Sturdy laptop takes the middle ground

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2005, 12:00am

PEOPLE GENERALLY choose a mobile PC based on how often they expect to lug it around. A frequent traveller will probably sacrifice performance for a lighter machine, plumbing for an ultra-portable notebook weighing about 1.5kg.

At the other end of the scale, a computer user that barely travels may opt for a desktop replacement, which has a larger screen and all the bells and whistles, but weighs more than most people can comfortably carry for longer than a brief stroll.

Occupying the middle ground are 'thin and light' notebooks, which attract the most buyers. These computers aim to strike a balance between power and portability for users that need a machine that is powerful enough to handle day-to-day computing tasks with ease but light enough to take on journeys.

Weighing about 2.1kg, HP Compaq's NC6200 series notebook is in this middle category. These are rugged machines aimed at the business user. Eschewing the silver looks that are popular with notebooks, the series has a scratch-resistant magnesium alloy body to take the wear and tear of travel.

A recessed keyboard ensures the screen remains out of harm's way when the machine is packed in a bag. HP has added its Mobile Data Protection System shock absorption technology to prevent damage to the hard drive when the machine is bounced about.

As a business-class notebook positioned against the IBM T series, HP has put together a battery of standard and optional security features for the NC6200. Standard are a smart card reader for pre-boot authentication, HP's Drivelock technology, which prevents unauthorised access to the hard drive when the machine is stolen or lost, and Credential Manager software. A Trusted Platform Module chip can be installed as an option to enhance security.

Tony Choi, product marketing manager, commercial notebook and workstation business at HP Hong Kong, said: 'With security being topmost on the minds of businesses in Hong Kong, HP aims to be the market forerunner with business notebooks that include an industry leading array of built-in security hardware and software features.'

The NC6200 series has all the standard adapters for connectivity, including an integrated Intel Wi-fi module.


Processor: Intel Celeron M or Pentium M

Screen: 14.1-inch TFT XGA or SXGA+

Battery life: up to 4? hours

Dimensions: 3.35(H) x 31.50(W) x 25.70(D)cm

Weight: about 2.4kg

Price: from $9,980