Hands On Review - Compaq Armada
##AUTHORSPLIT##<--->Compaqs Armada E500 is a good balance of affordability and performance. In our use of the notebook, we found its operation to be about as fast and smooth as any weve encountered. A 700 MHz Intel Mobile Pentium III processor with SpeedStep technology provides its seamless performance, aided by a 6GB SMART hard drive and 64MB SDRAM. For those who can do with a slightly slower performing notebook, the Armada is also available with 550 MHz Intel Celeron processors.
Very light in weight (starting at 5.7 lbs.), the integrated design of the Armada includes a 24X Max CD-ROM drive (or 8X DVD drive), built-in 56K modem, two PC card slots and a standard floppy drive. Also built in to the sleek design are nice extras like stereo speakers, an infrared transceiver, TV/Video out (NTSC/PAL), microphone, headphone jack, etc. A mylar lining under the keyboard helps protect from spills. (In an unscheduled portion of the review process, this reviewer was able to witness firsthand what a handy feature this is.)
Our Armada came installed with Windows 98; however, users can choose between Windows 95, 98, 2000 or NT Workstation 4.0. The only real troubles we encountered were with the touch pad, which can be a little over-sensitive. The units 13.5 color display is a little small, but the line d'es offer models with displays up to 15. Overall, we found the Armada to be quite a workhorse. It has surprising speed and usability for a notebook of its price and size. We were particularly impressed by the life of the 9-cell Li-ion battery. The notebook could stay in use on battery power for well over three hours. For those who require serious battery performance, the E500 can support up to three batteries for over nine hours of battery life. In any case, the Armada E500 is perfect for anyone who wants high performance and low hassle: in other words, anybody.
Compaq Computer Corp.
This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.