HP Compaq nx6110 review

£511
Price when reviewed

Like the Lenovo R50e, HP’s nx6110 is more focused on business buyers than other notebooks on test. This is because the nx6110 is from one of HP’s business ranges, with this model (part code: PY499ET) representing the entry level.

HP Compaq nx6110 review

The good news is that the chassis is identical to the more expensive models, so build quality is solid, and it comes with Windows XP Professional rather than Home. At 2.65kg it isn’t much lighter than others here, but the 328 x 268 x 38mm (WDH) dimensions make is fairly portable.

Battery life is key to portability, and the nx6110 didn’t disappoint. The 4,000mAh unit lasted over four hours during light use and over two hours when pushed hard. Only the Lenovo lasted longer overall, but the R50e doesn’t have a travel battery connector; the nx6110 has a port on the base to which you can attach a second battery (around £95) for even longer life.

We like HP’s ProtectTools Security Manager too. It allows you to change BIOS settings from within Windows and also set the Drive Lock password, adding an extra layer of protection to your data.

With a Pentium M 740 onboard, performance is another attraction. Although only slightly ahead of the AMD Sempron-equipped Mesh (with 0.70 to 0.68 overall), the HP lasted almost two hours longer on battery power under light use.

However, it’s a slight shame that you can’t add to the 512MB of PC2700 RAM without throwing some away, plus there’s only a 40GB hard disk and no DVD writer – just like the ThinkPad R50e. There are just two USB 2 ports and no card reader either, so several core components pale against the Elonex’s.

However, there’s a mini-FireWire port and dual Type II PC Card slots. An 802.11b/g radio is integrated and can easily be turned on or off with the dedicated button. Plus, there’s 10/100 Ethernet and a V.92 modem.

In the BIOS, you can uncheck the option for ‘Fan always on while on AC power’, but thankfully it isn’t a loud fan. Under heavy use, we measured 31dBA and it wasn’t an annoying noise.

There’s a lot to like about the nx6110. Its strong battery life as standard, relatively light weight and travel battery option make it an obvious contender for any business traveller. All its security options are another big plus. The problem for HP is that Lenovo offers better battery life ‘out of the box’ for just a little more cash.

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