Compaq Presario V4000

Construction: Building, Appearance, Size

Construction: Building, Appearance, Size
The new V4000...

Compaq seems to use a trio of construction materials in the design of the V4000: carbon fiber, polycarbonate, and ABS plastic. The black top and bottom part of the notebook use ABS plastic, while the dull silver inlay of the notebook and the hinges use polycarbonate. Interestingly enough, the buttons, button trim, monitor rim, lid trim, touchpad and touchpad trim all use carbon fiber, which has a very distinctive smooth texture. Carbon fiber is typically lighter than the other two but it is less scratch resistant, as far as our own field experience and testing goes. Major scratches won't be too apparent on polycarbonate or ABS surfaces.

The V4000 uses the typical Compaq push release button mechanism to release the monitor lid located on the center front side of the notebook. You may recall that older Presario designs like the popular 1500 use an angled push release button, wherein the bottom of the button is secured to the notebook chassis so that only the top of the button depresses to release the monitor lid. More recent designs from Compaq completely depress the whole button inwards to release the security mechanism. This doesn't change safety in the sense that one design is worse than the other, but the change is something we wanted to note for those that are less familiar with Compaq or haven't use a new Compaq notebook.

Front (left to right):

Left (left to right):

  • Power port
  • Modem jack
  • Ethernet jack
  • Expansion Port 2 Connector
  • 2 x USB 2.0/1.1
  • 4-pin mini1394 Firewire port
  • Card Reader (SD/MS/MSPro/MMC/SM/XD)
  • 2 x PCMCIA slots (Type I and Type II)

As we have noted in the past, the placement of a power port on either the left or right side makes orientation more of a hassle. In this case, if your AC jack is to the right side of the notebook, you will have to feed the cable around the backside to plug it in. This will turn into a real frustration should the AC jack be far enough away so you need to use all the cable to reach the power port. This also goes for the modem or Ethernet hook up. There are USB ports on the right side, so that USB cabling should be less of a problem. However, if you are trying to plug a devices while wanting to keep it completely out of the way like a wireless mouse dongle or USB TV tuner, you are really out of luck. This is why a backside port array is much less problematic.

Back (left to right):

  • Exhaust vent

On the design end, Compaq uses a distinct clam shell like design. In so doing, the display hinge is fully exposed on the backside of the notebook. The benefit is that the notebook is easier to assemble in some regards, but for the consumer, the display swivels on a lower plane of vision. However, the problem this creates is that the hinge is now fully exposed to the dangers of misalignment, should the notebook be dropped. Other notebooks that situate the hinges as risers on the base unit allow for the hinges to be protected from direct impact. There are a reasonable amount of people that like the Compaq design, but we want to note that it carries its own specific set of risks.

Right (left to right):

  • LG HL-DT-ST GWA-4080N DVD+-RW/CD-RW (40x CD-R/24x CD-RW/40x CD-ROM/16x DVD-ROM/8x DVD-R/16x DVD+R/4x DVD+-RW/2.4x DVD+R DL)
  • headphone port
  • microphone port
  • 2 x USB 2.0/1.1
  • VGA-out port
  • S-Video port
  • lock port


Tags:  Pre, Compaq, SAR, ESA, AR, COM

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