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By Andrew Gould 6 June 2008

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Beauty is merely skin deep and, at the price, you can forgive its “plain Jane” exterior. This is a no-nonsense entry-level business ­notebook.

The HP Compaq 6720s will not be knocking anyone over in the looks ­department, but this is by no means an ugly notebook, in fact there is not a single offensive thing about it. HP says they’ve re-styled it, but you’d be very hard-pressed to notice. What we have here is function over form and the form is grey and ­silver with rounded corners, hardly the type of thing that sends your heart racing. But beauty is merely skin deep and, at the price, you can forgive its “plain Jane” ­exterior. This is a no-­nonsense entry-level ­business ­notebook.

The keyboard is well laid out and there is more than enough space to rest your palms without getting instant carpal-tunnel ­syndrome. The touchpad could have been a bit bigger though. Most notebooks these days come out with wireless as standard, and so does the HP, it also supports Bluetooth, in an age where fewer notebooks seem to come standard with Bluetooth. There are three versions of the 6720s, the one we tested has the 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo T5470 processor and 1GB of memory. For most business applications this performance should be more than adequate, but don’t expect to be editing any video or playing any serious games.

The 15.4" widescreen ­display is bright enough, but it’s not the glossy type we’re all becoming ­accustomed to. On the up side this ­version of the 6720s comes with Windows Vista Business pre-installed, a big step up from the ­bog-standard Vista Basic. The only troubling point is that 1GB of RAM is the minimum specification for Vista Business, but we found that under normal running ­conditions you won’t really notice any slovenly ­performance.

The HP Compaq 6720s GJ762AV is available for the RRP of R8099 (incl VAT). Notebook supplied by EuroByte on 011-234-0142 or www.eurobyte.co.za.

PROS
LightScribe allows you to burn custom high-quality labels and artwork on to your discs.
CONS
The USB ports sit directly below the ExpressCard.
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