Video: $399 Compaq Presario CQ61 Makes Cheap Look Good

The Compaq Presario CQ61 combines a netbook price with a big 15.6-inch screen and a stylish design that belies its low $399 price. HP gussied this Windows 7 Home Premium system up with a glossy black Imprint finish and a silver panel that covers the palm rest and touchpad. Designed for surfin the Web, organizing and editing photos, watching DVDs, and everyday productivity chores, this mainstream machine looks like it will get the job done.

Here's a quick look at the specs:

• 2-GHz AMD Sempron Processor for Notebook PCs M100(3a)
• Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit(1)
• 15.6" Diagonal High Definition(8) HP BrightView Display (1366x768)
• ATI Radeon™ HD 4200 Graphics with 128MB Display Cache Memory AMD RS880M with 128MB
GDDR2 (sideport memory) with up to 958MB total graphics memory(6)
• 2GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
• 160GB (5400RPM) Hard Drive (SATA)(7)
• LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD±R/RW with Double Layer Support (6d) (16a) (16d)
• 802.11b/g WLAN(10a)
• 6-Cell Lithium-Ion battery
• 1-Year Free Hardware Technical Support

Check out the video after the break for a quick tour of what you get (and what you don't) for under 400 bucks.Other features include a 5-in-1 memory card reader, dedicated numeric keypad, and Altec Lansing speakers. The CQ61 has three USB ports, Ethernet, modem and VGA jacks but no HDMI or eSATA connectivity.

Despite some trade-offs, and a touchpad with a bit too much friction, the Compaq Presario CQ61 looks like a fine choice for the price. Stay tuned for a full review.


Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.