Two months ago, my old laptop a Compaq Presario 2200 started acting up. There were times when it won’t turn on and sometimes it won’t restart. Aside from that, it only had a 40 GB hard drive and 256 MB of RAM which limited me from performing some of my tasks. I couldn’t install some of the programs that I need like Adobe Photoshop. With all of those issues coming to play, it was time to replace it. I went online and looked for an affordable laptop with decent specs. I was on a tight budget so my options were little.
I knew that if I waited until Thanksgiving I would get a better deal or a better laptop with the same price but the thing is that I couldn’t wait and I needed it ASAP. I ended up buying the Compaq Presario C714NR from BestBuy which was on sale for $499. It was the best deal that I could get at that time.
- Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core processor T2310 with 533MHz frontside bus, 1MB L2 cache and 1.46GHz processor speed
- 1GB DDR2 memory
- Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
- 15.4″ WXGA high-definition LCD widescreen display with BrightView technology and 1280 x 800 resolution
- Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 with up to 251MB shared video memory; S-video output; built-in Altec Lansing audio
- Built-in high-speed wireless LAN (802.11b/g); built-in 10/100Base-T Ethernet LAN (with RJ-45 connector); high speed 56 Kbps modem
First thing I did with the laptop was to uninstall unnecessary programs and trialware that’s already installed. Then I got rid of startup programs from the system configuration. This proved to be very helpful as it cut the loading time by more than half and my laptop now loads much quicker. This is first time for me to have a computer running on Windows Vista and before that I was under the assumption that you really need atleast 2 GB of RAM but with my laptop, 1 GB of RAM seems to be enough to run Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Photoshop, Pidgin and other programs at the same time. But of course the more memory you have the better so I do plan to upgrade it to 2 GB soon. What I’ll do is buy the memory online and install it myself instead of bringing it to BestBuy and pay the GeekSquad to do it.
Overall, the Compaq C714NR is a good buy. It has a sleek design, the display is clear and bright and battery life is good. It has a dual core processor and SATA hard drive. The wireless LAN easily detects all available networks and connects without any problems.
The things that I don’t like about this laptop are: position of the USB ports because they are all in the side and near the front so it gets in the way sometimes. The sound quality is good but the problem is with the volume because even at full volume, the sound isn’t that loud compared to other laptops. Another issue I have is that it gets a bit warm on the are where you rest your wrists. It’s not that bad but it can bother you if you’re using the laptop for long periods of time. If you have the money, you can get a cooling pad.
IMPORTANT: If you happen to have this laptop or decide to buy it, one thing you need to remember is to NEVER update the display or video/graphics driver. Doing so will bring the blue screen of death. If it happens to you, there are several ways to fix it. One way is to boot in Safe Mode and download the Mobile Intel 965/960 Express Chipset Family Video/Graphics driver from Compaq’s website. Then reboot the computer and boot again in Safe Mode, disable or uninstall the display drivers via the Device Manager and then reboot. Log back in and install the driver that you downloaded. This should work and restore the video/graphics driver. If you followed this steps and still encounter problems, leave a comment or contact me and I’ll do my best to help you fix it.