When it comes to mainstream notebooks, the big three: Dell, HP/Compaq, and IBM still lead the pack in regard to overall notebook price, design, quality, and service. Of course, the enthusiast notebook vendors still get to set some interesting aesthetic and performance trends, but Dell and HP (Dell more so) have been picking up on the DTR market rather fast; take the Dell Inspiron XPS and the Inspiron XPS Gen 2.
As you probably know by now, IBM has made arrangements to sell off its PC group to China-based Lenovo, which includes IBM's ThinkPad brand. With that sale almost final, it is probably going to mean that Dell and HP will have an opportunity to win over a few more of us that are focused on price and service as opposed to just brand recognition. IBM, though, has remained a leader in quality notebooks by coming out with special features to insure against security intrusions (biometric), highly g-force resistant chassis, etc.
We'll get more into IBM notebook's when the time comes, but as it stands, Dell and HP are the big boys when it comes to "non-business" notebook consumer product. In this article, we'll cover HP's new ZE2000. It is a general consumer mobile notebook geared towards those that are more budget conscious.
•_Designed for Intel 90nm Dothan Pentium-M with 2MB On-Die L2 Cache/Intel Dothan Celeron-M with 1MB On-Die L2 Cache processors
•_Supports 400MHz FSB
•_Intel 855GME/ICH4-M Chipset
•_Two 200-pin SODIMM sockets
•_Supports DDR 333/266/200 Unbuffered Non-ECC memory
•_Supports maximum memory capacity up to 2GB
• Intel Extreme Graphics 2 technology
- 32-bit 3D/2D graphics with frequency up to 250MHz
- Bi-Cubic Filter
- Video Mixer Rendering
- AGP 4x (discrete graphics only)
- Supports Intel Stable Image Technology
- Supports Intel Dual-Frequency Graphics Technology (DFGT)
- Supports Display Power Saving Technology (DPST)
• Intel ICH4-M South Bridge:
- 2 x DMA 100/66
- 40GB/60GB/80GB HDD
- LG 8X DVD-ROM/CD-RW
•_Realtek 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
•_Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG (802.11b/g) Wireless Lan and HP's Bluetooth
•_ 56K v.92 Fax/modem
•_15.0" XGA TFT LCD (native 1024 x 768)
•_16-bit stereo speakers
•_Sound Blaster Pro-compatible stereo
•_Built in dual Harmon Kardon speakers
Measuring in at 14.3" x 11.2" x 1.2"~1.5" and weighing in at ~ 6.5 pounds, the ZE2000 is slightly wider and longer than the traditional notebook, which uses a 14.1" display. Its weight and overall size put it on the edge of the "easy to take with you" spectrum, as even something like HP's NC6000 has a smaller profile. If you are constantly on the go, you may find this notebook to be a bit on the bulky side, but the ZE2000 is fine as the occasional traveler's companion.