• 2 GB RAM expandable to 8 GB
• 15.4 WXGA BrightView display
• LightScribe disc labeling
There’s an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor at the heart of the computer running at 2.40 GHz clock speed with a 3MB L2 cache and 1066 MHz front side bus speed. While that’s likely adequate for most business users, there are four upgrades available up to an Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 running at 2.80 GHz, a 6 MB L2 cache and the same 1066 MHz front side bus speed. Though most users will be best served by maximizing processor speed, there are also a couple of downgrades available that still offer pretty snappy performance for most needs while saving some money.
Going hand in hand with the processor to define the computer’s performance is the memory. The 6730b comes standard with 2 GB of DDR2 RAM which is upgradeable to 8 MB. A 320 GB hard drive is included in the package price. That can be increased to 500 GB for a reasonable price or reduced to 160 GB for those who prefer to economize a bit.
We mentioned earlier that connectivity is among the HP Compaq 6730b’s strong points. Here are some details. The computer comes ready for wireless networking with built in Wi-Fi supporting the 802.11a/b/g and draft-n standards. Additionally, wireless broadband can be included from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon Wireless. This is, of course, and option and the preferred carrier must be specified at the time of ordering. Use of this service requires activation of wireless broadband service from the selected carrier. For additional information about the carriers, take a look at our side-by-side comparison of Mobile Broadband services. Recognizing that wireless internet connections aren’t always available, this computer is outfitted with a 56K dial-up modem for yet another means of staying in touch.
Sensitive business information can be protected by a couple of options for relatively low cost. A fingerprint reader can be added to the device as can a smart card reader.
The HP Compaq 6730b comes equipped with a CD/DVD reader/burner including LightScribe disc labeling which allows you to burn labels onto the created discs. A second 250 GB hard drive can be substituted for the CD/DVD drive. Also optional is an integrated VGA webcam.
Connectivity to Bluetooth wireless devices is available with the HP Compaq 6730b but there’s a rather odd relationship between this option and the available warranty. If you want Bluetooth, you have to opt for the three year warranty. Without Bluetooth, only the one year warranty is available. We fail to see the connection but suspect that marketing has more to do with it than technical necessity.
Up to about six hours of battery life can be expected from the 6-cell, 55WHr battery but that depends in great measure what’s being done with the computer. As always, using features like Bluetooth and wireless broadband will quickly reduce the time that you can operate without plugging into an AC outlet.
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional is the standard operating system for this computer. For those who prefer, it can be downgraded to Windows XP or Windows Vista, though we can’t quite imagine why anyone would want to do that, especially regarding Vista.