Put the Presario CQ62 up against the recently reviewed Presario CQ42, and from a design perspective, you'd be hard put to pick the differences aside from screen size. The CQ62 sports a 15.6-inch, 1366x768-pixel display to the CQ42's 14-inch display, but otherwise they're cut from the same design cloth. That design cloth comes from the bargain basement rack at the back of Spotlight, as all you get to differentiate your notebook from any number of inexpensive models is an inlaid triangular pattern. It's pretty plain stuff, and nobody's going to buy the CQ62 for the style.
What they might buy it for is the keyboard, which has good response and plenty of space in which to operate. It's comfortable to use, and sits above the same flush-with-the-wrist-rest trackpad that we didn't like nearly as much on the CQ42. Tastes may vary, but we find we brush it with our wrists far too much simply because there's no gap or resistance point to delineate it while working.
The CQ62 uses a 2.26GHz Intel Core i3 i3-350M processor, 4GB of memory, a 500GB 7200rpm hard drive and Intel's HD Graphics Media Accelerator for pixel pushing tasks. The optical drive is a LightScribe SuperMulti DVD±RW with Double Layer Support. Connectivity includes three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, VGA, 100Mb Ethernet, modem, five-in-one card reader and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
On the software side, the CQ62 runs Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit. Also pre-installed are 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).
The Core i3 at the heart of the CQ62 is the bottom rung of Intel's current "Core" processor series, so expecting top-notch performance out of the CQ62 is a bit much. It's interesting, however, to put it directly up against the CQ42, which sports a lesser Celeron T3100 1.9GHz processor, but is otherwise quite close in specifications, but not price. The CQ62's better processor and higher quality graphics gave it a distinct edge against the CQ42, scoring 5652 in PCMark05 and 1373 in 3DMark06. Those aren't scores that will see it up against the best and brightest of the notebook world, but if your processing needs intermittently tend towards needing a little extra power, the CQ62 has it to offer.
All that power doesn't come without a cost. The CQ62 only just limped over the two-hour mark in our full-screen, full-brightness battery test, finally conking out at two hours and 12 minutes. With careful usage and battery-saving features re-enabled you'd get a little more than this in most cases, but it's still not a system with extensive battery resources.
We liked the cheaper CQ42 despite its flaws precisely because it was cheap and fills a niche that neither iPad-style tablets or netbooks currently serve. That's roughly the positioning for the CQ62 as well, but its AU$999 price tag, combined with the fact that for not a great deal more you can score a much better notebook, make it a much less compelling option.