Quantcast Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

Closed Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5
    Rep Power
    22

    Default Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

    by Andy Kean, Canada

    src="/assets/13024.JavaScript">

    Overview

    The Compaq R4125CA is a pre-configured version of the Compaq R4000 notebook and, along with Hewlett Packard's version which is almost identical, the HP Pavilion zv6000, (HP and Compaq being the same company of course) is often referred to as the best "bang for buck" notebook on the market today. It can be used as a full desktop replacement notebook, which is one of the reasons I opted for it myself.

    Below are the notebook's specifications as reviewed:

    • Compaq Presario R4125CA
    • Processor: 2.2 GHz AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3500+
    • Memory: 512MB (2 x 256MB) 333MHz DDR (Max. 2048MB)
    • Video: ATI Radeon XPRESS 200M IGP (128MB Dedicated Memory)
    • Display: 15.4" WXGA High-Definition BrightView Widescreen Display
    • Hard Drive: 100GB (4200 RPM)
    • Optical Drive: DVD R/RW and CD-RW Combo Drive with Double Layer Support
    • Fax/Modem: High Speed 56k Modem
    • Network Card: Integrated 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN
    • Wireless: 54g 802.11b/g WLAN with SpeedBooster and BroadRange support
    • Power: 8 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
    • Microsoft Windows XP Home with SP2

    Purchasing

    For me, it was the first time I had purchased a notebook. Up until now I had always relied on Desktop Computers, apart from older notebooks supplied to me by work that I had used. I was looking for the best value for money and I didn't have the budget to go much over $1,500 CAD. The main purpose was to use the notebook as a desktop replacement, so mobility wasn't the biggest concern for me, however would be a nice bonus. So when I saw this notebook as a special at the local Futureshop I was immediately interested. After some research I decided this was the notebook for me.

    Generally I like to order straight from the Manufacturer, eliminating any middleman, however with the notebook being $100 cheaper at Futureshop than directly from HP/Compaq, and the opportunity to receive a free D-Link wireless router along with half price on a new EPSON printer (both after mail-in rebates) I took the plunge and made the purchase. Total Price for me was $1,459 CAD plus taxes, made up of the laptop for $1,399 CAD and the EPSON printer for $60 CAD (after mail in rebates as above). For what I received I believe I got a great deal.

    Build and Design

    The R4125CA is packed full of power, but along with the power comes quite a hefty notebook. It weighs in at 7.85 lbs, so it's not the heaviest notebook out there, but it's definitely a lot heavier than a lot of the smaller, slim line notebooks on the market. With a good carry case though it is definitely easily carried and transported. As I looked at it lined up in the store next to various models including Sony's and Toshiba's, it definitely stood out as having some bulk. However it is very well put together. The screen tilts back to almost lie flat and whichever position you choose it stays steady. The hinges feel safe and secure even when "wobbled".

    The inside of the notebook (around the screen and the whole bottom section, including the keyboard) is finished in silver whilst the outside casing is a dark blue/black color. It all comes together nicely, making a very good looking notebook. All in all the laptop is put together well and it feels safe and secure, it doesn't feel like you could break any part of it with too much ease, unless you really tried to.

    Compaq R4000 above view (view larger image)

    Screen

    Half-Life 2 shown off on the screen of the Compaq R4000 (view larger image)

    The 15.4" widescreen display is a thing of beauty. Packed with BrightView technology, which is HP/Compaq's marketing name for latest in anti-reflective LCD screen technology, it really gives off a nice clear, crisp picture. By holding down the function key and pressing F7 (to decrease brightness) or F8 (to increase brightness) you can adjust the brightness, there is also a built in function which automatically decreases brightness when unplugged from AC Power, to decrease battery consumption. I am happy to report that I have no dead pixels or dead areas whatsoever on the screen, however if there was this would be something covered by the standard 1 year warranty.

