The Presario V4114AP is a large but surprisingly thin notebook, measuring in at 3.35cm by 35.85cm by 25.78cm and weighing in at just under 3kg. It's laid out in a rather plain style, especially for a modern consumer notebook, although there are a few design features that caught our eye. On our review sample, marked as a demonstration unit, the ports on each side are labelled on corresponding top side. That might not sound like much, but it's a nice step we're surprised more manufacturers haven't taken on board, as it makes quickly finding the right port or socket a real breeze. Hopefully this isn't just a feature of the demo unit.
The keyboard on the V4114AP has a standard 101-key layout with keys that have a suprising amount of travel, making it an easy notebook to sit and type at. Additional function buttons are at a minimum; all you've got are volume controls and a wireless network button grouped rather inconvieniently around the power button at the top of the keyboard.
The V4114AP features a Celeron M Processor 370 running at 1.5GHz, with a relatively meagre 256MB of memory and a much more pleasing 60GB hard drive. Graphics functionality is supplied via the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900, although it shares its memory with the main onboard memory, further draining memory resources. The onboard optical drive is a dual-layer multi-format DVD burner. Networking, both wired and wireless (802.11g) is supported, although the unit lacks a Centrino badge. For the hotel travellers, modem connectivity is also present. Ports include 4 USB 2.0, a six-in-one media reader, 1 Firewire and S-video and VGA out for visuals. The V4114AP's display is a widescreen aspect 15.4-inch TFT capable of WXGA resolution -- that's up to 1280 by 800 resolution for number-type folks.
On the software side, the V4114AP runs on Windows XP Home edition, and the preinstalled software includes Windows Media Player 10, Microsoft Money 2005, Microsoft Works 8.0, Microsoft Encarta Standard, Adobe Acrobat Reader, InterVideo WinDVD Player, Sonic Digital Media Plus, Sonic RecordNow!, Sonic MyDVD, Muvee AutoProducer DVD Edition, iTunes, Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2005 and Symantec Norton Internet Security 2005. On the software front, at least from a value for money proposition considering the relatively low asking price, the V4114AP shines.
If there's one thing that the V4114AP was never going to be, it's a blazing performance machine, especially with the limited memory that the standard configuration offers. We tested the V4114AP with Bapco's MobileMark 2002, where it registered a score of 130 in that benchmark's performance testing. That's not a shameful figure, but you can certainly get better figures with a notebook that's more fully featured. The flipside of that is that most notebooks with better internal components cost more, so as always it's a balancing act between performance and price.
The V4114AP's battery life was likewise acceptable but not of a standout nature. On the relatively demanding performance test of MobileMark 2002, it lasted for two hours and thirty-eight minutes before its 6-cell Lithium Ion battery conked out. Switching to the less intensive reader test only managed to drag out an additional ten minutes of battery life over the performance score.
The V4114AP isn't a high-end notebook, or an ultraportable high performance wonder; it's just a plain Jane style notebook with ordinary performance, but most importantly, a pricing regime to match that performance. If you just need a relatively inexpensive notebook that'll mostly work as a desktop replacement, the V4114AP is worth a look.
HP Compaq Presario V4114AP