HP’s 510 Notebook Keeps Wallets Happy

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We know there’s a school of computer enthusiast out there who only think of notebook computers in terms of “desktop replacement”—all the power of your mega-tower gaming powerhouse but with the capability to carry it to your favorite cyber-hangout and score points with the beautiful people. And there’s another school whose main considerations are size and weight: with all the traveling and that old sports injury acting up, form factor is all important and every ounce counts.

But there’s another school: those who simply want to get work done. For them, a notebook computer isn’t a portable multimedia and gaming powerhouse, and they’d rather not strain their eyes or huddle over diminutive keyboards. They’d like to put words in a row, maybe crunch some numbers, surf the Internet, and do so without going into debt.

HP’s new 510 notebook PC isn’t going to take home any awards for design, cutting edge features, or performance—but it does offer a decent screen and enough horsepower to handle everyday computing tasks—at least for a little while yet—at a price which won’t induce fainting spells. The HP 510s ship with Windows XP (Home or Professional), run either Celeron or Pentium M processors (at 1.4 or 2.13 GHz, respectively), along with 512 MB of RAM (max 1 GB!), a 60 GB hard drive, and a undeniably decent 15.4-inch WXGA Brightview display. Other features include either a DVD/CD-RW combo drive or dual layer DVD burner, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a Type I/II PCMCIA slot, 100Base-T Ethernet, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking, 56k modem, micr and headphone jacks, and a total weight of six pounds.

But here’s the best part: suggested prices for the Celeron model start at $565, while the Pentium M model starts at $699. These aren’t going to be Vista powerhouses, but if you just need a notebook with a decent screen for everyday computing and Internet tasks, these should fit the bill.