Saturday, December 15, 2007

It looks like we have another F-series laptop landing! (The F730us Discussion)

If you have checked out this week's Sunday paper you may have noticed a new Compaq Presario F-series notebook advertised at very tempting prices. It is the Presario F730us at Staples, for the sexy price of $450 after a $30 mail-in rebate. This is very similar to this guy, but it has a 120gb hard disk (instead of 80gb) and a TK-55 processor (vs TK-53 of the F572us). I haven't compared the other specs in detail so I can't tell you much more.

Needless to say if this guy was a great deal at $450, the F730us sounds like an even better deal at the same price! Granted, I know nothing about this model, so if you want to take a chance on the F730us, be sure to check around the internet and the laptop message boards and forums for some reviews or at least more insight into it!

Speaking of the Sunday paper, there's some other really nice laptop deals, namely at Best Buy where a couple of entry-level models are avaiable for under $400. As it is often the case, the better the deal the faster they disappear, but you never know! Luck favors the bold (or the bald?)

Meanwhile back to this guy (the F572us), I was supposed to do the two months after review a couple of weeks ago, but it's running slightly late. Rest assured it will be posted before Thanksgiving :-)

Update!
A blog reader has purchased the Compaq Presario F730 and has just posted his first impressions in the comments section of this post, so be sure to check it out if you are interested in it! From what he describes, this sounds like it has a lot of similarities with the F572us spec-wise, but has a better processor and more hard disk while at the same price! Thanks to the reader posting it!

Update II
Another one of our blog readers have picked up the F730 and has added their hands-on first impressions in the Comments section. Check them out, and thanks for posting!

Update III
A couple more of our readers have shared their impressions and experience. One reader got rid of Vista and is happily running XP with a nice performance boost. Check out the comments for all the details! And thanks to the readers for sharing it with everyone else!

Update IV
We have more reader feedback on the F730us added in the Comments Section of this post! This post is a discussion on the F730us so please feel free to discuss it here! It is a sister notebook of the F572us, so this is of interest to owners of both laptops! I have adjusted the post title to make it more F730us-friendly :)

PS> There will be a short Blogger outage at 4pm pacific (7pm eastern) on Monday October 15, 2007.

Update V
The Blogger update is complete. All apologies if you experienced any technical difficulties during the blogger maintenance. A new user hands-on has been posted in the Comments section so be sure to check it out. The F730us is starting to look like a real steal at the $450AR Columbus Day deal at Staples. These deals can be cyclical so if you missed it the first time, keep your eyes open, and your price matching policies handy :) Its predecessor sister model, the F572us came back a few times in different stores at the $450AR (after rebate) price.

Update VI - Saturday October 20
Thanks to everyone for sharing their F730us experience in the Comments section! A couple of our readers have posted their WEI scores as well if you like to compare... Also, I just noticed that the F730us is advertised in this weekend's Fry's newspaper ad for $480 after a $30 mail in rebate. The Fry's website shows it as sold out, but I don't know what the store availability is. The Fry's website for the F730us. Please note their website shows the regular price, not the sales price. Perhaps because it is sold out?

Update VII - Sunday October 21
It looks like the F730us is back on sale! This time at Circuit City for $470. The downsize is that to get that price you have to send two rebates, the usual $30 rebate, and another $130 Circuit City rebate. But if you are good at keeping track of rebates, then it's a nice price! Also if you buy online pick up at the store, you could get an extra discoutn from the likes of Fat Wallet, Shop Discover, Upromise, etc, etc. For more details on the F730us please check the Comments section of this post. There are over 30 comments posted, and first hand impressions from a number of F730 users. One user is able to run 64-bit Ubuntu 7.0 on the F730us.

Update VIII - Friday October 26
The Compaq Presario F730us is back on sale, this time $480 after a $30 mail-in rebate at Fry's Electronics. This is advertised in Fry's pullout ad in today's newspapers (Friday).

Update IX - Monday November 5
Check the Comments section, there are 50+ comments on the F730 which is on sale until November 10 at Radio Shack for $550 after rebate. Not the best of prices though, Circuit City has a Toshiba for $500, and that's definitely worth a look as well!

Update X - Sunday November 11
And we are back! The F730us is back on sale at Circuit City. This time it is at $480 after a $30 mail-in rebate only! This is featured on the back of the Circuit City weekly circular, which you can find in your Sunday paper or your local Circuit City store (or website). What's even more important for price-matchers, is that you can take this ad to your favorite retailer, and ask them for a price match. Providing of course that your favorite retailer has a price matching policy (some even have a 110% price match guarantee) and that they do carry the Compaq Presario F730. One of the things that is at times fuild with price-matching policies is how the rebate is handled. But also pay attention to the rebate details, if it is a national rebate, it may work with any store. Or your favorite retailer may also have the same or a similar rebate offer on this computer model.

For a nice discussion on the F730 and comparison to the F572, check the Comments section of this post, there are 55 comments posted right now.


It looks like we have a clone, the F732NR at Office Max
Today's Office Max Sunday paper circular for the week is featuring the Compaq Presario F732 (aka F732NR). The specs and the computer itself look quite similar to the F730us. The fact that the F732NR is advertised as an Office Max exclusive is another sign that points to a clone for marketing purposes. And it makes it very hard to price match it if it is a different model name, even though it may be the same computer.


Update - Sunday November 18, 2007
Look inside the Sunday paper F730 fans! The Best Buy ad features this very laptop for $480 and no rebates. And not only can you buy it at Best Buy at that price, but you can also take the ad to your favorite big box retailer and ask them for a price match. Some stores, like Staples, have a 110% price match guarantee, which means you are going to get it for slightly less, 10% of their price difference. And no rebates!


Update - Sunday December 16, 2007
Be sure to check the Comments section with more questions and answers on the F730us! There's almost 90 comments posted now.

And for those interested in purchasing one, the deal is back at Staples (December 16 to 22, 2007). You can get the F730us for $430 after a $30 easy rebate. You can also get a free printer after mail-in rebate ($70 rebate). This is certainly one of the best "bang for the buck" laptops out there considering you are getting a dual-core processor, 120gb hard disk, super multi format dvd burner, a nice 15.4" widescreen display, and much more.


Update - Friday December 27, 2007
If you are looking to buy this laptop you are in luck! Staples is advertising it in their upcoming circular for just $430 after a $30 Easy Rebate! The offer will go "live" on Sunday December 30, 2007 and will be good for the whole week, until Saturday January 5, 2008. This is a great deal given that this is a feature-packed laptop!

124 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just bought one of these today (Presario F730US) and your blog post is the first "review" mention that I have seen in my searching so far (seems at this early point in time, most of the search hits are sales of this model at a myriad of vendors, but I haven't yet seen any reviews).

It's a very nice slim machine - lightweight (at least when compared to older notebooks) but a bit awkward and perhaps a little heavy (in terms of those who are accustomed to the real lightweights). That's probably due to the width as it comes with a 15.4" widescreen.

Like other Presarios (my first home notebook was one by the way, back in 1998), it comes with a touchscreen (much better than the eraser mice). It also has built-in wireless & RJ45 ethernet, S-video out, 3 USB ports (2 on one side and 1 on the other), 56K modem, mic & headphone jacks, VGA-out, and a DVD-RW. I'm old-school and gotta get used to no more floppy drives...lol. All the jacks and ports are either on the sides or front including the power (nothing in the back). The activity/status lights are towards the bottom left-hand side. The speakers are at the top.

Right now while typing this, I had reached the point of having turned it on (it came on...lol), went through the basic configuration (HP/Compaq has a configurator along with Vista's basic setup), and before going any further, was having it generate the files to create a restore disk. It's taken almost 40 minutes for it to generate the files... The resultant message indicated that it would now need either 10 CDs, 2 DVDs, or 1 dual layer DVD to burn to (am going to use the 2 DVD method). It can also maintain the files on the hard drive for image restore...

Anyway... once I'm done, I may fool around with Vista a little bit (it comes with Vista Home Premium) but have plans to dual-boot with Suse 10.x (probably 10.3). Had been researching the dual boot option before buying and am still reading through info on various sites. The last time I setup dual boot was with Red Hat 6.2 & Windoze 98SE, so it's been awhile. I'm currently posting this message from a home-built dual-XP 1.4GHz Suse 9.0 box and this little notebook is sortof replacing my 6-year old home-built dual Xeon 500MHz Windoze 2000 Advanced Server box that sadly died a couple months ago (probably power supply). It'll join a PIII 600 Thinkpad w/Windoze 2000 Pro and a 1.2 GHz Duron home-built box w/Windoze 98SE (lol).

