There goes part of my trekking savings….nonetheless I am happy to welcome the HP Compaq 6530s Notebook to the family.
Unfortunately, my old work horse notebook of 3 and of half years (HP Pavilion dv4170ca) had to be put down a couple of weeks ago due to pre-mature aging of the motherboard and related components. It all started back in Canada when the Windows XP OS detected that one of my USB ports was malfunctioning (power surge on a USB hub root). Aside from the annoying notifications, everything was still working fine for the next few months in Nepal until one day I decided to plug in many peripherals in all 4 USB ports. The notebook didn’t seem to like that very much and started to freeze up. The final indicator that it was time to let go was when I discovered that the only time the notebook could function was when I supported the bottom of the notebook with my hands and held it vertically or upside down.
It still cracks me up every time I think about it.
In retrospect, I didn’t really give it the extra care that it should have received. The old laptop has traveled around with me to many places, packed in a simple sleeve and thrown into my backpack often pressed against hard objects, and in Nepal, endured dusty environments and rugged terrain. During the “good’ol times” I have utilized HP’s technical support and took advantage Futureshop’s extended warranty services to their limits which included great email and phone support from the former and a replacement DVD-RW drive, cleaning, and many excuses of what the extended warranty did not cover from the latter.
La, five Nepali computer shops later, I bought the new laptop, brought it home and appropriately named it Shivaratri (as it was bought on the festival holiday of Maha Shivaratri). Yes, rather than spending the day watching Sadu’s smoke their holy weed at Pashupathinath, I spent the whole day looking for a good deal and going to every bank ATM withdrawing my daily limit from every bank account that I had.
Based on what I knew from back home (I checked out online prices from Futureshop and Best Buy), I had an overall budget of between 50,000 to 65,000 nps. However, the sticker prices that I have seen were low-end to mid-range notebooks and after hours of internal debating, I thought what the heck, might as well get a machine that at least meets my basic power notebook needs and mobile work-lifestyle. In the end, it was a toss-up between a Dell and this HP machine and I decided to go with my old-time favourite, most-value-for-your-dollar brand.
The HP 6530s impressed me for various reasons. Here’s why:
- Slim and efficient – categorized in the small-medium business section of the HP web site, this notebook has a 14.1 inch diagonal widescreen display which is of course noticeably smaller than my old notebook but even more so the slim design makes the notebook even lighter and easier to carry (2.27 kg / 5 lbs.)*. Gone is the boxy look along with any extra structural components that would add on to the weight.
- Extra bells and whistles that I don’t even use that much or need – My last notebook was categorized as an Entertainment notebook which had a remote control (rarely used it), HP Quick Play buttons (rarely used as well) and a few other extra ports and components that in the end just took up more space amd weight. As well, most of the newer HP notebook lines have Firewire and HDMI ports (not much use for these ports here). Again not having those items in this notebook saves on weight.
- Battery life – The HP Fast Charge feature and battery is amazing, especially in my situation where power cuts are frequent. Within an hour or so, my battery was pretty much charged and lasting well over 4 hours.
- BrightView – amazingly bright, even too bright.
- The HP 3D DriveGuard sounds impressive and without a doubt there will be many occasions where I think I will need the extra protection.
Overall, my basic needs are met and I am happy as a Nepali shopkeeper who was able to charge a little more extra to a bideshi and looks forward to doing business with him again. I got great keyboard space, enough USB ports, the essential WiFi, DVD+/-RW optical drive and built-in media card reader (xD specifically), plus Bluetooth capabilities (which I probably won’t use) and a webcam (a nice bonus as well). This purchase had made me think twice about purchasing another entertainment-type notebook and using it as my mobile work station. Let’s leave those bells and whistle features to desktops.
I hope Shivaratri lasts for many years to come.
* = heh, you can say that my old notebook was like me before I left Vancouver and my new notebook is how I am now – a more lean, mean, mobile machine.