HP Compaq Presario CQ42-136TU

The Presario CQ42 is an inexpensive entry-level system. There are no surprises here, either nice or nasty, and those seeking a basic office workhorse-type system will find it perfectly suitable.


8.1
CNET Rating
7.2
User Rating

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Design

Entry-level notebooks are usually remarkable in a design sense only in that they're usually as bland as the manufacturer figures they can get away with. We'll probably never know the exact costing at a manufacturer level for putting wonky grey stripes across the back of a notebook case, but as long as customers will pay extra for it, vendors will keep charging more for prettier notebook cases. HP's Compaq Presario CQ42-136TU doesn't even have a pretty name, and the triangular inlaid pattern on the notebook case is pretty unremarkable. Then again, at an AU$699 price point, you're not likely to get inlaid diamonds.

While the visuals lack any particular level of shiny appeal, the design is otherwise quite sensible, with a comfortable keyboard that's well spaced below the 14-inch, 1366x768-pixel screen. The trackpad sits flush with the wrist rest. It's one of those features you'll either like or hate. We found in extended testing that we'd nudge it a little more than we'd like.

Features

A moderate price point equates to moderate-level components, and underneath the keyboard you'll find lurking a 1.9GHz Intel Celeron T3100 processor, 2GB RAM, a 250GB 7200rpm hard drive and Intel's 4500M Graphics Media Accelerator. Optical duties are covered by a LightScribe SuperMulti DVD±RW with Double Layer Support, and connectivity includes three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, VGA, 100Mb Ethernet, modem, five-in-one card reader and headphones. This is a base-line system through and through, and as long as you keep that in mind you're unlikely to be disappointed with it.

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit is pre-installed, as is the usual small raft of companion software. In the CQ42's case, that's HP Support Assistance, HP Advisor, HP Wireless Assistant, HP Software Update, Adobe Reader, HP Recovery Manager, Norton Online Backup, PowerDVD, Cyberlink YouCam, Cyberlink DVD Suite Premium, Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Shockwave Player. You also get trial versions of Muvee Reveal (20 days), Norton Internet Security (60 days) and Microsoft Office 2007 Pro (60 days).

Performance

The moderate memory and processor underneath the hood of the CQ42 limits the performance of the system, so it wasn't surprising to see benchmark scores in the average range. The CQ42 managed a PCMark05 score of 3904 and a weak 3DMark06 score of only 728. Don't buy this for the kids as a games machine — at least for any moderately recent games — and it'll perform adequately but not in an exciting fashion.

What was rather notable about the CQ42 was the battery performance. Cheaper notebooks traditionally ship with weaker batteries to shave even more cost off the bottom line, but the CQ42's six-cell Lithium-ion battery managed a perfectly respectable two hours and 22 minutes in our punishing full-screen, full-brightness video test with all battery-saving measures disabled. For everyday use, you could expect even more, and for a system at this price and with this size screen, that's a nice achievement.

Conclusion

The competition for entry-level computing dollars has never been more fierce. At this price point, you could equally and just as justifiably purchase any number of netbooks, an entry-level Apple iPad or several competing bargain basement notebook options. It's a matter of matching your requirements to your budget, and if the larger screen and more comfortable keyboard of the CQ42 are more important than portability or particular performance grunt, it's a good option to consider.

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justonebrooke
6
Rating
 

"VERY basic laptop."

justonebrooke posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Starts off fast, good screen, decent sound

The Bad:Rubbish fan, poor battery (after a while), CD drive is crap, goes severely slow after just a couple of year, annoying USB hubs

This laptop was great for me for a couple of years.
I got it when I was in year 9 at school (July 2010) and it worked fro a couple of years. Did me great. I was able to watch movies, play Sims 3, browse the internet speedily, and do all my basic school work.
But alas, after a year and a half of heavy CD drive usage, the drive broke. Almost completely. On the odd occasion, I can rip a CD or two, but no movies, no Sims, nothing. Torture.
And now that I am writing a lot of essays and doing a lot more work (and saving it all to the hard drive), the computer has started to slow down severely. Some days it will turn on, open Microsoft Word 2003, and then crash after just minutes. Very disappointing!
I can't afford to get a new laptop, and I shouldn't need to as I haven't even had this one for three years! I thought that HP computers would last me a while, but i was wrong!
Very annoyed about this. I will be moving to another country next year and I can't rely on this laptop any longer, and I will be needing another one. But I just can't afford it!
Unless you are using very, VERY basic things on this laptop, and not using it too much, I strongly suggest you do not buy this laptop. You will be disappointed after a short period of time.

K69vishal
3
Rating
 

K69vishal posted a review   
Australia

the worst thing is that laptop fan is not working and get heated up....any ideas we can fix it....it freezes our work when using internet plus skype as well.