I'll bookmark this blog and try to get back here if I can to see if anyone else gave this a shot. Heck... the price alone was 1/3rd of what I paid for my first Presario notebook almost 10 years ago (which was an AMD K333 Mhz)!

High Tech User Reviews said...

Thanks for reading and for posting this! That sounds great!

From what you are describing, it looks very similar with the F572us, except the F730us has a faster processor and more hard disk but at the same price! This sounds like a really nice bargain!

Yes, the 2-dvd approach to the restore disks is what I took as well. It has the best trade-offs.

As far as floppies, the USB thumb drives are the new floppies for me :) What to do with the stacks of floppies? Espresso coasters?

This is a fun computer, and as you said it is not a lightweight, not a heavyweight, it's somewhere in between, which explains the price :)

Anonymous said...

Bought 1 these at Staples on Columbus Day just for the price. Seems like a good deal even w/ the "bloatware" and slow 5400RPM drive. Glad Staples customer service didn't push me on accessories or warranty like competing stores did.

I've read elsewhere they run HOT like most other HP/Compaqs?

Will it run Linux or shall I use VMware/Parallels/VirtualBox under Vista? What flavor of Linux?

Don't see it listed yet at: http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/

Would I be better off installing XP instead?

What about the Nvidia GeForce Go 6100? Can I play high-end games w/ it?

High Tech User Reviews said...

(This comment is for the F572us)

I have mine on a chiller fan all the day, one big benefit is cooling it off significantly, but it also gives it some height, and protects it from whatever creatures or liquids or foods are on the surface/table/cafe it sits on. It does steal one USB port though.

Without it, it certainly heats up in less than hour - obviously depending on the location and temparature.

Neil Evan Jensen said...

I bought a F730 over the Columbus Day weekend and wished I had seen the ad for Staples, ergggh. But, Circuit City had for $520 by the time I get my rebate check. I like this computer very much. The computer processes very quickly, and has an intuitive feel between the Vista software and the HP stuff all your important maintenance and downloads, etc will get done. I tried to do my backup with CD's...6 CD's later and still not done I quit. I will redo the backup with DVD's or a dual layer depending on cost/benefit. I love all the different ports available as well as the placement of the ports in user friendly spots. Tha altec lansing speakers sound great. The widescreen display is quite impressive and I think would be nice to watch a movie on. really can't think of anything I don't like. It boots up fast...from shutdown I am fully booted in under 3minutes. Great price, lots of computer. Do any previous Compaq owners have any comments on need to purchase an extended warranty???

High Tech User Reviews said...

Thanks for the comment and congratulations on the purchase! It might be possible to get Circuit City to price-match it after the purchase if they have a 30-day price protection. It never hurts to ask!

Yes, they sure are nice laptops for the price, especially when we compare to what one could get for the same price 6 or 9 or 12 months ago!

As far as the Recovery disks, my suggestion is to use DVDs. I'm not a big fan of dual layer and i dont think they are as reliable as DVDs. But that's just my opinion.

I personally don't buy extended warranties in general. The very few times I got them the products decided to break either never or after the additional warranty expired or what happened to them wasn't covered. If you paid with a credit card you may have already gotten a doubling of the warranty - some credit cards have this feature automatically for every product. But some people do like to buy warranties.

Anonymous said...

Hi all, thanks for the info. about the Presario F73OUS. I too did a lot of searching for reviews, but found very little. So your feedback is very valuable. I was able to get this model "on hold" and will probably pick it up at Staples tomorrow (the last day of the sale) for the $450 pricetag. My only major concern is the battery. Any sense of how long the 6 cell battery lasts? I know you can change the settings. Also, I read somewhere about someone ditching Vista and installing XP. I'm not sure if that would void the warranty, but it sounds like it made someone else's Presario run a whole lot faster. Lastly, I assume the 1gb of RAM is really two 512 sticks? Thanks again for your feedback everybody! :)

J

High Tech User Reviews said...

One of the new F730us owners can give a better answer, but the F572us which is closely related can do just a bit over 2 hours in my experience. I am always running mine on a USB cooler base, i dont konw if that gives me a few extra minutes. The F572us guy is also compatiable with the HP 12-cell battery which according to some other users can give you up to 5 hours, and gives the computer a nice incline because the bigger battery sticks out a bit.

A number of people for various reasons are ditching Vista for XP (or dual-boot Linux), there are forums that discuss what it takes (drivers, etc). I haven't done it yet since I want to get familiar with Vista.

Also if Vista Aero can be too annoying you can turn it off and make it run in Vista Basic mode which is more lightweight and less taxing.

And then there's the age old debate of how to get rid of the pre-installed bloatware. Some people think it's best to start from scratch and re-install only what you want, others prefer to hunt and remove all the bloatware.

Anonymous said...

I saw this F730US on sale at Staples last night, and immediately came home and did some research...there's not much info out there yet on this PC, so what I read here was very helpful.
I was worried that Staples might be out of them, so I went up earlier today and checked, they had 4 left. I took another good look, and figured I couldn't go wrong for the price, especially with Staples return policy.
Just got back from Staples, and unboxed it, and it's charging now. I like to start out with a full battery with a new PC start-up, so it'll be a couple of hours before I fire it up and immediately make the restore discs.
I am curious as to what others think of the Norton Anti Virus that's shipped with this PC? I have read reviews of Norton 360, and some people really, really hate it...but some praise it on the same review sights.
I have been using Windows Live One Care, and like it quite a bit. This is my 5th PC, so I may experiment with the Norton, to see how I like it before I commit to the One Care on the other PC's.
If it's really bad, I may have to put these about-to-be made recovery discs to use!
I'll post later on about how my experience goes with the new Compaq, and comments, etc.
Glenn

Anonymous said...

I guess I might be the only one here that got fed up with vista, just put on XP, searched the internet for a 'lil bit and found that all these drivers work : ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp33501-34000/sp33549.exe
And now that vista's off the machine, and since there's really no bloat to a fresh xp install(which i always take the liberty of optimizing a little), it's booting (to a useable desktop screen, not still loading background apps); and shutting down in less than 30 seconds. Pretty good, I'd say.
Best laptop I've ever gotten for dirt cheap. Could use some more ram if you want to run games now and then.

Anonymous said...

My bad, correct link:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareList?os=228&cc=us&product=1842078/#

High Tech User Reviews said...

Thanks for all the updates! That is nice performance with XP only! Eventually when I get tired of Vista, I may try it as well. But after I removed or ZZzZzzZ'ed some of the hogware, it comes up and shuts down fairly fast, although not as fast as you described obviously.

I also turned off Windows Update and all the sneaky things it does. It woke up every night at 3am to install stuff. Options #2 and #3 apparently still install stuff without telling you, only option #4 gives you true control.

Anonymous said...

I just got the F730 too w/2G memory upgrade. It seems great - except for the fact it crashes (Blue Screen) 1- 3 times - virtually every start-up w/a few different error messages. Seems like a software issue?

Trying to decide if I should return it. HP support (India?) was cordial - but didn't seem to have any answers except to buy a more expensive system from them. Any thoughts?

Thanks.

High Tech User Reviews said...

Did it also crash before the 2gb installation?

Also, you can try the online chat customer support, although it may be going to the same place. Also did you try to escalate to a higher level of customer support? Sometimes the first tier of CSRs is only trained for simple questions.

This is for the F572us, not the F730us: I've had about 3-4 blue screens so far and it seems to be related to coming out of sleep mode. Hibernation is fine, but it seems to be a sleep issue. The display also gets squished in those occasions apparently. I wrote about it in a previous post DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE

Anonymous said...

high tech user reviews - Sorry I'm in the wrong place - I got here on a Google search & read the other comments on the F730. Thanks for being nice about it.

My tech buddy & yourself hit the nail on the head. He suggested checking the memory by running 1G at a time. Second run 1G chip was bad - immediate bluescreen on boot after a clean shut-down.

