Notebooks have become cheap and plentiful in 2009 and the Compaq Presario CQ60 priced at around $500 is no exception. This is notebook that is simplistic for the average user and gives you portability and a very nice 15.6-inch widescreen display all for a cheap price without leaving out too much in terms of speed and performance.
The design of the Compaq Presario CQ60 is pretty much the same as most Compaq laptops with the glossy black case and the silver "Q" on the lid. It weighs just over 6.5 pounds and measures about 15 x 10 x 1.4-inches (lwh), which is pretty portable. The 15.6-inch display offers excellent quality and a 1366x768 resolution and HP's BrightView technology that gives the display a glossy, reflective finish that improves the screen's overall brightness and color depth. The screen can display 720p HD content natively due to its 16:9 aspect ratio, so that makes the CQ60 a good notebook to watch HD movies on while on the go. The keyboard on this model is black, which also follows the model line, and has a silver palm rest and touchpad. The keyboard is full size and features a dedicated numeric keypad, but it oddly lacks any volume or media controls. However, two Altec Lansing speakers (which are very loud for their small size), the power button, Wi-Fi on/off and touchpad on/off switches are alongside the keyboard.
Because of the small size and low price of the Compaq Presario CQ60, you do lose a few more advanced features that come with the more expensive systems out there. These include an Express/PC Card slot and no support for the emerging 802.11 draft-n wireless networking (but it does support 802.11b/g). You will get, however, a 5-in-1 media card reader, three USB ports, a DVD multi-drive w/ LightScribe, HDMI & VGA outputs, Ethernet and modem jack. The hard drive inside the CQ60 is a decent 250GB and comes with 3GB of RAM (expandable to 4GB) and an integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M, which isn't good for any hardcore 3D gaming, and is powered by an Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200 (2GHz w/ 1MB L2 cache).
The CQ60 comes with Windows Vista Home Premium w/ SP1 and the usual bloatware, such as a 60 day trial of Office 2007 Home & Student, 60 days of Norton Internet Security 2009, and a few other free programs.
Because this is a bargain notebook, we wouldn't expect it to have powerhouse performance by any means. In normal use, the CQ60 performed pretty good and was speedy doing things like Web browsing, using Word, watching an HD DVD, and Web camming. But using it for advanced tasks like video encoding and heavy image editing with Photoshop CS3, it ran noticeably slower than hoped. If you intend on using this notebook for anything resource-intensive, you'll want to spend extra for something a little more powerful. However, for a general use notebook, this is an excellent choice because of its features, the portability, the excellent display, and cheap price. Battery life is rated around 3.5 hours, which will last you through a DVD on an airplane or a road-trip.
The Compaq Presario CQ60 comes with a 1-year limited hardware warranty with toll free support 1-year hardware & 30-days software. This notebook is also Energy Star certified.