Thanks

Mosses98
7
Rating
 

"Its Good"

Mosses98 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Battery, Mouse Pad, Key Board, Great Price

The Bad:Laptops Fan

This laptop was really good to me and still is. I play Sims 2 on it all the time and the bettery USE to last a long time but its worn out now so ill have to relplace it now after 2 years. The laptop USE to be really fast but its getting slow after about 3 years as it has filled up with my junk and I have to try and delete some of it. The hard drive is big enough for me but I use a backup hard drive as well just in case. I may have to replace this laptop now becasue I purchased this laptop about 3 years ago and it has crash (the blue screen of death). I would probally get another one of these laptops because I like it its just that over the years it has gotten slow.

Its worth it but I may have to factory reset the laptop due to slowness (probally my fault).

LyndalG Facebook
8
Rating
 

"Works for me"

LyndalG posted a review   

The Good:Great price, good battery

The Bad:Mousepad.

I was so frustrated with this mousepad that I did a very uncool thing and went and bought a $15 mouse! Problem solved!!

USB hubs are so close together on the left side of unit that it's almost impossible to have two inserted at the same time.

Otherwise, for the price, I am very happy with the performance of this laptop. My original battery needs replacing but I bought the laptop two years ago, so I think I got good value there.

 

Its_Jaymay posted a comment   
Australia

Probably the worst thing about this laptop for me is the fact that the cooling fan is on the bottom of the device. Means that basically no matter how I use this laptop, I will always have heat problems. Otherwise, it's completely suitable for me as a student, and even manages to do some mid level gaming, provided the settings are turned down. A nice simple laptop, in short.

AdamE2 Facebook
2
Rating
 

"I HATE this laptop!!!"

AdamE2 posted a review   

The Good:nothing

The Bad:problem with bluetooth device,not great for gaming

AdamE2 Facebook
2
Rating
 

"I HATE this laptop!!!"

AdamE2 posted a review   

The Good:nothing

The Bad:problem with bluetooth device,not great for gaming

PCPete
4
Rating
 

"Keyboard is SEVERELY compromised"

PCPete posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Good battery

The Bad:Horrible support, shocking keyboard functionality

The very worst thing about this entry-level device is one that never made it into any review anywhere :

There's NO NUMERIC KEYPAD functionality whatsoever.

That means :
1) any software that expects you to be able to hit NUMLOCK, or any of the dedicated number pad keys, will fail to work properly (unless you can reconfigure the software itself); and worse,
2) The NUMLOCK and SCROLLOCK keys are "phantomed" by the BIOS, so they toggle randomly on all models without the numeric keypad.

#2 doesn't sound all that bad, right? Wrong!

Because the num/scroll lock keys toggle randomly, they register as keystrokes for much software (including Office 2010, Open Office, and most commercial software). This means that, for example, you can't alt-tab between applications, because as soon as you hit alt-tab, the BIOS toggles one of the lock keys, and you lose the task list. It just disappears!

And if you want to drag taskbar icons around, forget it. As soon as you start dragging, the BIOS toggles the lock keys again, and your app task button is dropped wherever you happen to be.

I cannot describe adequately how awful and annoying this keyboard is. Worse, HP refuses to admit that this is a problem (even though it occurred on more than 8 brand-new display units at Harvey Norman and Officeworks!!), and instead tell you to reinstall the OS. When you do, you're back to square one - your apps all have to be reinstalled and you STILL have the numlock/scrollock problem!

Bizarre and unusable is how I'd put it. And I'm an ex-HP employee (PC Support, even!)

 

HayotilloT posted a comment   

Where did you buy the ram from? I know how to upgrade it myself but I've been searching for compaq presario cq42 ram from everywhere please email me ASAP @ always.mine@live.com !!!!! %uF8FF%uF8FF%uF8FF%uF8FF%uF8FF%uF8FF%uF8FF

jarrodXD
10
Rating
 

"this is a great laptop"

jarrodXD posted a review   
Australia

i have owent this laptop for quitt a while now i'v upgraded the ram to 4g and are looking to upgrade the hdd to overall great performance and design.


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User Reviews / Comments  HP Compaq Presario CQ42-136TU

  • justonebrooke

    justonebrooke

    Rating6

    "This laptop was great for me for a couple of years.
    I got it when I was in year 9 at school (July 2010) and it worked fro a couple of years. Did me great. I was able to watch movies, play Sim..."

  • K69vishal

    K69vishal

    Rating3

    "the worst thing is that laptop fan is not working and get heated up....any ideas we can fix it....it freezes our work when using internet plus skype as well.

    Thanks"

  • Mosses98

    Mosses98

    Rating7

    "This laptop was really good to me and still is. I play Sims 2 on it all the time and the bettery USE to last a long time but its worn out now so ill have to relplace it now after 2 years. The lapto..."

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