Apr 24
My HP Compaq 6520s laptop

My 1-year-old laptop

This is my 1-year-old HP Compaq 6520s laptop. I must say I’m very lucky to have this laptop with me. It was also a coincidence for me to have bought it. Previously, I used an Acer laptop. But since my younger brother furthered his study to China, I borrowed it to him.

After that I spent a lot of time online searching for the laptop I like. My budget was below RM 3000. I needed a reliable laptop but not a high spec one. Acer and Compaq laptop didn’t came to my consideration because of their lack of quality feel. Then I looked at Dell, Toshiba, Fujitsu, NEC, Lenovo and HP laptop.

I looked a lot at Dell Inspiron and Vostro laptop. HP laptop was too expensive at that time.  Average spec Toshiba and NEC laptop were also expensive. Levono was solid and durable but ugly. Finally, my last choice was either Dell or Fujitsu. I almost bought the Fujitsu S7211 laptop at RM 3200+. Although the spec was much lower compared to Dell, Fujitsu laptop was more solid and I liked its design.

One day, I went to a PC shop at Skudai, Johor. I knew the boss for several years. He supplied PC parts to me when I was selling PC while studying. I wanted to look at Dell laptop on his display. Then I chit chat with him and told him I prefer laptop with magnesium alloy casing for durability. He said the Dell Inspiron came with plastic casing only. And he didn’t have the Dell Vostro with magnesium alloy casing on display.

Suddenly, the boss took out a HP business laptop and said, “Here, this one has magnesium alloy casing.  The list price is RM 4999. But now I sell it for RM 3999.”

I looked at this boxy laptop. It felt solid with fingerprint recognition feature and 3D HP drive guard to protect hard disk drive from physical shock. However it was too expensive for me and the design looked dull.

“Do you have any other laptop?” I asked.

“Yes, I have another one!” he replied and took out a HP Compaq 6520s notebook. At first sight, I liked its design simplicity. It felt solid too. The discounted price was RM 2699. And here is the specification I couldn’t resist.

HP Compaq 6520s business notebook PC

  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7250 (2.0GHz, 2Mb L2 cache, 800MHz bus speed)
  • Intel GM965 Mobile Express Chipset
  • Intel GMA X3100 graphic chipset
  • 1 Gb DDR2 RAM
  • 120 Gb Toshiba Hardisk Drive with HP Driveguard
  • DVD+/- RW SuperMulti DL LightScribe Drive
  • 14.1″ BriteView Wide TFT display
  • 56k Modem, 10/100 LAN, Bluetooth
  • Broadcom 802.11a/b/g WLAN
  • Windows XP Professional preinstalled
  • 3 years warranty by HP

Look at the spec! At that time and even today, Intel T7250 is a high spec CPU. Most laptop I looked at only gave Intel T5000 series CPU. It came with Windows XP Pro preinstalled, which was what I wanted because I heard Windows Vista was slower and used lots of resources. And look at the warranty – 3 years by HP!

Further checking at HP website showed the similar laptop with Intel T5000 series CPU and 1 year warranty was selling at RM 4500+ So how could I resist this offer? That was the last unit left. It was specially configured from HP factory in China for a bulk order. So you’ll never find this high spec HP laptop at such a low price at other retail shop.

Therefore, I purchased that laptop immediately. After adding another 1Gb RAM, the total was RM 2799. And I opted to pay by 12-month installment through Maybank credit card. No additional service charge required, which was great.

Here is a simple review of my HP 6520s laptop which is about to celebrate its 1 year birthday.

HP 6520s-front

Simple and nice

HP 6520s-back

Battery at back

HP 6520s-front right

I prefer this keyboard layout

The plastic casing catches no finger print. But it catches dirt easily which is hard to clean. I haven’t figured out how to clean up the dirt. The touch pad mouse buttons are not so sensitive. I need to press hard to make a valid click. However, I mostly use external mouse.

These are the 2 disadvantages of this laptop. Other than that it’s a great laptop.

The keyboard is one of the best keyboard I’ve ever typed. It is not too stiff and not too soft. My typing speed is more than 60 words per minute. And this keyboard responds accurately to each of my key press. It definitely lets me type faster.

HP 6520s-left

56k Modem, Ventilation holes, VGA out, power, LAN and 3 USB ports

Sometimes, I need the 56k modem when broadband connection is down. So this is a convenient backup for urgent internet use.

HP 6520s-right

DVD writer and Kensington lock

There is no USB port at the right side. So I have to connect my Logitech external mouse to the left USB port. This is a slight inconvenience but not a big problem for me.

HP 6520s-indicator

WIFI and Power button / indicator

This HP laptop design is simple and clean. It even omits the Hardisk Drive indicator. I cannot know whether my hardisk is working or my program has crashed. However, I’ve get used to life without HDD indicator.

The sound quality is also above average. However, there is only one speaker. This is okay for me since I don’t use this laptop to watch movie or listen to music.

HP 6520s-front port

Earphone and Mic port, SD/MMC slot

HP 6520s-connector

3 connections are what I need

The power indicator has a nice touch. Orange indicates charging. When the battery is 90% charged, the indicator light turns to blue. And when the battery is fully charged, the light goes off. So you will know the battery status even with the laptop closed.

The “Caps lock” blue indicator light also looks great. There is no “Num lock” indicator light though.

Overall, I love this HP laptop. I use it everyday. And I’m confident I can continue using it for several years to come. I just need to find out how to clean up the plastic casing. Any idea?

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