Review: HP Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX

  • June 29, 2010
  • James Skemp
  • review

On February 16 of this year I purchased a HP Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX laptop. Almost 4 and a half months later I regret nothing.

At some point during my college career - either my Sophmore or Junior year, which means 2000 or 2001 - I purchased my first laptop, a Dell. I used it for a number of years, but one day it just wouldn't start back up. Ever since then I've purchased HP desktop computers, and while I've helped others purchase laptops, and have thought about buying one, the price for the machine I wanted to build just wasn't in line with what I wanted to pay. So instead I'd purchase a nicely built desktop, for a fraction of the price.

After goofing around with some other portable PC options, and debating whether to buy an iPod Touch, I finally settled on picking up this laptop. I trust HP to put together well-built, and dependable machines; three desktops of varying ages, still all working today. I wasn't sure about their Compaq line, but at the beginning of this month, based on this laptop, I picked up a low-cost Compaq desktop, and would do it again in the future. And a co-worker purchased this same computer a few months earlier, and when asked, said he still found it to be a good buy (and this is actually what pushed me over the edge).

I won't speak too much about what the machine contains, since that's well covered in the specs. Instead, I'll tell you how I use it and what I've done to it, with notes as needed for what I've found to be issues.

There's not too much junk installed on the machine, so no issues there; maybe 3 or 4 hours to get those uninstalled, backup discs made, and Windows Updates applied.

While the 2 GB of RAM is okay, since this is a 64-bit machine I purchased 2 2GB sticks (from Crucial) for around $120, with shipping. It's unfortunate that it comes with two 1 GB sticks, but ... I did this 2 and a half months after I purchased the machine, so clearly it's more of a personal choice (I do Web development and wanted to be able to run various systems on VirtualBox).

I've debated following the advice of another reviewer and swapping in a more powerful video card (Windows experience is 3.3 because of it, although Windows 7 starts up and runs fine), but with the Web surfing (handles Flash-heavy sites fine, as well as Netflix streaming) and development (mostly in Visual Studio 2010; have run Windows XP and Windows Server 2008 on VirtualBox) that I do on the machine, I haven't felt the need. (Office 2010 also handles well.)

Wireless (B/G/N) has worked great, although I've had to manually turn it off and back on twice after it lost my signal, which is amazingly simple. (A third time I ended up powercycling my router, so I assume there were larger issues.)

The left mouse button does seem a little unresponsive at times (3 or 4 times), but if nothing else, there's always USB mice, which I've taken to using when I'm at home, which is where this computer gets most of it's use, as I've shut down one of my desktop machines that I always had up and running for surfing and etcetera.

Almost every day I lug the machine to work and pull it out during lunch to work on one thing or another. I purchased an HP EZ141AA Nylon Value Case, and while at first it seemed like it was going to be too small, it actually works really well. I highly recommend this bag, but if want to lug a number of other items within it, you probably want to look for something larger.

Overall, I give this computer 5 of 5 stars and recommend it highly (and have to my sister and another co-worker).