Compaq Presario B1973TU
- Strong build, Portable
- Slow performance
While it's a fairly stylish notebook with a nice build, we can't help but think that you can get more for your money. If you like the design, but want a better performer, it might be worth waiting for Compaq's new Centrino models to come out.
Price$ 2,199.00 (AUD)
If high-portability is something you require of a notebook, then the Compaq Presario B1973TU will suit your needs well. Indeed, it's a lightweight notebook (1.9kg without its power supply) with a 12.1in screen, yet it has a built in optical drive. However, if you need some grunt and plenty of battery life to match the portable size, then this notebook will disappoint.
Although the stylish design and small form-factor of the B1973TU is very appealing, we're disappointed by its performance, especially considering its price ($2199 at the time of writing). Inside the tiny black and silver chassis is an Intel Core Duo T2350 1.86GHz CPU. It's a budget version of the Core Duo series, with only a 533MHz front side bus (FSB), rather than the 667MHz FSB used on other Core Duo models. This is a rare sight these days, with most vendors offering Core 2 Duo CPUs, or even the new Centrino platform (codenamed Santa Rosa), which offers some new efficiency features and a whopping 800MHz FSB, without much added cost.
The B1973TU has 1GB of DDR2 RAM, which is a fair offering, but the trend is towards a 2GB starting point for notebooks that are similarly priced. As a business machine running Windows Vista Business edition, it's no surprise that it uses a basic ATI 200M graphics chip, which is fine for everyday applications, but it won't provide fast 3-D performance. A 160GB hard drive is installed and the optical drive is a DVD re-writer with dual-layer support.
A couple of months ago, this would have been a reasonably justifiable purchase. However, with Intel's latest Centrino platform (Santa Rosa) already making an appearance in many notebooks, it's hard to justify spending the money on this one when a considerably more impressive notebook will set you back only a little more. Take the Acer TravelMate 6292 (302G16N), for example. It's 200 grams heavier than the B1973TU, costs $100 more and has up to 30 per cent better performance, which is a noteworthy advantage when using taxing applications or heavily multi-tasking.
In our WorldBench 6 benchmark, the B1973TU scored a total of 51. So far, this is the lowest score of all notebooks that have been tested with this benchmark. This isn't unexpected considering the slightly older technology that has been implemented. However, as a reflection of its price, more should be expected. That's not to say it's downright expensive, but it isn't the best value for money product available on the market. In the MP3 encoding test, where we encode 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files, it took 160sec to complete the task. This, again, is a fairly slow result in comparison to similarly priced products in its category.
The Compaq Presario B1973TU's battery life isn't shocking when compared to the vast majority of products available at this price range, but it's far from ideal. As a business notebook that is plainly designed for portability, battery life should be foremost in its list of strengths, but it isn't. In our worst-case scenario battery test (a DVD rundown), the B1973TU lasted for 74min.
The test, which involves looping a DVD until the battery drains, is considerably more demanding than normal everyday usage, and this notebook will likely continue running for longer under normal conditions. Even so, users expecting to carry this around without its power supply on-hand may wish to grab an extra battery for important business presentations, or other similar situations.
The smaller size hasn't inhibited the build quality or the functionality of the notebook. The keyboard is quite comfortable to use and the touchpad is responsive. The screen itself offers a resolution of 1280x800 and is both bright and clear with good contrast levels. The viewing angle isn't perfect; it's average compared to the majority of notebooks that we've tested. We did notice a little distortion when the screen was bumped or flexed (the screen produced a ripple effect, of sorts).
This unit offers a media card reader, which has support for SD, MMC, MS and MS-Pro cards. It also offers an Express Card slot and three USB ports, as well as a mini-FireWire port, which is hidden behind a dust cover. For video output, there's a VGA port and an S-Video port. One feature that's missing from this notebook, which is rather unexpected for a business machine, is a biometric fingerprint reader. Some users may also lament the lack of a built in Web cam.
Join the newsletter!
Modern workplaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes including the traditional cubicle, the open-plan office, and even the family home.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Razer announces new headset, keyboard and mouse
- IFA 2018: MSI expand Prestige range with new P65 Creator
- IFA 2018: ASUS launch first TUF gaming laptops
- IFA 2018: ASUS upgrade Vivo and Zenbooks
- IFA 2018: Lenovo refresh Yoga and ThinkPad lineup
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies