Skip to navigation

HP Compaq nc6120 review


Superb battery life, plenty of features and a solid chassis make this a great business choice, particularly at this price

Review Date: 17 Feb 2006

Reviewed By: David Bayon

Price when reviewed: (£870 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

While the Lenovo takes the Labs Winner award this month, no single notebook is ideal for every business. HP's nc6120 offers a better warranty and longer battery life, which could seal the deal for some.

With an overall 2D benchmark score of 0.80, the nc6120 is one of the best in terms of performance. This is due to the 1.86GHz Pentium M 750, and there's a spare socket to add to the 512MB of memory. An 80GB hard disk is generous, and backups can be made using the dual-layer DVD writer.

The nc6120 shares a similar chassis to HP's Labs-winning nx6125, but with the notable omission of a fingerprint reader. HP's ProtectTools utility is still included to give access to BIOS settings and passwords through Windows.

Another strength is the excellent keyboard, which has a full complement of keys that are well arranged. A shortcut button for quickly enabling the VGA output is handy, while volume controls and a Wi-Fi power button are useful too. Plus, nothing else on test comes close to the loud speakers.

The chassis is sturdily built and the 15in XGA TFT has enough protection from the lid. The screen itself is a little dim towards the top edge, which means colours aren't as bright and vibrant as on the Toshiba or Sony.

Communications are handled by the Intel 802.11b/g radio. But while there's infrared, note the absence of Bluetooth. On the front sits a card reader for most of the main media types, including xD-Picture cards. The nc6120 can also accept two Type II PC Cards or one Type III card.

Battery life is superb, topping the class with a light-use lifetime of nearly five hours. It lasted only an hour-and-a-half under intensive conditions, but general use will see far longer times than this.

HP is the only manufacturer to offer an on-site warranty as standard, albeit only for one year. Another two years of return-to-base support complete the cover, but it's worth noting that HP's notebook division received a Highly Commended award in our recent Reliability & Service Survey, so you can be confident in your purchase.

Since HP doesn't sell direct, there aren't a great deal of services on offer compared to Dell's build-to-order system. But, if you don't need a bespoke disk image and are happy to go without Bluetooth, the HP is great value for money.

Author: David Bayon

Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
Be the first to comment this article

You need to Login or Register to comment.


Latest Category Reviews
Asus Transformer Book T200TA review

Asus Transformer Book T200TA

Category: Laptops
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £350
Hands on: Apple iPad Air 2 review

Hands on: Apple iPad Air 2

Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £350
Fujitsu Stylistic Q704 review

Fujitsu Stylistic Q704

Category: Tablets
Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro review

Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 review

Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2

Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £1,771
Compare reviews: Laptops


Most Commented Reviews
Latest News Stories Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Features
Latest Real World Computing


Sponsored Links


Your email:

Your password:

remember me


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.