Now running the good 1G +.5G & looking fine. I'll be exchanging the bad chip this week. I'll try & find my way over to the right forum here as I get familiar with the new hardware & vista.

Thanks. I'll miss you guys . . .

ps. I'm not usually an extended warranty buyer, but I've had EXCELLENT luck to date w/ STAPLES Customer service & found thir extended warranty program (used once - printer - my fault) to be outstanding.

High Tech User Reviews said...

Thanks for the comments! This is a good place to discuss the F730us. The F730us is a sister notebook to the F572us, and it is of interest to owners of both, me included. The discussion here grew organically as there wasn't much else about it on the net.

The reason I mentioned the F572us was simply to clarify to the readers about which notebook I was talking about. I wasn't trying to point out that it was off-topic. If it gave that impression, then I apologize!

Please feel free to continue reading and posting here on the F730us! This is a discussion about the F730us model! I ajdusted the post title to make it more F730us-friendly :)

PS> Please note there will be a short Blogger outage at 4pm pacific/7pm eastern today.

Anonymous said...

"feel free to continue reading and posting here on the F730us! This is a discussion about the F730us model! I ajdusted the post title to make it more F730us-friendly :)"

Thanks - I haven't been able to come up with much on the F730us - & you guy's seem great.

Anonymous said...

Well, I got my F730US all charged up and running over the weekend, and I am very impressed with this Compaq, especially for the great price! I personally love Vista, so I am sticking with it, no plans to change over to another O.S. It started and set up perfectly, with no glitches on start up whatsoever.
Someone asked earlier if the memory is two 512 sticks...it is indeed. I would love to get a 2 GB kit, and I may do that soon, I have one coming for another laptop, so I may try it in the Compaq just to see what it does for it. Memory has really become affordable lately, the 2GB kit I have coming was $60 with shipping!
Everything works fine, the only thing I'm not crazy about is the cooling fan/vent location. Rather than exit out of the side, it exits out of the left rear of the unit, kinda low. I am worried that having it on my lap will block the cooling airflow...it gets a little warm on my leg, but that's not a big deal for me. I just don't want the processor to get too hot.
The display is gorgeous, nice and bright, nice colors. The battery life is a bit low, but I think that will improve after a few cycles of charge/discharge. Speakers seem about average for a laptop, nothing special there.
I did, with some hesitation, load the included Norton anti virus program with the 60 day trial. So far, so good. It seems to be a very thorough program, loaded a bunch of updates, and wanted to do a full system scan right off the bat, before it was "happy", and said the system is secure. Seems OK, I haven't seen any of the nightmares that I have read about Norton 360 pop up yet...
I do have one issue, and I was curious if anyone else has seen it yet...on the HP Total Care Advisor, it keeps telling me that there is a critical update needed, something about an update to "HP Easy Setup"...it has a link, and seems to go to the site and download something, and says it's repaired....but never is. The critical update stays there even after the "repair".
I did an online chat with HP tech, and they did a little research, and told me to reload the OS/programs with the recovery discs that I made. So, I did. It started all over from scratch, but the problem still perists...I may try tech help again later this week.
One note on this, the "HP Total Care Advisor" only runs when the PC is on AC power, it is disabled on battery power to save the battery. I mostly use mine on battery, so it's not too big of a deal, but I'd like to get it resolved, none the less.
That's about it for now, I'll re-post later on when I find out anything more on the update issue.
I really am happy with this purchase, and would highly recommend this PC, especially someone looking for an entry level laptop... Glenn

High Tech User Reviews said...

Thanks for the nice update! What are the early battery estimates for the F730us? With the F572us I'm getting 2 hours and some change when I have it on a USB cooler. I always have it on the USB cooler so I don't know if battery life differs without it.

As far as the HP Total Care Advisor I turned it off since it was eating up cycles during start up and annoying me while I was using the PC. Did it give any details on what was causing the Easy Setup problem? If there is a problem with the PC, and not the Total Care software, it should probably show up in other places, eg Control Panel.

If you plan on using it on your lap often, it's probably a good idea for the computer's (and your) benefit to get one of the USB coolers or one of those lap thingies. The F572us sure heats up after about an hour without the USB cooler, so I imagine if it is on a lap with more restricted airflow, it would probably heat up some more. But the F730us may have improved on airflow and battery heat? I don't know if there's an easy way to check if they are using the same battery or a different one?

Esther said...

I'm looking at getting the F730US. At $450 AR it seems like the best value I can find right now. I want to give it to my Dad who only uses a computer to surf the internet.

My brother in-law, who works for Dell, says Compaq sucks. The Staples tech says Dell sucks. Consumer Reports says they are about the same for reliability.

Any updates on your F730US experiences, before I pull the trigger and buy one?

High Tech User Reviews said...

Hi Esther, thanks for your comment! If I hadn't bought its sister notebook a couple of months ago, I would have definitely bought this guy if I was still looking.

I haven't looked at Dells recently, but I'm guessing most brands are more similar than they are not. The funny thing is that if I didn't run into the $450AR deal on the F572us I would have probably bought a Toshiba or Acer on sale, or perhaps Dell or IBM/Lenovo if I could find it cheap.

But this guy (F572us) has exceeded my expectations. If the F730us is similar or better, it would be a really nice value.

Esther said...

Thanks for the input!

Anonymous said...

Hey Hi Tech and everyone,
I want to add some more info and observations from earlier tonight...let me start with the battery life. I just got done surfing and playing on the F730US, (I'm on my desktop now, easier to type this stuff) and the battery life seems like it's in the 1 and 1/2 hour range at this time, I spent a little over an hour on it, and had 31% left, before I shut it down for the night. I would imagine that it will get better with some more battery cycles, this is only it's second cycle...I also had the brightness turned up somewhat, but not to the full setting, which makes a big difference, I am sure. I am going to give it a workout each night this week, and we'll see if the batttery life gets better, I think it will.

Well, my 2GB RAM kit came in today, (it's for another laptop, a Gateway T-6815) so I thought I would take some time and try it in the Compaq first, just for grins, and to see the compatiblity factor.
It was a very easy install, the cover comes right off with a few screws. The battery, however, is another matter...you kinda have to "pry" it out of the bottom cover, it (at least on mine) doesn't want to let go of the PC !
No big deal, just a little harder than I imagined, it's the first time I have taken the battery back off of the PC...

Anyways, I fired it up with the new RAM, and it seemed to really perk it up quite a bit. So, I actually timed it...and from the second you enter your password, to the time the last sidebar gadget loads, the time difference was about 19 seconds quicker with the extra 1GB of RAM. Not bad. I think I'll be giving Newegg another $60 here before too long....

The WEI (Windows Experience Index) went from 4.5 to 5.3 on the Memory rating...all else stayed the same, of course. I think that is a worthwhile investment in the long run for this PC, especially given the low price of the RAM.

As for the heat issue, I was paying close attention, and the cooling fan on this PC is thermostatically controlled, as I guess most are. I could hear the fan cycle on and off in my hour long session, and even vary it's speed at times. Sometimes there was no airflow, sometimes quite a bit. No issues here, just commenting on the behaviour. In no way was the fan annoying, or too loud, just observing...and never really gets "hot" on my leg, just warm...might be nice come winter time!

So far, my fears about Norton have gone unfounded. In fact, I am kinda getting to like it. It does not seem like a resource hog, like McCaffee, and seems to run quietly in the backround, alot like Live One Care...I just did a history report, and that is really neat, it showed me all the events that just happened in my session, including blocking a computer from accessing my PC...pretty cool. I'm going to have to check it out some more in the nights to come.

Overall, I am very pleased with this PC. I will probably try to resolve the HP Total Care Advisor thing this weekend, when I have more time to sit down with it and chat with the tech line.

It may not be the fanciest, or best looking PC I have (I have two other new laptops, a Gateway T-6815, and a Sony VAIO VGN-N365E/B), but it fits a niche in my little collection quite well, a low priced, economy class PC that if it gets a little banged around, it's OK type machine...

Well, that's about it for tonight, I'm sure I'll be back with more info and comments as the week goes on! Glenn

Anonymous said...

.
Hi again,

I'm VERY pleased with my new Compaq F730us.

I was originally looking for an Intel based machine - because i was "told" that the AMD equipt notebooks ran hot.

Well, my previous Intel PIII notebook could "fry an egg" after about an hour or so - & after many hours of use the AMD is nearly as cool as at start up - sweet.