    Like most LCD screens if you are not sitting in the right position the screen can appear dark. However the screen is easily adjusted and so this should not be a problem. The only times it has come into play is if I am trying to show someone else something on the screen, if they are at a different viewing angle they will struggle to see until the screens angle is adjusted. The screen has a maximum resolution of 1280 x 800.

    Speakers

    This notebook has two Altec Lansing speakers located at the very front. The sound that is given out is of a very high, clear, crisp quality for a laptop. I find it perfect for the casual game playing and listening to CD's and music that I do. For much more than this, like regular movie watching and more extreme gaming, external speakers would be recommended (or quality headphones if you don't want to disturb anyone). There is no built in microphone and an external one will need to be purchased if this is something you require.
     
    Processor and Performance

    As stated the notebook came with a 2.2 GHz AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3500+. It has the Cool'n'Quiet feature which is nice. Basically it means that the processor runs much lower than capable when it is not required (eg. General windows work) however as soon as the extra power is needed, it speeds up to meet any gaming or graphic intensive needs. This is a great feature for not only preserving much needed battery life, but keeps the laptop cooler and prolongs the life of the processor itself. It took 52 seconds from pushing the power button to reaching the Windows XP logon screen. The 100GB hard drive that it comes with runs at only 4200RPM which can be noticeable when it is being accessed. This, along with only 512mb RAM has meant that loading games can take a little bit longer than is hoped for, however these are two aspects that can easily be upgraded if required. Personally the performance of the notebook for me is great, and runs all necessary tasks with ease. Only after it has just booted up do you notice any slow down of opening programs, however this could be my individual setup of startup programs and antivirus software. I have played both Splinter Cell and Half-Life 2 on this laptop with ease, both however on medium settings. The graphics card seems to play its part nicely for my gaming needs and provides crisp graphics with minimal slowdowns.

    Benchmarks

    I ran two main benchmark tests on the laptop. Firstly I ran Super Pi which calculated Pi to 2 million digits. This took the notebook 1 minute and 48 seconds to calculate.

    Secondly I ran the popular 3DMark05 software by futuremark. A screenshot is attached with the results but it returned a final score of 730 at a resolution of 1024 x 728.

    3DMark 05 Results (view larger image)

    Keyboard and Touchpad

    Compaq R4000 keyboard and touchpad view (view larger image)

    The Keyboard feels great on the R4125CA. The keys are easily pressed and all the important keys are regular sized. Things like the Windows key and function keys are reduced in size to fit in. I found that after being a desktop and therefore "regular" keyboard user for most of my computing life, the transition to this keyboard was very minor. There is no flexing on the keyboard either. Above the keyboard you will find the power button, along with three sound buttons (increase sound, decrease sound, and mute) as well as a very convenient Wireless button, which means you can turn the wireless function of the notebook on or off to suit the environment you're in at the time, and again conserve battery life.

    The touchpad is fairly easy to use also, and has the standard left and right "click" buttons underneath it. The built in "scroll bar" on the touchpad can be very easy to touch whilst you are typing. However the touchpad has a convenient on/off switch (located just above the touchpad) meaning that this is pretty much redundant if you are using a regular mouse.

    The notebook makes very good use of "lighting". By this I mean everything that needs to have a lighting indicator, does. From the Caps and Scroll lock lights adjacent to the appropriate keys, to the blue lighting on the wireless switch, it is always clear exactly what is switched on, and what isn't. A nice feature in my opinion.

    Input and Output Ports

    The R4125CA has a number of input and output ports to please most. They are as follow:

    • Standard Headphone and Microphone ports
    • Firewire
    • 4 x USB 2.0 ports
    • 1 x Expansion Port 2 Connector
    • 1 x RJ-45 (LAN) port
    • 1 x TV-Out (S-Video)
    • 1 x VGA Port (for connecting an external monitor)
    • 1 x Modem port
    • 1 x Memory Card Reader

    The memory card reader for me was a nice bonus and reads most of the common memory card formats. It works great with my Sony memory stick for a quick transfer of pictures !

