HP Compaq Presario CQ61-402SA review

An underwhelming laptop, but a decent software suite is included to get you started

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Our Verdict

A decent laptop for the money, but if you are looking for power then we would look elsewhere

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Single-core (1 Core)

View full specification


  • Good bundled software
  • HDMI
  • Good keyboard
  • Decent basic performance
  • Usability


  • Limited graphics power
  • Battery life
  • Portability

The HP Compaq Presario CQ61-402SA is an entry level machine for those after basic performance and portability.

Usability is good, however, and while it can't compete with the Acer Aspire 5732Z-443G32Mn and Samsung R530 on many levels, it is certainly worth a look.

The laptop compares closely with the Toshiba Satellite Pro L450-13R in terms of performance. Both laptops feature the same processor, the same amount of memory and the same graphics card and yet this machine performs better across the board.

As a result, it is able to run programs faster than the Toshiba and offers more power for carrying out complex tasks such as photo and video editing.

Having said that, you'll still be limited to basic multimedia work and if this is a priority for you, it's worth checking out the Acer instead.

Nevertheless, HP has bundled some video and photo-editing software for you to play around with, including CyberLink MediaShow for editing and cataloguing photos and videos, and CyberLink PowerDVD for playing back movie DVDs.

Standard storage

The 250GB hard drive is standard for the price and provides plenty of room for storing your files, folders and various media libraries. Should you also want to back up your data to CD or DVD, you can do so using the integrated optical drive.

Much like the Toshiba Satellite Pro L450-13R, the screen isn't as bright as the Samsung R530, but colour reproduction and vibrancy are good enough. One thing we did notice, however, was that the screen doesn't fold back much past 45 degrees from vertical, and this makes it hard to find a comfortable viewing angle in cramped conditions – on a train, for example.

As with the Acer and Toshiba Satellite Pro L450-13R, the chassis is built from tough plastics, but the glossy lid quickly attracts fingerprints. The keyboard is second only to the Samsung R530 and is very intuitive to use, as is the dedicated numeric keypad.

build hp

Portability isn't as impressive as we would have hoped, however, and at 2.8kg it's not a machine many would want to carry.

Its 188-minute battery life is just about acceptable, but still falls far short of the standards set by the Acer and Samsung. As a result, if portability is of maximum importance to you, you're better off opting for one of the other machines instead.

Connectivity is standard for this group, although this machine doesn't boast the high-speed Gigabit Ethernet that the Acer features. Nevertheless, it does have an HDMI port – a nice touch at this low price.

Overall, the HP Compaq Presario CQ61-402SA slightly underwhelmed us. It has good usability and a serviceable screen, but performance could be better, as could portability.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGMA 4500M
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Product FamilyPresario CQ61-400
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Model900
ColourGlossy Black
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameCompaq
Processor Speed2.20 GHz
Processor TypeCeleron
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.68 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreSingle-core (1 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
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 797 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyBrightView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Height41.2 mm
Width378 mm
Depth252 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesCQ61-400
Product ModelCQ61-402SA
Product NamePresario CQ61-402SA Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LinePresario
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberWE089EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

Sleek and stylish by design, this 39.6 cm (15.6-inch), 16:9 ratio Compaq Presario notebook features a unique Imprint design in a glossy black finish.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Presario CQ61-402SA Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Limited Warranty1 Year
    Bus Speed800 MHz