Battery life seems to be about 2 hrs at the "HP Recommended" battery setting. I haven't tried the "Power Saver" setting yet as this isn't much of an issue 4 me.

This is our 2nd "I don't get no respect" Compaq - we could have epent more - but we couldn't be happier!

s/was bad 1G
hers-xp/his-vista

ps. We added the HP LaserJet CM1015 MFP too - net $250. after $100. Staples rebate. I just downloaded the Vista compatable software this evening - & based on a very little experience so far, she looks like a real sweetie (except for not being able to set B&W as the default) - grrr . . .
.

High Tech User Reviews said...

Thanks for the updates! Looks like a nice laptop deal.

The laptop as a winter blanket, that's one way to reduce heating costs :)

I think Norton is not as hog-ish on the newer PCs, esp the ones with two processors since there's plenty to go around. Perhaps they even optimized after seeing all the smaller company utilities get it done without eating up resources.

What numbers are you guys getting on the Windows Experience? Here is what I got with the F572 out of the box (4.6 processor, 4.5 memory, 2.9 graphics (aero), gaming 2.4, primary HDD 4.8).

Anonymous said...

I have returned the F730us to Staples . After using the Vista for 3 days, it is obvious you need a lot more computer to run it.
Boot up times of 4 minutes, very slow in menus, and bloated to the hill with garbage.
I called HP and asked for a downgrade path to XP, but it is not available.
Part of the hardware like the wifi has no XP drivers available.
Even installed another GB of ram, no different.
Had to search for new laptops with XP still available, did find Dell models still shipping with XP.
Gates is forcing the laptop makers to sell with Vista, sorry Bill you just lost another.

Anonymous said...

.
I like Vista Premium & my F730us - "#1 value machine". As a former Mac user - it's the first PC based system that satisfys my right brain . . .

For those who want/need Redmond's XP - Staples & others still have a some left over XP systems.

different strokes . . .
.

Anonymous said...

.
Q: by high tech user reviews on performance index . . .

A: F730us w/2G PNY Tech: p=4.7, m=5.3, gr=3.1, ga=3.0, hd=4.8.

Not a power users monster, video editors delight or gamers dream machine- but a GREAT all-around system for many users.

#1 in my book . . .

Best.
.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Just got done on the F730us, and the battery life seems to be getting a little longer, I'd say it easily made it over 1 1/2 hours at this sitting...
Out of the box WEI is as follows on mine:

Processor 4.7

RAM 4.5

Graphics 3.1

Game Graph 2.4

HDD 4.8

When I played with the 2 GB RAM kit (G.Skill from Newegg), the RAM score went up to 5.3

Still haven't tried to contact HP for the HP Total Care Advisor thing yet, probably this weekend...

I am liking Norton Internet security more and more, I am trying to figure out what version I have on this PC, I believe it is the 2007 version, from what I have read. It looks like the 2008 version has some updates that make it even better, from what I have read? Anyone have/tried it yet? I wonder if, when my trial runs out, if I will be getting the 2008 version, if I decide to pay for the suite to continue coverage?

I am thinking about switching from Windows Live One Care, although I have had no issues with it, some say that it's not a very good anti spyware suite, compared to Norton's products...

I have 3 computers on WLOC, all on the 90 day trial, and all about to expire in a couple of weeks...any thoughts on Norton vs. Windows Live One Care? (sorry, getting a little off topic here!)

Anyways, I'm still thrilled with mine, Vista included, and have no plans to return mine any time soon, I have another week to go on my return policy, but I'm happy so far!

Happy computing, and I'll be back with some more updates soon !
Glenn

High Tech User Reviews said...

Nice updates and thanks for the WEI scores! More memory is never too much for Vista! It looks like the extra memory is also giving the gaming score a boost.

I agree, for general purpose use these computers are great! For gaming or server or heavy duty applications obviously they may struggle, but these are no slouches.

I can run five different browsers in parallel when I test blogs after interface changes, and it can handle them without problem.

I haven't used Windows One Live Care, so I don't know much about it. But Norton is usually free after rebate at some of the big chain stores and the new editions cover up to three computers for each package. I thought I was going to get annoyned and get rid of Norton but it seems to be behaving on this computer. Knock on wood :)

As far as Vista, for those who want a performance boost, turning off the Aero and other fancy features can give the computer a boost. But it's no XP. Part of the reason I got this was to play with Vista. I still find the Window Switcher entertaining, but I'm easily amused :)

Anonymous said...

I got the F730US laptop at Staples. The laptop came pre-loaded with Vista, but did not come with any actual Vista disk. Did anyone get the Vista CD along with their F730US laptop?

Anonymous said...

.
no vista cd is normal, unfortunatly.

Best.

ps. I'm stoked. After replacing the defective 1G this evening and getting a baseline PI w/2G of m=5.3, after a couple+ hours of burn-in - I set an improved memory rating of m=5.4. woo hoo . . .

love the Compaq . . .
.

Anonymous said...

I installed XP on the F730us and I cannot find any drivers online for. Does anyone know where to find these drivers?

High Tech User Reviews said...

Unfortunately the new trend is not to include the Vista software in optical discs and to force the user to make their own Restore discs. They offer them for purchase on their website but I'm sure if someone complains and demands the discs for free (politely but firmly) they will probably send them out for free.

I personally recommend using your best DVDs for making the Recovery discs. CDs will take too many discs and too long, and dual layer dvds are not as reliable or well tested as standard single layer DVDs.

sean said...

i have had mine for a week now. i wasn't thrilled with vista so when ubuntu 7.10 was releases thursday i installed the 64 bit version with a little searching on their forums and the internet i am loving this laptop. it is much more responsive now.

High Tech User Reviews said...

That's nice! Eventually I'm gonna experiment with installing Linux, but for the moment I am Aero-ing :)

Linux can squeeze a whole lot more out of a two-cpu machine than Windows!

Randy said...

Ok, for those of you confused and/or unable to find the XP drivers:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareList?os=228&cc=us&product=1842078/#

You want the Conexant High Definition Audio Driver, the NVIDIA nForce Chipset Driver and Network Controller, the NVIDIA nForce Chipset Driver and Network Controller, and the Broadcom Wireless LAN Driver.

For the Video Card, you'll want the most updated nvidia forceware driver for the mobile cards, which you can find here:
http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=15358

The system runs XP and ubuntu 7.10 very fast, and just with 1 gb of ram, and 128mb of that assigned to the video card. I'm hoping that buying a nice set of 1gig sticks will give the system another boost, maybe I'll see some boot times in the single digits. And to the person who installed the 64bit version of ubuntu, how did the wireless setup go? ndiswrapper isn't too fun to mess with on the 32 bit one....

Randy said...

TinyURL's of both links, because they're getting clipped:
Mobo,wireless, network card, and touchpad drivers: http://tinyurl.com/334g3k

Video Card driver: http://tinyurl.com/36tgbg

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I had an interesting weekend with the F730us, and thought I would share it with you all. I have been posting regularly, but I was busy all weekend installling Norton Internet Security 2008 on 3 laptops, the F730us included....but that's another story...

It all started on Friday, when I started thinking about the WEI scores that I had posted, and the low 2.4 rating for the gaming graphics...another user reported a score of 3.0 on gaming graphics, and I THOUGHT that was what I remembered when I bought it and was looking at the store display unit.

So, it was back to Staples for a look. I finally got past the Staples screen saver thing, and was able (much to the computer geek salesperson's dismay!) to get a WEI score on the display unit, and sure enough, it was 3.0, and mine is was reading 2.4 !

I came home, re-ran the WEI, and still, 2.4 .... At this point, I was about to pack it up and return it for an exchange (I had already discussed it with the salesman, he was very friendly, and more than willing to do the exchange), figuring that I got a bad graphics adaptor/chip or something.

I wanted to wipe it all clean, and back to factory settings, so I did a complete recovery, using the discs that I made right off the bat. To my suprise, after the recovery, out of sheer curiosity, I did a recheck of WEI...and it was 3.0, just like it should be!

So, figuring that it might have had something possibly to do with removing some of the bloatware, I carefully removed things one at a time, and rechecked WEI after each one, and all was good...

Again, thinking that it might have been because of Norton's trial anti virus, after I activated it, I double checked, and it was still good...3.0 !

