COMPAQ Presario CQ57-426EA Review
Another offering at under £300 is the Compaq Presario CQ57-426EA. I'm not sure that Compaq could have chosen a longer model name, but at least the price tag makes this an interesting laptop.
The first thing to know is that Compaq is owned by Hewlett Packard (HP) who are the worlds largest computer manufacturer giving you that reassurance of HP build quality and reliability.
The other interesting thing about the CQ57-426EA is the AMD E-300 processor which is an energy efficient processor designed to use just 18 Watts, helping to increase battery life. Of course low power draw comes at the expense of performance and we must admit that this processor is about twice as slow as the Intel Pentium Dual Core P6200 that can be found in the Fujitsu Lifebook AH530 that we reviewed earlier which is also prices at just under £300. Now when we say slower that doesn't mean it won't be up to the task of being a decent home, office or student PC, but it probably won't be as suitable for those running some intensive programs.
The manufacturer states a battery life of 5 hours which in our experiences means it will probably last 4 hours with medium usage. If we are honest, for an energy efficient laptop that isn't terribly impressive especially as it sacrifices performance for batter life.
The rest of the specification is certainly up to scratch with 4GBs of RAM and a large 500GB hard drive offer plenty of storage space for all of your media. A built in webcam and a card reader give you good multimedia features for this price range. The laptop has an AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics card which is a pleasant surprise as that is a decent card for an entry laptop. It will allow you to play older games however don't expect to run new ones. It will also make a good multimedia laptop for watching movies and videos.
We would have liked to see a little faster processor but other than that we certainly can't squabble. This will make a very nice laptop for those on a budget or on the move.