    Compaq R4000 left side view (view larger image)

    Compaq R4000 right side view (view larger image)

    Compaq R4000 front side view (view larger image)

    Back side view of Compaq R4000 (view larger image)

    Wireless

    Wireless is a feature I really hadn't used before so I was a little bit anxious as to how it would pan out. Equipped with the free D-Link router that I received as part of the Futureshop package, I was ready to set up my first home wireless network. As soon as the router was set up the pre installed HP Wireless software immediately detected the access point and I was up and running in no time. For me the wireless in this notebook works great. It had great range as my router was situated 2 stories down in the basement and I was picking up the connection fine, although I'm not sure if this is a testament to the notebook or the range on the router. There is however no Bluetooth or infrared built in, which did not affect me too much, but may turn off people who use this kind of wireless connectivity.

    Battery

    As I have stated, I was planning to have this notebook plugged into power for the most part, so battery life was not the biggest concern for me. This package comes with the 8-cell battery, and if mobility is important to you with this laptop, it would be wise to upgrade to a 12 cell battery or get a spare. The advertised battery life was 3 hours; however I have found it to be closer to around 2 hours and 15 minutes. However turning options off like wireless, and keeping screen brightness down, could increase this and get it closer to the advertised figure.

    Operating System and Software

    As stated in the specifications, the unit is bundled with Windows XP Home edition including Service Pack 2. This however is not where the software ends. Upon opening the box I discovered a total of 5 CD's which were:

    1. User guides for the notebook, in PDF format.
    2. Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 -- Starter Edition
    3. Application and Driver Recovery DVD -- For software reinstallation and repair.
    4. The Windows XP Home Operating System CD
    5. Microsoft Works & Money (Pre-installed already, however CD provided for re-installation if required).

    The disks provided are adequate for the average users needs, and prevents the need for calling up Customer Service if you are needing drivers or reinstalling windows. Along with the above applications that were bundled on the 5 CD's, there was also some additional software that came pre-installed with the system, as below:

    • Symantec Norton Internet Security 2005 (60 day trial only on live update)
    • HP Total Care Help & Support Center
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • Sonic RecordNow
    • InterVideo WinDVD
    • Apple iTunes
    • MSN Encarta Plus
    • Microsoft Office 2003 Student and Teacher Edition (60 day trial only)
    • AOL Dial-Up

    Customer Support

    Support is always such a vital aspect of any technology. Sometimes the product is only as good as the support that goes along with it. As far as HP/Compaq goes, I was a little nervous due to the number of stories I have heard regarding inconsistent service from them. They have all forms of support ranging from the standard email and phone, to live online "chat" support. I did use the "chat" function once but am debating its advantages, as all the responses seemed rather scripted and generic. I even had to ask at one point whether this was live chat or an automated response system, and after all of that I verified what I needed to know with a phone call. I have called the phone support twice now and both times been satisfied with the customer service I received, however have not had to test the support with anything too major yet.

    The laptop comes with a 1 year limited hardware warranty and 1 year of free hardware technical support via the channels mentioned above. The option was given to me by Futureshop to take up their 3 year insurance plan however I declined as it seemed very pricey. (around $350CAD before tax) HP/Compaq provide the option of extending to 3 year support for almost half this price, which you have the full first year to decide if you want or not.

    Complaints

    I struggle to think of any complaints to bring up regarding this notebook. It really has lived up to all of my expectations. The only thing that has bugged me a little is how easy it is to brush against the touchpad; especially the scrolling section of it, which can be annoying when on the go and turning the touchpad off isn't an option. It could have been indented slightly to prevent this however this could have opened up more problems. Everything else about this notebook does its job perfectly.

    Praises

    I really can't say enough good things about this laptop. Sure there's room for upgrades but it has most definitely superceded my expectations of it. It fits in perfectly to my lifestyle and performs everything that I needed it for with ease. I was not expecting to get such good results from gaming and this is one aspect that I was really pleased with.

