Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

HP Compaq 2230s - 12.1in Business Notebook - HP Compaq 2230s 12.1in Business Notebook

Design isn't the only area where the 2230s has more in common with a consumer than a business notebook. There's no sign of any legacy ports and unusually we find HDMI included among the video outputs. Those who might wish to occasionally hook up their laptop to a TV will be delighted to hear this, and even in many business environments things are moving ever so slowly to digital.

Worry not if you're still stuck with VGA though, as a D-sub port joins the HDMI one on the notebook's right. Also on this side we find the lock slot, two USB ports, an SD/MMC memory card reader and 34mm ExpressCard slot.
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There are no connections on the back, while the front houses only headphone and microphone jacks, beside a small hard drive activity indicator that's visible with the notebook closed. Finally to the right we have Ethernet and modem ports, the power connector, a single USB port and the LightScribe DVD-rewriter.

In an interesting touch HP has placed a small indicator light by the power socket, which like the rest of the 2230s' lighting switches between white and orange, but its utility is limited by having to look around the side to see it - where it's still nearly hidden by the actual power plug.
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Getting to the HP Compaq 2230s' innards, things are headed up by an Intel Core 2 Duo T5870 processor running at 2.00GHz. This 65nm CPU has 2MB of cache and an 800MHz front side bus speed and is certainly fast enough for any business applications. It's backed up by 2GB of 800MHz DDR2 memory, which again is plenty for most business users and should keep the included version of Windows Vista Business happy. Since one DIMM-slot is left free, it can also always be upgraded with another 2GB module at a later date. Another nice detail worth mention is that HP offers a downgrade to Windows XP Professional on certain configurations, though only when buying direct.
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Storage is handled by a 160GB hard drive and it is protected by HP's 3D DriveGuard technology. For those who haven't read the explanation of what that entails in my earlier review of the HP Compaq 6730b, 3D DriveGuard is a combination of shock-dampening material and a magnesium drive cage with an accelerometer, which parks the drive-head when it senses a drop. Its sensitivity is even throttled depending on whether the notebook is open or closed, all of which provides as much protection as possible for a mechanical drive.
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Within the 2230s range, you can get up to a 2.1GHz T6570 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 320GB hard drive, though everything else aside from the OS remains the same. Graphics power is not very important on a business notebook, thus the bog-standard Intel integrated GMA 4500HD graphics are perfectly adequate.

Things pick up nicely when it comes to wireless connectivity though, with Draft-N and Bluetooth 2.0. Gigabit Ethernet is also on hand. Aside from a fingerprint reader on the right palm-rest, the other business features are all software-based.

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