I have since removed the trial of Norton, and installed the new Norton Internet Security 2008, and I am still going strong, at WEI of 3.0 ....

I have no idea what or why this happened, any guesses? I am fine with the PC, I never did end up taking it back, after all, it's working perfectly...

I'll write more soon, I am worn out from the weekend, I ended up doing a full recovery on 3 different PC's...it seems that Windows Live OneCare is not easy to remove, not easy at all!! Even after removing it, there were still remnants of the firewall, etc. on all the PC's, I ended up doing a clean slate install on all 3 machines...whew!!

Glenn

Anonymous said...

Hi I bought the f730us and was immediatly pissed off that their were no vista restore restore cd and even more pissed when I found out their were no official xp drivers.

Anyways, after playing with vista for 5 minutes I noticed it offered really nothing innovative and performed much slower than my 2.8ghz p4 machine on xp, so I immediatly reforated and installed xp then had to hunt for a couple hours to find drivers. Anyways.. Heres what has happened to me.. It was working fine on xp for a few days and then the internet stopped working, i recieved a dl.exe error and when I rebooted, it booted to a black screen and froze. Would still boot up in safe mode though. I used the xp cd and did the repair and it fixed it and restored everything back how it was, my drivers, background, etc. To my dismay a couple days later it did the SAME thing when I tried to surf the internet. Im going to try the drivers randy mentioned and the forceware.

Ps... I'm barely getting over an hour with the battery. Does anyone know if they make a bigger one? I don't really need it, but would be comfortable knowing that if i do in the future that its available.

Bogdan said...

picked one of these up from frys yesterday, installed ubuntu 7.10 from the alt cd. at first it didn't boot up. weird/annoying thing is that it did after a couple restarts but not consistently. i've got to try some of the boot params (noapic and such) when i get home today.

someone on ubuntuforums apparently did get it working, so i'm not too worried, but still annoyed ;)

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=529336&highlight=F730US&page=11

and yes, vista is way too slow.. not that i would use it anyway

Randy said...

I got an hour and 40 minutes from the battery with just small tasks like webbrowsing and such, and still had a 10% charge left when i shut it down.
Use the drivers i suggested, and use the power-saver option in XP, and you'll get a pretty decent chunk of battery life.

sean said...

i used the guide at the url below to setup wireless in 64 bit ubuntu

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/bcm43xx/Feisty_No-Fluff#head-818e0ccb34dc3e6733f798494fb6ce95ea5548c6

just a matter of cutting and pasting into a terminal.

High Tech User Reviews said...

On the question of the battery, for the sister model F572us, HP/Compaq customer service said it is compatible with the 12-cell HP battery. These Compaq F-series laptops are very similar to some of the HP Pavilion models, but I forgot which Pavilion series they are similar with.

I don't recall off the top of my head whether it was compatible with all HP 12-cell batteries or select models. The HP Chat Support should be able to have an answer.

Anonymous said...

Hi its me again i was talking complaining about the battery life in a my previous post.. For the person who said they got an hour and 40 minutes.. was your brightness all the way up?

If it wasn't then that doesnt count. Whats the point if you have to strain to see the screen?

Anyways im posting again because today my laptop went into standby at 3% I was in the middle of doing something so I turned it back on.. about 30 seconds later it died completely. What gives? Thinking about taking this back to staples.. How long do I have, 30 days?

Randy said...

Yes, I did have the brightness all the way up, and staples gives you two weeks to bring stuff back.
I'm getting my 2gb of ram today, I'll let you know how that turns out.

Anonymous said...

I like Vista & the 2G F730us!

#:-)

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Glenn here again, with some updates and comments on the F730us...

I finally got Norton fully installed on the PC, and I must admit, I love it so far. I was skeptical because of all the bad reviews I have read (mostly about Norton 360, I am using Internet Security 2008), but I have had a very good experience with it and the F730us, no issues to report.

Also, no updates on the WEI issue, it still reads 3.0, I have no clue what all that was about, but it seems to be all good now.

I ordered a 2 GB RAM kit last night, should be here tomorrow, I'll be sure to post the results here, but I should be good, it's the same brand as what I tried earlier (see above). We'll see how it goes.

I also must comment that I had under estimated the speakers on the F730us, I finally got around to authorizing it to use with iTunes, and it's easily the best sounding laptop I own, I was quite impressed once I heard it with some real music, and it's got plenty of volume, very decent sound indeed! I guess that little "Altec Lansing" logo really does account for something after all!

I am quickly approaching my F730us's 2 week birthday, and let me tell you, I have no intention of returning mine at all! Unlike some, I actually like Vista, REALLY like it, so I'm happy as can be with this bargain...the more I use it, the more I like it.

It will be nice to get the extra RAM in it, I do agree that Vista is a memory hog....but the Aero and eye candy are worth it to me...
as they say, "you gotta pay to play"... the extra $60 investment is well worth it if you are going to stick with Vista on this machine!

The battery life is gradually getting better and better for me, it will easily go 1 1/2 hours on a charge, at full brightness now, mostly doing web surfing, etc. (probably less if I was doing video or something power hungry like that...)

Well, that's my 2 cents for tonight, everyone enjoy your PC's !!
Glenn

j said...

For those of you looking to return to Staples, it's only 14 days!

On a side note, I did return the f730us, and got the Dell 1501 with same CPU and XP with included CD's.
Boot up time 25 sec. Fast in menus.

Other improvements was the wifi, the Dell is 100% solid, I did have connect problems with the f730us.
Battery life is a solid 3 hours.

In all fairness to the HP, it is overall a better looking laptop, at a better price.
If it was available without Vista it would be a clear winner.

Anonymous said...

I bought an F730 at OfficeDepot under the current $450 after rebate sale and was pretty excited. Got it home, and there's one pixel stuck on! Fortunately, Office Depot took it back *very* graciously (good for them!) and gave me a different box. I just got it home, and this one also has a pixel stuck on, plus at least 3 dead pixels in different areas of the screen! I'll be heading back to Office Depot, but I wonder if Compaq is dumping low-quality screens via this rebate special...

Anonymous said...

Update: I exchanged the 2nd notebook for a 3rd, but opened it at the store, only to find at least one pixel stuck on. I guess the store just got a shipment with bad screens. I really hope this isn't a symptom of slacking quality on Compaq's part.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I bought one of the F730US laptops over the weekend, and have been singularly unimpressed with it. The initial Vista loadout was flakey and sluggish, but that was expected, and since I was planning on "downgrading" to XP pro, not a huge concern. That is, until I learned that HP doesn't offer drivers of any sort for this model, either Vista or XP.

After contacting customer support, and getting a note back saying that their install of Vista is by far the best way to go on any PC because of the added "features and streamlining", they sent me links to drivers on their ftp site, that "should work" with some tweaking. Some do, some don't.

At this point, I'm boxing it back up and taking it back, and will go with a company that I know will fully support their products.

Anonymous said...

Got it Saturday at Office Depot. Opened it Sunday AM, it worked for an hour. Booted it Sunday PM, the screen is dead.

Called up tech support. For some reason they thought reseating the disk drive might help the screen recover. Couldn't get it out (can't find the right size screwdriver in my house), so it's going in for repair.

Ugh. This is my first experience with Compaq. Not looking good so far.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's been 3 weeks for my F730us, and it's still going strong, and I have no complaints!

Last week, I installed the 2GB RAM kit, and it went very smoothly, and has been working great since, really seemed to perk it up quite a bit...

About the only issue was the aformentioned quirk with the HP Advisor. I spent some time with tech on this, and we downloaded a small program, and an update, but it didn't resolve the issue with it saying it needs an update, and the update does not correct the problem. I have basically disregarded it for the most part, since HP Advisor only works when the PC is plugged in to AC power, which I never do while using it, only to charge it between uses.

I installed Norton Internet Security 2008, and haven't looked back since....I like it alot better than my previously installed Windows Live OneCare. Norton works very smoothly on this PC, and with Vista in general, and just got a very high rating by PC Magazine for it's security suite.

Last week, I mailed in my $30 rebate with Staples. We'll see how long it takes to get the check...
I must say, it was quite convienient, as the rebate copy of the receipt was already attached to the rebate form. I also was impressed and happy to learn that I didn't have to cut out and attach the UPC label, all that was required was the serial number of the unit. Very nice, all I did was print my name, address, and the serial number, and dropped it in the mail....

