The HP Special Edition L2000is powered by the AMD Turion processor. Both AMD and HP have been supporting Lance Armstrong’s centre for cancer. HP gives the foundation $50 for every notebook purchased from them — a noble cause and as a person who has seen people suffering from cancer I appreciate that.
HP L2000 Front view (view large image)
Reasons for Buying
HP L2000 above view (view large image)
I was looking for a thin and light laptop, for as little as possible to supplement my current XPS DTR. I wasn’t concerned about processor speed, VRAM or other additional features, I was looking for a sleek laptop, which looked good and offered decent performance for the price. My budget ruled out many good brands like IBM/Lenovo & ASUS. I was essentially left with two options if I wanted the best bang for my buck: Dell and HP/Compaq.
I wanted something portable so I was looking for notebooks with 12-14.1″ screens. Widescreen was a plus but not a requirement. Battery life of 3hrs or more would be a plus but not a requirement (because I usually spend more than 7-8 hrs away from my desk, so I would have to carry the power brick anyway). Just these simplerequirements brought down my options to 2: HP Compaq’s V2000/L2000 series or the Dell XPS M140/Inspiron 630m.
I ended up getting the HP L2000 over the Dell mainly because the HP looked better and I didn’t like the Inspirons thick casing. I got the HP L2000 over the Compaq V2000z (both are nearly the exact same notebook) because it was cheaper (during the weak I ordered it), better looking and it was opportunity to contribute some $$$ towards a good cause.
Specs and details of Purchase
Here are the specs of the laptop I got:
- Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition with SP2
- AMD Turion(TM) 64 ML-37 (2.0GHz/1MB L2 Cache)
- 14.0 WXGA BrightView Widescreen
- ATI RADEON(R) XPRESS 200M w/productivity ports
- 512MB DDR SDRAM (2x256MB)
- 80 GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
- DVD+/-RW/R CD-RW Combo w/Double Layer
- 54g(TM) Integrated Broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN & Bluetooth
- 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
- Total: $822 (With the student APP discount) + free shipping
I purchased the laptop from hp.com, and I was extremely delighted with the deal. I was looking around for quite some time and thought this was a steal.
LIVESTRONG branding and Lance Armstrong signature (view large image)
Build & Design
Lid view with LIVESTRONG logo (view large image)
The laptop is beautiful. I love the color scheme and the general layout. I feel the casing is much sturdier than Dell’s current Inspiron line, it feels like it’s made of metal (but it isn’t, it’s plastic as expected for an $800 laptop). At first the laptop reminded me of the ThinkPad series but it didn’t take me long to realize that the laptop is nowhere close to the build quality of the mighty ThinkPad’s.
On the right of the system we have 2 USB ports, S Video out, the DVD Writer and the 5 in 1 card reader. On the left we have, VGA port, 1 USB port, Ethernet and modem connections and the L2000’s mini dock port. There is some flex in the screen, but nothing outside the normal levels. The hinges hold the screen in position steadily and there is little to no wobbling. The laptop is light and easy to carry around. Warning: the laptop attracts a lot of attention, thanks to its amazing looks and the LIVESTRONG.
Right side view (view large image)
Left side view (view large image)
Overall the build and design quality is more than satisfactory.
The screen is just beautiful, especially with BrightView. Just beautiful, no issues here it’s perfect. Even at the 2nd lowest brightness level the screen is nearly as good as the screen on my old Dell XPS/ Inspiron 9100 with the brightness all the way up.
Screen (view large image)
Good quality Altec Lansing, like most other thin and lights the sound lacks bass, other than that the speakers are much better than average laptop speakers.
Processor and Performance
Ok crunch time. Overall the processor seems snappy and the unit is responsive. Boot time was minimal (probably because I didn’t have anything installed yet) and the bios loaded quickly.
I used the system for surfing, MS word and some coding/compiling in Visual Studio. No lags of any sought. Although when I had LOTS of programs running simultaneously the computer froze. It was obvious I needed more RAM but since I wasn’t 100% sure I would keep this lappy I refrained from buying new RAM from newegg.
Does the 64bit processor make any difference today? No.
Also comparing the super pi benchmarks (below) with the PM’s I think the clock speed on the Turion is bit exaggerated. Read Here.
The article perfectly reflects my sentiments on the processor. It’s fast and crispy but it is slower than similar clocked Pentium M’s and as of now I firmly believe that the 64 bit capability is pretty useless unless you are hell bent on running fedora or if you’re running test versions of Vista.
