HP Compaq 6730b review
Next to the chrome-effect splendour of the HP DV7, the 6730b looks more than a little understated. But, compared to the average business laptop, the HP is cut from a rather classier cloth.
The wide, silver lid is complemented by a two-tone interior comprised of silver pinstripes and matte black, and its monochromatic colour palette lends it an air of professionalism. It doesn’t just look good, though – the 6730b is eminently comfortable in use.
The keyboard is a delight: its keys respond with a soft but positive action. The trackpad is worth singling out for praise too. Its width makes for precise cursor control and the two rubberised buttons have a light action and delicate feel under the finger.
Meanwhile, the row of touch-sensitive buttons above the keyboard’s top edge launch a presentation mode, toggle the wireless radios, and adjust or mute the volume of the surprisingly capable speakers.
The specification is equally suited to life as a hard-working laptop. There may be no Blu-ray or high-definition display, but the Intel P8400 processor is one of the fastest on test and helped the 6730b to a score of 1.08 in our benchmarks. A single 2GB stick of memory leaves the second slot open for future expansion, while a 160GB hard disk and DVD writer cover the storage side of things.
Battery life is impressive, with the HP managing 5hrs 34mins away from the mains. Pushing the HP as hard as we could with screen brightness at full, this reduced to 1hr 28mins.
The only mild disappointment is the HP’s display. Its 1,280 x 800 resolution stretches across a 15.4in diagonal and has a matte anti-glare finish. This minimises distracting reflections under bright lighting, but image quality is wayward. Colours appear muted and a slightly bluish cast leaves skin tones looking pallid and unnatural.
The HP Compaq 6730b is a fine business laptop, but despite its array of talents it can’t quite measure up to the best at this price. The consumer models here offer more at a similar price and our A-Listed business laptop, the Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN, also matches it, despite weighing 760g less.
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||357 x 264 x 44mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo P8400|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel GM45|
|SODIMM sockets free||1|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,280|
|Resolution screen vertical||800|
|Resolution||1280 x 800|
|Graphics chipset||Intel GMA X4500HD|
|Graphics card RAM||64MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Toshiba MK1652GSX|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||TSSTcorp TS-L633L|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||yes|
|Wireless key-combination switch||no|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||4|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||SoundMAX HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Front edge|
|Hardware volume control?||yes|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||334|
|Battery life, heavy use||88|
|Overall application benchmark score||1.08|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||5fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows Vista Business|
|OS family||Windows Vista|
|Recovery method||Recovery partition|
|Software supplied||Windows XP downgrade discs|