I am sorry to hear about the others who have experienced quality control issues with their machines...I guess I got lucky, mine's still going great, I have no complaints, and absolutely no regrets with this purchase!

Well, that's about it for now, so until next time, happy computing! Glenn

High Tech User Reviews said...

Thanks Glenn for all the updates!

Yes, Staples has one of the best rebate programs in the country. They usually arrive on time and they don't need to be "reminded" or resubmitted.

This is interesting (and good) that Norton 2008 is an improvement over the previous editions. Perhaps all the competition from the "smaller players" forced them to reign in their bloatware to a more manageable size. Plus they have two cpus to hog now, so it makes them less painful for the rest of the computer applications!

Indeed Vista is "fun" but hoggish. Now I'm testing the Vista Basic with the 2nd best resolution, and display-wise things are faster. For text-based and browsing-related activities it really doesn't make a difference (for me).

Anonymous said...

I purchased the same laptop over weekend, and have spent a lot of time with it so far. Mostly purchased it as an additional web browsing pc, as well as for playing some World of Warcraft.

So far I am very happy. I do see the need for another gig of ram, it works fine with the 1, unless I have 2 users logged in with a few apps open, then it starts getting a little sluggish. But the second should help with that.

I also had the HP Total Care adviser issue where it refuses to install the critical update. I have been ignoring it for now, after I updated at least 6 or 7 times.

There is a lot of bloatware, and I did uninstall Norton and a few other things so far. I also ended up unchecking the load at startup box for HP total care adviser.

So far loving the laptop! It does get a little warm after a long gaming session on your lap, but not too bad. I do wish the outtake fan wasn't right where my right thigh is on the bottom, but otherwise it seems fine. The screen is nice and large, and I like the widescreen aspect ratio.

World of Warcraft works fine, it isn't a gaming laptop, and I have to turn down some of the graphics settings, but I am running at 1280x800 and getting over 20 frames a second, which is just fine for me.

I am happy!

Derrick said...

Grabbed one of these around Columbus Day at Staples. The main difference between the F572 and the F730 is a bigger hard drive (80GB vs 120GB), the fact that the DVD burner on the F730 has LightScribe, and the F730 is .1Ghz faster (1.7 vs 1.8) It's funny because my local store had a F572 advertised on the floor when they were actually selling the F730.

Immediately bought a couple 1GB sticks of RAM ($70 on Newegg.com). The computer was happy with 1GB, now it is ecstatic with 2GB. Made the recovery CDs and deleted the recovery partition to gain some space. Uninstalled everything I did not want/need...which was just about everything.

The screen is marvelous, especially when watching a widescreen DVD, hops on various wireless networks I encounter often (between home, work, school and my local Starbucks) with ease, thanks to Vista.

LightScribe is pretty neat. Takes about 10 to 15 minutes to burn a label onto a disc.

All in all, the best $479.99 I spent...still waiting for my $30 back tho. LOL.

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for some more ram, I picked up two 1 gb sticks at Fry's yesterday for $39 after a $20 MIR. So $20 a piece is pretty good, and the laptop does indeed feel far more responsive. Much better :)

I am very happy with the laptop.

Anonymous said...

What "bloatware" are you guys removing & what's gained?

Thanks.

F730us w/2G

Anonymous said...

Hello all - the 1st blog poster returning with an update!

Since my original post here about the F730, I used Vista's utility to compress the Vista install and create another partition and then was able to successfully install OpenSuse 10.3 as a dual boot about a week after my post. After some researching, I used of a free utility called EasyBCD to handle the dual boot where that utility will allow selecting between the Vista and Linux grub boot utility (which itself allows me to select to boot to the Suse or back to Vista, where grub gets installed in the /root partition allowing Vista's mbr bootloader to remain intact as recommended by a number of folks).

I have bopped back and forth between the two configuring things on them and am also considering getting a RAM upgrade. I don't remember exactly what the WEI was on the Vista (I need to boot back in to see), but I sortof recall it being in the 4ish middle to low end - I expect mainly due to the RAM size. And to the poster who had a delayed Vista startup - I didn't experience that fortunately. A nuisance I ran into today was getting some of HPs critical updates (as noted by other posters here) but it seems its more because of HP's FTP server and the slow or no response from it to get the update downloaded and running. I eventually aborted and will try again later.

The Norton seems to work okay although I know it's just a trial version. The one thing about Vista that did get to me was its supposed constant disk maintenance, which supposedly occurs when the machine is idle, but for those who turn their machines off at night, then it can't run and when the machine is on, you're often using it and it's not really running either... so...lol.

I'll agree that the battery can run warm but that seems to be a Presario thing. I have been running SETI on mine so I try to keep it propped up on a table with air flowing underneath and behind.

Anyway am still playing around with it and installing things and will try to get back with more updates. It was great reading some of the discussions here!

High Tech User Reviews said...

Thanks for the update! The dual boot setup you have sounds nice!

The thing I'm doing for the battery is I always keep the laptop on a chill pad. The tiny fans do a great job in keeping it to a comfortable temperature. They are cheap and they also give the laptop an extra layer of protection from the surface it is sitting on. They are thin enough that you can throw in a laptop case/messenger bag too, although probabl not in a sleeve or "glove" or "skin".

By the way, Blogger has added a new feature, for those interested in keeping up with the discussion, you can be notified automatically when a new comment is posted. Check the "Email follow-up comments" option for that. You can also sign up for the Comments feed of the blog created automatically by Blogger.

Anonymous said...

I recently got the F730us, though with the full intention of replacing vista with linux. After a few hiccups, I was able to set up Fedora 8, and it seems to be running more or less smoothly now. Much more responsive than the initial setup with vista.

At any rate, I want to attempt to get the wireless card working, but I didn't think to write down the driver details in Windows, and I don't see anywhere in the specs that indicate the manufacturer or model of the card. I would greatly appreciate if someone could quickly note the wireless card details from device manager!

I will post back if I am successful in configuring the card for any others interested.

Anonymous said...

Hi anonymous,

I just pulled up my NIC on my F730us, and mine's got a Broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN card installed. It doesn't show me an actual model or part number...

Hope this helps.... Glenn

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn, thanks for the info, but I was actually able to find out with the help of my uncle (who has significant linux experience) that the wireless card is a "Broadcom Corporation BCM94311MCG wlan mini-PCI" and from what I can tell, linux drivers may not be very good yet.

What I found was that there is a reverse engineered driver provided called Bcm43xx, at:
http://bcm43xx.berlios.de/

I was hoping to push the issue a little more with Compaq/HP by giving them a call and asking for linux drivers, but rather than give me the typical "sorry we don't support it" message, they actually told me it would cost $60 to get this support. I don't know if it was $60 to get the actual drivers (which is what I was asking if they had), or $60 to get someone to try and work through the problem with me. I would rather spend the money on a USB wireless NIC that is known to be supported... so much for that.

If I get the Bcm43xx driver working, I will post another note on any details... or if someone else gets it working, please post a note about it.

-Mike

High Tech User Reviews said...

The F572us (sister model) also uses a Broadcom card, so it's possible that if someone has the drivers for it, they might work on the F730 as well.

The card/driver info from the F572: Broadcom 802.11 b/g WLAN, driver version 4.102.15.61, date 12/19/06.

Anonymous said...

Ok, after many tries and some frustration, I finally got it to work. For any who might be interested, this is what I did (note that I am running Fedora 8 on the F730US, so results may vary if you use a different Linux OS):

First, install ndiswrapper (I have 1.49) from http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/

following the instructions work to install it. Then, you need MS Windows XP (NOT vista) drivers. Since Compaq was kind enough to NOT provide such drivers yet, I was able to find the following link to get some XP drivers that are working for me (from another Compaq laptop):

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=ob-45290-1&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=3253950&os=228&lang=en

Install the drivers with ndiswrapper, then ndiswrapper -l should give the following (or something similar):
bcmwl5 : driver installed
device (14E4:4311) present (alternate driver: ssb)

then, add the following lines to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist:
blacklist bcm43xx
blacklist b43
blacklist ssb

add the following to /etc/modprobe.conf:
alias wlan0 ndiswrapper

then do a modprobe ndiswrapper

reboot, and it should be up... if not, you might try modprobe -r ndiswrapper then modprobe ndiswrapper (run dmesg to see if there are any errors, success will show some configuration for wlan0).

