Although Notebook workstations have given us the possibility of working on projects while traveling or shooting on location, many fail in the performance and durability arenas. It’s not unusual for a laptop to perform well in its initial period out of the box but slow down and develop heating problems after a few weeks of continuous usage.
Of all the laptop workstations we have reviewed here in recent months, Compaq Evo n800w has been the strongest, offering an exceptionally fast and reliable performance. Now after using and abusing the new HP Compaq nw8000 for a week, I can easily say that it demonstrated the same strength as the Evo.
The reviewed nw8000 came with an Intel Mobile Pentium M 1700 MHZ, 1 GB of RAM, a combo DVD ROM/CD RW drive and two 60 GB hard drives. Both were speedy 7200 rpm drives and performed fairly well when I used the notebook to review Avid Xpress Pro with Avid Mojo. I also installed discreet 3ds max 6 and Adobe Photoshop CS and ran both programs at the same time. I was able to switch easily between the two packages and work on both of them by creating textures in Photoshop and applying them to 3D objects in max. The system’s graphic card (ATI Mobility Fire GL T2 with 128 MB of DDR SDRAM with full 3D OpenGL support) allowed me to get an excellent performance from the interactive view of 3ds max 6.
The Good News: The integrated optical nw8000 supports swappable common MultiBay devices such as a DVD writer and an additional hard drive or battery.
The Wish List: The integrated HP WLAN802.11a/b/g W500, for wireless networking and Internet access works well, but it encounters interruptions from cordless phone signals. Let’s hope HP finds a fast solution to this problem.
The Bottom Line: If you need an efficient laptop workstation with fast and reliable performance, then you really can’t go wrong with the HP Compaq nw8000 priced at $2,225.
Web Address: www.hp.com
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Final Score: *****