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Compaq Presario CQ50Z 15.4-inch Budget Laptop PC

About.com Rating 2 Star Rating
User Rating 2 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Compaq Presario CQ50Z Budget Laptop

Compaq Presario CQ50Z


The Bottom Line

10/2/08 - Compaq's Presario CQ50Z is very attractive laptop thanks to its really low price. It can be found for under $500 quite regularly. The problem is that consumers give up a lot to get the laptop for so little. Performance is much lower than just slightly more expensive Intel based systems. Even worse is that the system lacks many ports essential for expanding the capabilities of the laptop. About the only other thing going for it are the graphics that are slightly better than Intel's integrated solution, but don't expect to be playing current PC games on it really.
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  • Inexpensive
  • Graphics Better Than Most Integrated Solutions


  • Limited Performance
  • No Expansion Card Slots
  • Lacks FireWire Ports


  • AMD Turion X2 QL-60 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
  • 160GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner with LightScribe
  • 15.4" WXGA (1280x800) Wide LCD Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8200M G Graphics
  • v.92 56Kbps Modem, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g Wireless
  • Three USB 2.0, 5-in-1 Card Reader
  • 14.1" x 10.1" x 1.8" @ 6.5 lbs.
  • Vista Home Premium, Works, PhotoSmart Essentials, AutoProducer, Cyberlink DVD Suite, Norton Internet Security

Guide Review - Compaq Presario CQ50Z 15.4-inch Budget Laptop PC

10/2/08 - The Compaq Presario CQ50Z is really a system of compromises. In order to get the price so low, the system seems to lack many standard features found on just about any other laptop on the market. Some of the items missing include a FireWire port and an ExpressCard slot. Both of these are critical for those looking to expand their notebook for use with external devices such as digital camcorders or a Wireless WAN. What consumers get in exchange for dropping these features is an extremely affordable laptop.

Performance is certainly not one of the strong points with the Presario CQ50Z. The system is based upon an AMD Turion X2 QL-60 dual core mobile processor. While this is decent for basic productivity and web browsing, it falls behind the Intel Core 2 Duo processors by a fairly large margin when it comes to multimedia applications that require more processing power. The 2GB of memory will let it run smooth enough with Vista though.

One area where the Presario CQ50Z has an advantage is in the graphics. It uses the NVIDIA GeForce 8200M G graphics that give it a bit better performance than most of the integrated solutions provided from Intel or ATI. It may be able to play some of the older PC games on the market, but don't expect it to provide enough performance for modern PC games. It also lacks the ability to really support HD video decoding.

With all these compromises, the Presario CQ50Z will have a limited audience. Users with the need for multimedia or digital video will be extremely disappointed with the system, but those needing just a basic computer for productivity and internet may be satisfied with the price even with its limitations.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 2 out of 5
Holy Hell you don't want this., Member dd089966

Where to begin... Cons: The laptop overheats. Sometimes BSOD. No expansion ports whatsoever. Has a tendency to fall on floors. (rubber stoppers at bottom fell off after a year) And to top it off, you can't really play any games that well. Oblivion on low is OK, but Mirror's Edge on low is laggy at times. Original battery blows. I ended up tearing up my baby open the hard way and shaving down and cleaning the fan for the CPU and it still overheats. Hard-drive started to click after a 1 year 1/2. Really hard to take apart apparently. Ended up breaking the power button board because of the short ribbon it had. Whoops. BIOS is so basic it's tear wrenching. Bought a 12-cell battery very soon after getting the CQ50Z laptop, and which in turn the battery life was much much much better, including the overheating problem. This damn gets really hot, really fast for no reason at times. Pros: Decent speakers. Soft and slick mousepad. Good keyboard, not full, but not pathetic. Can take a ton of falls to the floor. Beautiful crisp screen even after 2 3/4 years. Overall can take so much damage it's ridiculous. Has all of the original parts working still. Even the hard-drive which likes to say hello to me and ask me how my day was in morse code. Very considerate fellow actually. Can be upgraded to Windows 7 no problem. Has a respectable Windows Score of 3.7. In the end, it's a computer you learn to love through all that hate it earns. Still though, it's nice to know it's going to take care of your needs when you need it to be there. Picture related: It's my beautiful CQ50Z. (I wasn't joking)

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

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