Run System->Administration->Network (keep in mind I am using the default GNOME set up with Fedora 8, so if you are using KDE, you may have to do something different). Your wireless card should now be shown in the hardware... just add the wireless in the devices tab, activate it (and perhaps deactivate the ethernet cable), and it should set up an ip for it (after asking for your SSID and WEP encryption in the configuration).

Hope this helps someone... if not, keep at it, I'm more or less a linux newb and I got it working in about a week.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys. I just ordered the F730 on Office Depot for around $500 after taxes. I'm generally going to use it for home use and games like Starcraft and Warcraft III. Do you think it's going to last me a couple years straight out of the box? Also, when i was reading this blog (which is great by the way) i heard some complaints about Office Depot's F370us screens. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot to add in the previous post that I use my current computer (a 6 year old Dell desktop) and plan to do that with the F730us which I have yet to receive. In addition, I just want to know if it is bad to leave the laptop pulled in for a long time because I generally play for a few hours of PC games straight during the weekend. This blog has shown me the good and bad of this laptop and I am very anticipated to get it, even with some trepidation since I have read of many problems.
I just to know some general feelings about the F730US and if it performs to your standards. Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

I just bought a f730 and converted to xp. Used an old post from this site for all the drivers, but the dvdburner is not working. Anyone find a good driver?

Anonymous said...

I got my Presario F730 today. I was extremely happy wit hit until I couldn't get the wireless internet to work. I have Verizon DSL with a router. For some reason it can't connect to the router. I have tried everything, but it isnt working. Anyone have any ideas?

Anonymous said...

it can't be as simple as turning it on. there is a switch on the front left corner.

Anonymous said...

no, I'm sure I turned it on. The diagnostic is that is didn't get a signal from the router even though it says the connection to my router is high. I've tried turning off the firewall, and other things to no avail. I can say I'm desperate to get it working.

Vic said...

I also recently purchased an F730US from Office Depot utilizing the rebate. I’m glad that I did when I did because starting this week, the price is 600 (after only a 30 buck rebate). I’m walking away feeling as if I really have a steal considering all the features for just 450 and by comparison, even at $600. This site is a jewel; my laptop not even out of the box and I’m already optimistic about this notebook and its processor thanks to the positive feedback. I am prepared to take on Vista (…sigh…), but I’m interested in learning of the specific "Bloat-ware” that has been deemed unnecessary and has been removed in the interest of increased performance. I don’t trust my novice/intermediate personal discretion to determine what is disposable. This exact inquiry was posed by a previous user, but I don’t believe it was ever answered.

So once again to anyone who has removed Bloatware, “What exactly can/should be removed?” and also “Can it be retrieved in the event that I should need it?”

Glenn said...

Hi Vic,

Well, I guess I am qualified to answer your question, as I have removed quite a bit of stuff off of my F730us, and it lived to tell about it!
Bloatware is probably different for different people. Basically, I just went to add/remove programs, and removed anything that I knew I would not use or had any interest in. I belive I took out things like Vongo, Vonage, Napster, any and everything that had the letters AOL in them, etc.

Anything I wasn't sure of, I left alone. You have to be careful not to remove any important stuff, like your wireless card drivers, or touchpad software, etc....

One thing is for sure...you better (if you have not already), make a backup with the Compaq restore program. You will need a couple of DVD's or a bunch of CD's (not recommended) to make the backup. This way, if you do mess up, you can always do a full restore, and it will bring everything back to "factory fresh" condition, including anything you may have accidentally deleted.

As far as recovering what you remove, depending on what it is, you may be able to just go to that "sponsor's" website, and get it back (if you deleted say, Napster, and wanted it back, you could just go to Napster's site).
Short of that, if you really want something back that you deleted, you could do the aforementioned complete restore, that brings back everything like new (trust me, I've done it twice now, works like a champ!). Just BE SURE TO MAKE BACKUP disks before you start removing stuff!

Just my take, hope it helps!

Glenn

PS, my F730us is doing just great! I am checking the mailbox lately for my rebate check though...lol !

Vic said...

Thanks a lot, Glenn, for elaborating on the bloatware. I now have another question.

Has anyone used a laptop cooling mat/pad? I just bought a Targus Chill Mat with built-in fans, but I've read that it's considerably noisy.
I've noticed that there are two types of cooling methods: Those that promote airflow by tilting/lifting the laptop to redirect air vs. those that have active cooling systems like fan(s). Any word on which works more effectively?

I know the fan-driven mats can be noisy and rob battery life. But i also have heard that the others don't actually do much. I'd appreciate input.

High Tech User Reviews said...

I haven't used any of the airflow coolers, but I have used the fans, and they are surprisingly efficient for something so tiny. I always have the laptop sitting on them. I also put one on top of the cable/DVR box which gets cranky when it heats up.

As far as noise, the only time I notice it is when there's absolute quiet, but even so, it's only noticeable when I first turn it on. Then "organic noise reduction" filters it out :)

They are relatively small enough to throw in a laptop bag as well, so they can be used a layer of protection when using the laptop in cafes or other public places. It's better to have someone's croissant leftovers or latte drops stick to the $15 chillpad, than to the bottom of the laptop :)

TK said...

Last week I bought F730US from Office Depot for $449 after $180 MIR. I was looking for Intel but after finding a great deal I decided to go with AMD and I have been using it every single day for at least 4hrs a day. So far I did not remove Vista stuff and did not upgrade the RAM to 2GB. It is working just fine and I am very happy with its performance, better than the one Dell Insperion I have for the last 5 years.
I want to upgrade the RAM to 2GB. Can anyone tell me how to change the 2GB RAM in this laptop with step by step instructions? Can I change it myself if it is easy to do so? I am getting the 2GB RAM from Staple for $59, not bad.
I am enjoying DVD movies on this wide screen. It is crystal clear and sound is good for this cheap price!!!

Glenn said...

Hi TK,

I recently upgraded my F730us to 2GB of RAM, and it was really easy. Once you have your new memory, just do the following, to bring up the user's manual for your Compaq; Click "START", then "Help and Support", and then, at the bottom, there will be user's guides listed, click on that.

From there, double click "Hardware", and then "Memory Modules"...and from there, click "Replacing the Memory Modules".

There you will find a very detailed explanation of how to replace them, it's pretty easy. Just remember two important things...(1)Remove the battery first. (2)Ground yourself to the computer by touching a metal part of the inside of the memory compartment, to reduce the chance of static electricity damaging the memory modules, before you remove or install the modules.

The only tool you will need is a small Phillips screwdriver for the cover screws. You can't really go too far wrong, just remember that the modules are delicate, and don't force anything. Take your time and be patient, and it's really very easy.

When you are done, restart the PC and check for the new memory. Mine now shows 1.93GB of RAM, as some is taken up by the on-board graphics (you won't see 2 GB reported for memory, so don't panic).

Hope this helps, and good luck.
Be sure to let us know how you made out!

Take care, Glenn

TK said...

Hi Glenn,
Thank you very much for your detailed instructions to replace memory. I am yet to get the 2GB RAM. I will keep you posted Once I replace the memory.
My battery lasts about 2 1/2 hrs with 5% power left and so far I have charged and discharged only 3 times. One thing I noticed that the brightness of the screen is little low without AC connected to the laptop. Hope this is normal? I am enjoying my notebook.

I got a great deal though I am yet to send the MIR.
Thanks
TK

High Tech User Reviews said...

Assuming that you are using the default power settings, it is perfectly normal. The default "HP recommended" power plan has the display brightness cranked up when connected to AC power, and around 40% (or so) when using the battery. I don't remember the exact number since I tweaked mine a little bit.

You can always customize the individual settings if it's not bright enough when on battery. I haven't created a custom Power Plan. That seems to be an overkill for my purposes.

You can get to them by clicking the "Power Options" from the Battery icon in the right-corner tray, or through the Mobility Center, or from the new Control Panel: "Hardware and Sound", "Power Options", "Edit Plan Settings">.

kkl said...

I've had my F730us for 3 weeks now and all I can say is I love it. I was really frustrated when I couldn't get my wireless to work, but after hours of talking to Verizon and Hp I got it to work. It all had to do with the router's firmware(whatever that it).

