Compaq Presario M2000Z
At a Glance
Compaq Presario M2000Z
Nicely priced, boxy laptop has great sound and impressive battery life, but it's on the heavy side.
Above-average audio highlights the Compaq Presario M2000Z, a boxy AMD processor-based laptop that sells for just over $1300. Like most Compaq notebooks, the M2000Z's case colors are the ubiquitous black and silver, but its unusual grooved base looks cool and gives it extra traction. Well equipped for its price, the M2000Z conveniently places a fixed double-layer DVD burner, a seven-in-one card reader, and two of its three USB ports on the right side of the case. Front audio jacks make plugging in headphones a snap. Left-side connections include an expansion port for HP's versatile $249 xb2000 notebook stand, which is a great addition due to the fine set of built-in Harman Kardon speakers, and an internal bay that can accommodate a 160GB hard drive. (With the M2000Z's maximum internal drive size of 100GB--our review unit had an 80GB--maximum storage comes to an impressive 260GB.) The xb2000 stand also includes composite and S-Video outputs, plus three additional USB 2.0 ports.
Three buttons atop the keyboard next to the Wi-Fi switch do a nice job of controlling volume, which pours from speaker outlets that wrap around the front corners. The other features I liked most about this laptop are the battery life --almost 5 hours in our tests--and the comfortable typing slant, both of which owe thanks the extra-cost 12-cell rear battery (a $25 upgrade from the standard 6-cell unit).
On the performance bench, the 1.8-GHz AMD Turion 64 ML-34-equipped M2000Z pulled down a WorldBench 5 score of 73. That's more than adequate for general use, but it is slower than many of the Intel-equipped notebooks we've looked at recently. The M2000Z's light gray keyboard offers a top-shelf layout plus an extrawide touchpad. The notebook is user upgradable, with the hard drive and two memory slots residing beneath their own grooved bottom panels held in by a couple of small screws each.
Topping it all off is a nice Acrobat manual with an especially useful contents page that breaks out each view of the laptop (left side, right side, and so on). Too bad it's buried in the Windows Help and Support Center.
At $1314, the DVD burner-equipped Compaq Presario M2000Z is a nicely priced home laptop with a bonus: very long battery life.