drive, Memory, DVD ROM, CD-R/RW is all upgradable.

    Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
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