capsule review

HP Pavilion ze2200

At a Glance
  • HP Pavilion ze2200

    PCWorld Rating

    Big parallelogram-shaped unit hogs desk space but packs in lots of features for less than $900.

HP Pavilion ze2200
Artwork: Rick Rizner

If you can live with short battery life, the HP Pavilion ze2200 is a good deal for $889. This inexpensive AMD processor-based notebook lasted just over 2 hours on one charge, about 90 minutes shorter than the average laptop. I wouldn't feel too cheated buying this notebook, though: The ze2200 offers a big 15-inch XGA screen, an integrated DVD burner on the right side, and pretty good stereo sound, with volume buttons provided in a panel above the keyboard alongside a Wi-Fi switch. The keyboard is sensibly laid out for easy typing and features a smoothly working touchpad as the pointing device.

The ze2200's low price comes at a cost: The notebook lacks a FireWire port, a memory card reader, and a docking connection for a port replicator. The compromise is worth making, however.

With the back and front sloped in the same direction, the unusually shaped ze2200 is a bit of a desk hog: It measures 13.2 inches wide by 11.2 inches deep by 1.7 inches thick. Fortunately, it's lighter than it looks, weighing just 6.4 pounds sans power adapter. Equipped with AMD's 1.8-GHz Mobile Sempron 3000+ processor and 512MB of RAM, the ze2200 earned a WorldBench 5 score of 63. You're not getting a speedster here; notebooks based on this chip lag behind more expensive laptops with the latest Intel chips by about 30 percent. Still, you should still be able to work comfortably in any mainstream application and juggle a fair number of open windows.

Upgrading this laptop should be a snap; armed with a screwdriver, I reached the memory chips and the hard drive inside their respective bottom compartments in seconds. Most of the ze2200's documentation is electronic, but the Acrobat user manual provided in the Windows Help and Support Center is thorough and nicely linked for easy searching. Microsoft Works 8 is included.

Packing a lot for under $900, the HP Pavilion ze2200 would make an excellent desktop PC companion for home or a small business.

HP Pavilion ze2200


WorldBench 5 score of 63, 1.8-GHz Mobile Sempron 3000+, 512MB of DDR333 SDRAM, Windows XP, 15-inch screen, 60GB hard drive, DVD±RW drive, V.92 modem, 10/100Base-T ethernet, 802.11g, touchpad pointing device, 7.3-pound weight (including AC adapter and phone cord). One-year parts and labor warranty, 24-hour daily toll-call support.
$869
800/752-0900
www.hp.com

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Big parallelogram-shaped unit hogs desk space but packs in lots of features for less than $900.

    Pros

    • Offers great features for the price

    Cons

    • Big and heavy
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