    Conclusion

    As you can probably feel from the review, I'm a big fan of this notebook and am glad I purchased it. I would strongly recommend this to anyone looking for a notebook with lots of features, lots of power, and one that doesn't bust the bank. This would be great for a student looking for something that can handle office applications but has enough power to handle most popular games.

    Pros

    • Great widescreen display.
    • Excellent integrated wireless.
    • Crisp sounding laptop speakers.
    • Built in Memory card reader is a nice bonus.

    Cons

    • Easy to brush over touchpad.
    • Slow hard drive and lower RAM can cause slow load times.

    Pricing and Availability: USA Compaq R4000 / Canada Compaq R4000

    src="/assets/13024.JavaScript">


  2. #2
    NBR Lead Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Posts
    34,558
    Rep Power
    174

    Default Re: Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

    Nice review nufan!!

    I enjoyed your review - you've got a nice writing style, well done.

    Well, I hope you enjoy your computer - great choice! :hp:

    Chaz
    Lead Moderator for TechnologyGuide Communities
    Brighthand | NotebookReview | TabletPCReview
    hp EliteBook 8740w - 17" DreamColor 2, Win 8.1 Pro, Core i5, 8GB RAM, ATI FirePro M7820, Intel SSD

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5
    Rep Power
    22

    Default Re: Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

    thanks for the comments dude, glad you liked the review

    Just an Update, i last night added more RAM to my above Laptop. As i stated it had 2 x 256mb (512MB Ram). I took out one of these sticks and replaced it with a 1GB stick giving me a final total of 1.25GB in the system.

    It took about 4 seconds off the boot time to windows login, and made a small but noticable difference in game loading.

    Probably not as much of a difference as i had hoped for, but i think the slow HDD is holding alot back, a 100GB 7200RPM would make this laptop even better

  4. #4
    ZaZ
    ZaZ is offline
    Super Model
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    L'Étoile du Nord
    Posts
    31,476
    Rep Power
    154

    Default Re: Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

    It sure would. 5400RPM is probably a better value since the 100GB drives start around $300US.

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5
    Rep Power
    22

    Default Re: Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

    i have read on other forums and seen at websites hitachi 7200RPM 100GB drives going for around $200US. However these places only ship to US which doesnt help me up north :P

  6. #6
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

    I looked and couldn't find anything... But is that a good benchmark score? Like could I play CS:Source on it?
    Last edited by Twaites; 13th October 2005 at 12:35 AM.

  7. #7
    ZaZ
    ZaZ is offline
    Super Model
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    L'Étoile du Nord
    Posts
    31,476
    Rep Power
    154

    Default Re: Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

    Quote Originally Posted by nufan
    i have read on other forums and seen at websites hitachi 7200RPM 100GB drives going for around $200US. However these places only ship to US which doesnt help me up north :P
    Cheapest I saw was $275 for the 100GB. Maybe they got connections.

  8. #8
    Notebook Consultant
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    , California
    Posts
    288
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

    Although it has a 64 bit processor. It can't use the 64 bit version windows or use its 64 bit capability... That is according to this forum...

    http://www.planetamd64.com/lofiversi...php/t6055.html

    http://forums.amd.com/lofiversion/index.php/t50829.html

    "Dear _:

    You are correct that the AMD 64 3200+ does not support dual channel
    memory. The reason is that the 3200+ is based on the socket 754
    technology. The socket 939 processors like the AMD 3500+ do support
    this feature.

    Thank you for contacting Hewlett-Packard.

    I hope I have thoroughly answered all of your presales questions.
    Please reply to this message if we can be of further assistance.

    For your convenience, you can also call our Presales Department at
    1-800-752-0900 (8:30am - 8:30pm, Mon-Fri, and 10am - 7pm Sat, Eastern
    Time). Our Hewlett-Packard representatives are trained professionals
    who can help you decide on the right HP product for you.

    Once again, thank you for your interest in Hewlett-Packard products.
    We
    value your business!"

