HP Compaq nx7400 review
A well-built and attractive notebook for a reasonable price, but there's little in the way of extras
Review Date: 21 Jul 2006
Reviewed By: Dave Stevenson
Price when reviewed: (£939 inc VAT)
Some laptops were born to do business. Take the Dell Latitude D620, with its plentiful power, a great screen and comprehensive security options. You can also customise virtually every detail of it on Dell's website. The HP Compaq nx7400 has its fair share of professional credentials too: the sober styling, sensible 15.4in widescreen and comparatively low 2.6kg weight. But there's also the glossy finish on the screen, the 100GB hard disk and the lack of any real security features - all traits of a more consumer-oriented machine.
The biggest positive to the nx7400 is its superb build quality. While the keyboard isn't quite up to Lenovo's finest ThinkPad efforts, it's still incredibly solid and makes typing for hours as pleasant an experience as can be. The chassis is also beautifully constructed. It may not be the most stylish laptop around, but the midnight blue, matte finish is clean and understated. The dimensions are practical too: with the lid closed, the nx7400 is under 4cm thick and easily compact enough to pop into a bag.
Battery life is another obvious plus: under light use, the nx7400 ran for 4 hrs 24 mins, although the 1 hr 10 mins under intense use will be a drawback for those who want to get full use from their laptop on the road.
The glossy screen has a resolution of 1,280 x 800, although you can compromise on other areas of the specification and get a non-reflective 1,440 x 900 screen for less cash - part codes EY295ET and EY447ET, for example. While the reflective screen on our model (part code EY252ET) is good for looking at photos or watching films, it's a distraction in a brightly lit office environment. Reflections from lights and people moving around behind you quickly become diverting, and we can't help but wish that the nx7400 had the higher- resolution, non-reflective screen. Otherwise, there's little to complain about.
Due to the gloss finish, the panel appears to have a greater contrast range, which gives images greater impact. Films and photos look good, even if the screen doesn't show absolutely accurate colour linearity in our technical tests. There are other advantages to the EY252ET model too. For a start, it features a decently fast Core Duo processor, the 1.83GHz T2400, as well as 1GB of RAM, which added up to a final benchmark score of 1.02. In practice, word processing and email will barely cause it to stir, but if your requirements are more intensive - say, applying effects to a whole folder full of images or video editing - the nx7400 fits the bill perfectly. The only thing it won't be able to do is play modern 3D games with Intel's modest integrated graphics processor onboard.
There's a distinct ThinkPad feel to the nx7400, but HP's machine falls down significantly on security, particularly when compared to either Lenovo's machine or the Dell D620. While both of the latter come with fingerprint readers and TPM chips for convenience and hardware encryption, the nx7400 comes with neither. For home users, this isn't much of an inconvenience. But for serious business users, powerful encryption is a tool whose value shows if your laptop is ever stolen - lose the nx7400 and all the data contained on it will be there for the taking.
With a huge 100GB hard disk and a dual-layer DVD writer, there are plenty of options for storage and backup. Networking comes courtesy of Intel's 801.11a/b/g wireless, although Broadcom's integrated chip only caters for 10/100 Ethernet connections. Bluetooth comes as standard, though. Expansion options are just a little limited - three USB ports will prove too few if you want to adopt the nx7400 as your primary PC, and a memory card reader remains on the wish list.
- Google ditches OpenSSL in Chrome
- Apple and Swatch to buddy up for iWatch release
- StubHub fraud: how hackers stole $1m using tickets
- Mobile success boosts Facebook's profit by 138%
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Unlock your Moto X with a "tattoo"
- Samsung continues Tizen OS push with Galaxy Gear "upgrade"
- Killing the Surface Mini hit revenues, Microsoft reveals
- How to report website overblocking and miscategorisation to ISPs
- iPad sales stall as owners "too happy to upgrade"
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- Hacking the Internet of Things: from smart cars to toilets
- BlackBerry Passport release date, specs, features, and rumours: when is the new BlackBerry coming out?
- What's changing in the computing curriculum
- Teaching kids to code
- Best free translation apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Apple iOS vs Android vs Windows 8 – what's the best compact tablet OS?
- The 12 best tablets of 2014: what’s the best tablet on the market?
- How to free up hard disk space
- Driverless cars: could your next car be driven by a robot?
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?