Note: For benchmarking I turned off all power saving features and enabled everything for maximum performance
For the super pi benchmark I reduced the VRAM to 32MB therefore the effective RAM was 480MB.
Comparison of notebooks using Super Pi to calculate Pi to 2 million digits:
NotebookTime to Calculate Pi to 2 Million DigitsHP L2000 (AMD Turion 64 ML-37)1m 52sFujitsu LifeBook N3510 (1.73 GHz Alviso Pentium M)1m 48sIBM ThinkPad T41 (1.6GHz Banias Pentium M)2m 23sCompaq R3000T (Celeron 2.8GHz)3m 3sDell Inspiron 600m (1.6 GHz Dothan Pentium M)2m 10sDell Inspiron 8600 (1.7GHz Banias Pentium M)2m 28s
For the 3Dmark benchmark, I turned up the VRAM to 128MB so the effective normal RAM was 384MB.
GT1 – Return To Proxycon
GT2 – Firefly Forest
GT3 – Canyon Flight
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard is full sized, with external buttons for volume control (up-down-mute), wifi (on/off) and the touchpad (on/off). The wifi button and the touchpad button are useful, but not essential. The touch pad in my opinion is kinda small, not unusual for a 14″ laptop, but just so you know it’s not as comfortable as a 15″ notebook touchpad. The scrolling feature of the touch pad works very nicely and the overall the touchpad is responsive and has a nice feel to it.
The keyboard does flex a little like other budget laptops, but overall no complaints.
Since I was planning on traveling a lot with the laptop I configured it with 54g(TM) Integrated Broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN and built in Bluetooth. The wireless on/off button turned out to be more useful than I had previously thought. It saves a couple of minutes of battery life, one of the few things lacking in this laptop.
No issues with the wireless, it worked perfectly fine and my Bluetooth mouse was ready for use in less than a minute.
I ordered the standard 6 cell battery because I didn’t like the way the 12 cell stuck out at the bottom. I went into safe mode and charged/discharged the battery 2 times before noting down battery life times (The procedure was recommended in some articles)
Note: For the battery tests I changed everything to power saving mode.
Without Undervolting the Turion processor:
I got an average of 1 hrs and 52minswith the screen set to maximum brightness and some heavy duty work. With the screen brightness turned all the way down and some internet surfing and MS Word I got around 2hrs and 20mins. It was decent but my Inspiron 9100 with a 3.4GHz P4 with HT also gets 2hrs with light usage!
The processor does get pretty hot. Hot enough such that you cannot keep it on you lap after an hour if you’re running processor intensive tasks. My left palm rest did get warm but it was not unbearable, but the heat at the bottom was pretty bad. Note: I was lucky not to get a faulty hard drive. Some people reported having heat issues with their Samsung hardrives (not too sure). I got a Seagate 60 GB 5400rpm HDD.
With Undervolting (idle: 1v, max: 1.2v, using the Undervolting my L2000′ thread on nbr.com):
There was a boost of about 10-15mins from the previously noted times. After Undervolting the heat situation changed, it was cooler but the heat generated was still more than my roommates Inspiron 6000 under similar loads.
Conclusion on Undervolting: The risk of screwing up your system is virtually non-existent, and the benefits are plentiful.
Operating System and Software
They were awesome. When I placed my order I was getting a 60gig HDD (with the same specs as above) for around $892. The next day when I checked they had a 80gig HDD and the price was also down to 822 for the exact same specs, so I gave them a call and they refunded me the $$$ and upgraded my HDD to 80gigs! Not bad at all, I was impressed. And as you will find out later they are also really good with returns 😉
- Battery life could be better (you could get the 12 cell instead)
- Looks great and it’s a overall well built machine
As much as I loved the L2000, I ended up returning the unit. It was hard to let go, but the system was overkill for my basic needs and I needed to save money. Since I had store credit at Buy.com I ended up getting the Acer Travel Mate 2423WXCi($499) from there.
Perhaps if the laptop temps were a bit lower I would have kept it. I hardly found any faults in the laptop casing, or design. My only complaints were the not-so-cool processor, which was responsible for the not-so-cool battery life.
So why not get the same notebook with a Pentium? That is my recommendation — get the V2000 or V2000T for now. But if you think you are going to keep this laptop for more than 4 years or if you want to try out fedora then you should probably get the Turion and undervolt it.
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