HP Compaq Presario CQ56-111SA review

A solid laptop, offering decent levels of performance but irritating usability

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Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Good performance
  • Price
  • Keyboard
  • Bright screen


  • Touchpad design
  • Graphics power

Compaq is HP's entry-level laptop brand and is suited to business as well as consumer use. The Compaq Presario CQ56-111SA is a decent machine which provides impressive everyday performance, even if there are a few usability quirks.

The 15.6-inch panel boasts a widescreen 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, making it great for watching movies without any irritating black bands horizontally sandwiching the picture. The display is bright and provides vivid colours that will make your photos look great.

The matt-black plastic chassis is functional and smart, with brushed aluminium hinges giving the laptop a touch of class, although we still prefer the look of the Samsung RV510.

Build quality is good and the laptop will take the odd knock and bang on the road. It's also easy to keep clean, thanks to the lack of a shiny finish.

The keyboard provides a snappy typing action that regular typists will love, and we especially approve of the large size of each key, making miss-hits a rare thing. This will suit the likes of students who may have to regularly write essays and dissertations.

Unfortunately, the large touchpad isn't such a pleasure to use. We regularly brushed it with our palms while typing, causing the cursor to erratically jump all over the page, randomly selecting and moving text. This got boring very quickly. You can switch the touchpad on and off with a hotkey, but we found this also slowed us down when working.

Everyday power

Nevertheless, the Compaq provides good everyday power, thanks to the Intel Pentium T4500 processor and 3072MB of DDR2 memory. If you're after a machine with the capability to multi-task a few programmes at once fluidly, this is a good choice.

The same can't be said for graphical power, however, and the MSI CR630 offers the most multimedia performance, making it a better choice if the likes of photo editing and internet games are a priority for you.


Battery life: 243 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 171
3DMark 2003: 1586

Compaq presario cq56 111sa

Three USB ports is standard, providing plenty of space for plugging in peripherals, and there's also 802.11n Wi-Fi for connecting to wireless networks at high-speed for browsing the internet.

Unfortunately, there is no multicard reader, which will disappoint those who prefer to download their photos from a digital camera using this method.

Having said that, ultimately we were impressed with the HP Compaq Presario CQ56-111SA and, aside from the irritating touchpad setup, it is a solid effort that offers impressive everyday performance.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGMA 4500M
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyPresario CQ56-100
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelT4500
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed2.30 GHz
Processor TypePentium
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory3 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.55 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, EPEAT Silver
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelGL40 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Labeling TechnologyLightScribe
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1.27 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyBrightView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Height37.8 mm
Width374 mm
Depth246 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesCQ56-100
Product ModelCQ56-111SA
Product NamePresario CQ56-111SA Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LinePresario
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberXL574EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

A perfect balance of technology and appearance, this notebook makes it easy to do more and stay connected. This is the first choice for a worry-free PC experience, at a price you can afford.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Presario CQ56-111SA Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Limited Warranty1 Year
    Bus Speed800 MHz