By Cisco Cheng  |  Posted 2004-05-26 Print this article Print

Compaq Presario R3000T

The Compaq Presario R3000T is an attractively priced multimedia notebook, with a 15.4-inch wide-screen display, DVD burner, and other notable features and components. Unfortunately, we werent very impressed by its performance and battery life.

This desktop replacement notebook has a wide black-and-silver case with an off-white keyboard on the inside. The touch pad can be disabled by using the button located below it. HP placed all three USB ports on the side of the notebook, leaving only the parallel, VGA, and modem ports in the back. A unique addition to the system is a slot for HPs USB digital drive, a pocket-sized, removable Secure Digital card reader. This solution, however, seems redundant, considering the systems built-in 5-in-1 card reader, which covers Secure Digital, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, MultiMediaCard, and SmartMedia.

Other ports include one FireWire port, one 100Mbps Ethernet port, one S-Video port, and an expansion port for the HP notebook expansion base (which is sold separately). Although sound quality is never a notebooks forte, the R3000T comes with a set of quality JBL Professional speakers and 16-bit Creative Labs Sound Blaster Pro compatible audio. You also get a DVD+RW and Roxios Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 for burning DVDs.

On computing performance, the R3000T came up short against the Toshiba Satellite P15-S420, which has a 3.0-GHz Mobile Pentium 4 with 800-MHz FSB and Hyper-Threading. Part of the difference can be attributed to that the R3000T has only 384MB of memory, compared with the P15-S420s 512MB.

Also, because the screen resolution on the R3000T was limited to 1,280-by-800, we had to run our gaming tests at 1,028-by-768 instead of 1,600-by-1,200. The R3000T comes with the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 graphics solution, and, not surprisingly, its scores on our graphics tests were mediocre: 279 fps on 3DMark03, and 14.7 fps on Serious Sam SE. The Toshiba notebook has a better graphics chipset—the nVidia GeForce FX Go 5100—which achieved higher gaming scores on 3DMark03 (443 fps) and Serious Sam SE (26.8 fps).

Although most desktop replacement notebooks with larger screens typically dont do well on our BatteryMark test, the R3000T had a lower score than expected, with a battery life of only 1 hour 55 minutes. In comparison, the Toshiba notebook lasted almost a full hour longer, at 2:53. The R3000Ts 802.11g wireless solution did fare well on our tests, achieving an impressive 23.2Mbps at close range and 3.6Mbps at 160 feet.

The R3000T certainly is not lacking in features, but if you demand better performance, the Toshiba Satellite P15-S420 might be a better solution, albeit for $250 more. Another option is the eMachines M6807. At $1,600, it offers a better graphics chipset (the ATI Radeon 9600) than either the Compaq or the Toshiba notebooks do, and its Athlon 64 3000+ processor is a high performer.

Cisco Cheng is PC MagazineÔÇÖs lead analyst for laptops and tablet PCs. He is responsible for benchmarking, reviewing, and evaluating all laptops and tablet PCs. Cisco started with PC Magazine in 1999 as a support technician, testing printers, PC components, networking equipment, and software. He became the lead analyst for the laptop team in 2003 and since has written numerous reviews, buyer guides, and feature stories for both PCMag.com and the print magazine.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel