Hewlett-Packard Australia Compaq 6730s (FV305PA)

Excitement is overrated

Hewlett-Packard Australia Compaq 6730s (FV305PA)
  • Hewlett-Packard Australia Compaq 6730s (FV305PA)
  • Hewlett-Packard Australia Compaq 6730s (FV305PA)
  • Hewlett-Packard Australia Compaq 6730s (FV305PA)
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • Business-friendly design, dedicated graphics chip, spacious display and keyboard

Cons

  • Business-friendly design, underperformed in WorldBench 6, a little on the chunky side

Bottom Line

The Compaq 6730s (FV305PA) is the Dunlop of business notebooks. Like the famous shoe, it's plain, workmanlike and reliable, yet also incredibly dull. If you're on the lookout for a basic business laptop with some gaming capabilities, it will get the job done.

Would you buy this?

The HP Compaq 6730s (FV305PA) is an entry-level business notebook geared towards unpicky professionals. Characterised by a workmanlike performance, moderate price tag and fearsomely dull design, it’s not the sort of notebook that jumps out at prospective buyers. With that being said, most users in need of a basic business laptop should find it sufficient (provided they don’t want to make a fashion statement while using it on the bus).

In recent months, we have seen several notebooks from Hewlett-Packard that run on Intel’s new Centrino 2 platform, codenamed Montevina. The benefits of Centrino 2 include faster and more energy-efficient processors, increased front-side bus frequencies, enhanced network connections, switchable graphics (integrated/dedicated), and built-in support for high-definition video playback. Sounds pretty nifty, doesn’t it? Well, unfortunately, you don’t get any of that here. The 6730s (FV305PA) is one of the few new Compaq models to stick with the previous Santa Rosa platform. Aside from this one caveat, the onboard components are quite decent for a notebook in this price range.

The version we tested was equipped with a 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5670 CPU with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, alongside a 160GB hard drive (5400rpm). For graphics, an ATI Radeon HD 3430 is installed, sporting 256MB of dedicated memory. This is pretty good for an entry-level business notebook, which typically stick to integrated graphics chips. Curiously, the model that HP sent us came with Windows XP Professional, rather than its emotionally troubled offspring. Some users may consider this to be a bonus, but if your business has already upgraded its operating system, you may want to opt for the Vista version to save yourself some trouble.

In the past, we’ve occasionally slated HP notebooks for their garishly ‘hip’ designs, many of which were presumably styled after MC Hammer’s happy-pants. Thankfully, this is not the case with the 6730s (FV305PA). Black, basic and bereft of bling, it will look right at home in a soulless boardroom meeting. Even the almost mandatory ‘glossy finish’ is absent, with the outer lid and keyboard remaining plain and unpolished (which makes it less of a fingerprint-magnet). However, we can’t really say we like the minimalist aesthetic: surely a happy medium exists between loud and dull? If so, HP has yet to find it.

Measuring 58x267x32mm and weighing 2.7kg, the 6730s (FV305PA) isn’t the most portable business notebook on the block. Tellingly, HP recommends it for ‘occasional travel’, which sound like marketing-speak for ‘unwieldy brick’. On the plus side, the spacious keyboard and 15.4in widescreen LCD make for a suitably luxurious experience. While the display exhibited good viewing angles and excellent contrast, it suffered from reflectivity issues under bright lighting (to be fair though, this is a charge that could be laid against nearly any notebook.)

In our benchmarks, the Compaq 6730s (FV305PA) gave an adequate if uninspired performance. In WorldBench 6, it scored a less-than-impressive 63: one the lowest results we have seen from a notebook in quite a while. It took us several attempts to run certain tests, including Microsoft Windows Media Encoder and — bizarrely — Microsoft Office 2003. However, it’s worth noting that the XP operating system may have skewed the results. (All of our previous WorldBench 6 tests were run on Vista machines). The individual test results were adequate for the most part, despite the low average. We also ran a Blender 3D rendering demo to measure the CPU’s performance. The 6730s took 1min 45sec to complete this task, which is a solid result for the price and components.

If you’re that rare breed of businessperson who likes to frag enemy mutants between boardroom meetings, then the 6730s has you covered. While unable to run the latest DirectX 10 games (as reflected by its low score of 1687 in 3DMark06), it should still prove suitable for graphics-intensive DX9 titles, such as F.E.A.R. When we ran 3DMark 2001, the system returned a score of 13,328, which isn’t too shabby. Older games will naturally run without a fuss.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

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.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

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.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?