    Is it true that the amd-based hp and compaq laptop is really NOT a 64 bit coz it can't function one?

    I just read it in the above forum and was shocked. It must be a marketing ploy and a legal suit waiting to happen if that is the case.
    Last edited by red_chief; 20th October 2005 at 01:53 AM.

  9. #9
    NBR Reviewer
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    883
    Rep Power
    25

    Default Re: Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

    Hi Red Chief,

    I am little confused here. Dual Channel and 64bit support are entirely different things I guess. The Athlon64 754 socket processors have Memory controller built into CPU itself. So, as long as CPU is socket 754 there is nothing much you can do about Dual Channel. But 64Bit OS should work without any problems( ofcourse drivers are different thing).

    But some one can verify what kind of socket they have used in this laptop. Looks like Acer Ferrari uses socket 939, so dual channel is supported.

    Please correct me if anyone thinks I am wrong.
    Last edited by chinna_n; 20th October 2005 at 08:31 PM.
    LAPTOP: Compaq V2000z ML-37 1GB Corsair DDR400 40GB 5400RPM HDD.
    Desktop: DIY MSI K8NGM2-FID AMD X2 3800@2.4Ghz 1GB Corsair DDR400 Dual Channel, Aopen 19" LCD DVI

    MY V2000z Review

  10. #10
    Notebook Nobel Laureate
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Charleston, WV
    Posts
    7,143
    Rep Power
    53

    Default Re: Compaq Presario R4000 Review (pics, specs)

    The r4000/zv6000 will most definately run 64bit OSes. All Athlon64, Turion64, Sempron64(available for only desktops as of now) are capable of running a 64bit OS.

    As chinna said dual channel has nothing to do with a processor being/capable of running WinXP64. Rather than me trying to explain dual channel memory, this quote from Wikipedia is easier and mmore understandable...

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    Dual channel technology was created to address the issue of bottlenecks. Increased processor speed and performance requires other, less prominent components to keep pace.

    The most conspicuous of these parts is the memory controller, which regulates data flow between CPU and the system memory (RAM). The memory controller determines the types and speeds of RAM as well as the maximum size of each individual memory module and the overall memory capacity of the system. There are many memory controller designs; prior to 2003, the most common was the single channel configuration. Among its advantages are its low cost and flexibility. Its ability to produce a bottleneck effect arises when it is unable to keep up with the processor, leaving it with nothing to process while the memory controller is struggling to keep up with the data flow. Under the single channel architecture, any CPU with a bus speed that is greater than the memory speed would be liable to fall prey to this bottleneck effect.

    The dual channel configuration alleviates the problem by doubling the amount of available memory bandwidth. Instead of a single memory channel, a second, parallel channel is added. With two channels working simultaneously, the bottleneck is reduced. Rather than wait for memory technology to improve, dual channel architecture simply takes the existing RAM technology and improves the method in which it is handled. While the actual implementation differs between Intel and AMD motherboards, the basic theory stands.
    The HP CSR just said some Bull****...They use socket 939 processors which supports dual channel memory but they disabled that function for what ever reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by chinna_n
    But some one can verify what kind of socket they have used in this laptop. Looks like Acer Ferrari uses socket 939, so dual channel is supported.
    No, all Turions are socket 754. Only socket 939 Athlon64 and Sempron(socket 939 - yes they are available and only HP uses them) support dual channel memory.
    Lenovo Thinkpad T400 Intel Core 2 Duo T9400, ATi HD3470/Intel GMA X4500, 160GB Intel 320 SSD/320GB Fujitsu MHZ2320BH G2 5400rpm HDD, 4GB DDR3 1066, 14.1" WXGA+ CCFL, Windows 8 Pro x64
    HP Pavilion DM1-3000 AMD E350, AMD HD6310, 320GB Seagate Momentus 7200rpm HDD, 3GB DDR3 1066, 11.6" WXGA LED, Mint 14

 

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:18 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.2
Copyright © 2014 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1