My only criticisms for this laptop are that the screen is somewhat flimsy and you can press down on it which is very sad.

I'm thinking about gettingb 2G of RAM too, but I want to wait for the warranty to expire. I also got an Antec Notebook cooler. It works pretty well, except the vent for this laptop is on the back instead of the bottom so it still gets hot. The cooler does make the bottom of my laptop a lot cooler though.

I have a question. Is playing FPS on a laptop harder to do, even if you have a mouse? I ordered the Unreal Anthology at Amazon for 10 bucks and I'm really anticipating on getting it. I'm worried that it wont play well because it is widescreen and a laptop. My Counterstrike's mouse response is somewhat laggy for some reason while it works fine with all my other games.

-KKL

Disz said...

I bought the f730us from a local Circuit City about a week or so ago - seemed like a friggin' steal when I saw it marked down to $400.
First order of business was cracking it open to see what could be upgraded, the second was to do a 12hr stress test, then on to OS installs.

Some initial impressions:
1.) Battery life is shorter than Chuck Norris' tolerance for foolishness. Seriously. (1.51hrs from the second I unplug)
1a.) A review at Newegg mentions a bios upgrade that is supposed to fix that issue...but I ran my backup-and-format cycle immediately and can't get the bios update to cooperate. Anyone have any info on the bios upgrade issue? The Compaq/HP support site has the upgrade listed as 'critical' for the f700 series (file:sp37608.exe)... Help/info would be much appreciated.

2.)*whisper* I see dead pixels.

3.) The mfgr 'tech specs' will tell you that the max RAM for this machine is 2gb - this is bollocks. I have 4gb installed (replaced the default 2x512mb with 2x2gb - they're DDR2 PC5300 SODIMMs, if you care. Four screws, 2min and $100). 12hr stress test didn't report a single issue with it, either. Not sure why they listed a 2gb max, but there you go.

4.) The hard drive doesn't bottleneck the system as much as I expected it would - but it too can easily be replaced.

**OS**

Initially, my WEI=3. I nuked Vista the nanosecond the backup discs were finished, though...so I suppose I'm no help there.

Winxp(: Installs fine. Drivers are out there - just takes a few minutes to find them all (might want to check your device manager and scribble down what you see prior to re-upgrading back to XP, though). Managed to get all the fn buttons working, etc. just as you'd expect.

***All Linux/Unix below this line***

Knoppix: Pretty flawless.

Ubuntu 7.10 (32-bit): Seems to like noapic, nolapic boot options, otherwise flawless. Beryl/Compiz/Nvidia restricted...flash...rest. codecs - all a go.

Ubuntu 7.10 (x86_64): LiveCD was flaky... Used noapic, nolapic, pnpbios=off to get it booted.
Got 100% of the eye-candy working, but experienced random network failures/gfx freezes using nvidia restricted and Beryl/Compiz together, along with spurious interrupt storms. Have a look here to solve that: http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-478050.html

fwcutter was a bust, but ndiswrapper works for simple wireless AP access.

All media (fn+f#) keys work.
Suspend feature works.

CD/DVD burner and Lightscribe work.

mp3/4/dvd/divx/flash work (use ia32 libs/32-bit firefox/swiftweasel)

Wine/Wow/CoV/Quake0-4 all run decently. installed DX9.0c just to test a theory...had to grab three .dlls via google, but all gfx tests passed w/o issue.

Speaking of which, does anyone happen to know the MAX refresh rate for the f730us' display?

Gentoo: Same as above + compile time. Tad bit slimmer than Ubuntu, but 100% as functional.

Fluxbuntu: Random installer failures while unpacking base system (died at approx 75% complete - 4 attempts).

gOS: This is "$199, Walmart PC OS" - basically ubuntu+E17+a cute, green theme. Same results as ubuntu, more or less.

That's as far as I've come. Next on my list is Solaris x86_64.

I'm really rather curious about that bios upgrade package though...Surely the battery life isn't so short by design? I tried to use a customized partpe disc to extract the sp37608.exe, but the autorun scripts it dumps give me errors and I'm too chicken use the flasher manually without knowing which of the two patch files actually applies to the f730...

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the power/price ratio. These days, you can spend more than $400 on a single PC peripheral... My only real complaints are battery life and the slightly outdated GF6100. Bluetooth and at least one firewire port would've been a plus, but I can live without them.

disz said...

EDIT TO LAST POST:

Meant to say: bcm43xx...was a bust, but ndiswrapper worked. Sorry.

s said...

had mine since october
like it, on vista its not as bad as people say running on 1gb ram (or should i say (958 mb)

little curious about the downgrade to xp does it void warranty if so i'll wait anyways how are you guys getting the software to change back to xp?

TK said...

I have been using F730US for the last 2 weeks and thinking of upgrading to 2GB of RAM but unable to find $39/$49 (for 2 1GB) deal for the memory any more. Does anyone know where to find that kind of deal?
When the battery gets to critical point, the screen becomes black for a couple of minutes before it gets turned off, even if the power is connected immediately after the discharge, still it gets turned off and I have to push the power switch on to get back on to resume. Did anybody else experience the same?
TK

Anonymous said...

I am going to purchase one of these F730US laptops this weekend. I have never owned a laptop before and was hoping someone could post a message describing all of the easy things { that dont require additional money to be spent on software,etc} that should be done to the laptop so it runs faster/smoother once it is setup.

I dont download any music or play video games and wont be taking the laptop out of my home.

My primary use will be surfing the internet, checking my hotmail accounts, buying on ebay and doing some periodic letter writing. I also plan to have the laptop running about 16 hrs a day using the supplied AC power cord { like I currently do for my home P.C which is gonna be replaced with this laptop} . Will keeping this laptop on for 16 hrs a day, using the A/C power cord, be a problem?

And finally, I currently use windows XP, is it hard to get that setup installed on this laptop and will my Lexmark P4350 color printer/copier/scanner easily hook up to this laptop ?

Thanks,
Lisa

Anonymous said...

I haven't been here for a while - the blog was seeming irrelevent for a while to owners with little interest in the current street price (list $799).

But I see there's some GREAT new information here - including ON REMOVING BLOATWARE & 4G of RAM being recognized!!!

Great info - Thanks!!!

Ps. While the notebook runs OK w/1G of Ram - it runs MUCH better with 2G. I'd guess 4G will do little for most users (me included) - but I'd like to have it anyways. #:-)

Thanks for the site . . .

Merry Christmas All!

High Tech User Reviews said...

@Lisa:

I am using mine for many hours, I always have it on a USB-powered cooler fan (chiller) to cool it off and protect it from the surface below.

You can also use Sleep or Hibernate if you are not planning to use it for a period of time (eg lunchtime, or away from computer for a block of time).

Hibernate saves all your open windows, so when you restart, you have everything the way you left it. Sleep is similar but eats up more battery than hibernate but starts up a little faster. On the F572us some of the "wake ups" from Sleep are a bit bumpy, but that's more of an inconvienience than anything else. Hibernate wake-ups are fine.

My rule of the thumb is to use Sleep if I'm not going to use it from 30 minutes to an hour, and hibernate for one hour or longer. For shorter time periods, I set the screen to turn off in 5 minutes of inactivity.

Firefox is notorious for eating up memory over time, so if you use sleep/hibernate a lot, be sure to restart Firefox periodically. You can find out how much memory it is eating up using the Task Manager, under [Services].

And a healthy reboot every few days have never hurt a Windows product ;-)

As far as XP, I am only running Vista. But there's a number of comments that discuss XP by people who have taken the XP or dual-boot approach.

High Tech User Reviews said...

@ Person who likes to complain:

It would be nice if I was able to custom-write a blog for each individual reader. But unfortunately that's unrealistic :)

There is a variety of readers of this blog, some of them are current owners, some are interested in this computer but are not owners, some are interested in Presarios, some are looking for a laptop in general, some are generally interested in laptops, etc, etc, etc.

Some of the posts may not be interest to every single group of readers mentioned above. That's how it is with blogging.

It would be nice if every single sentence I wrote was of interest to every single reader :-)

KKL said...

I've had my Preario F730 for only 3 weeks now. I'm really disappointed in the quality of the screen and the material used for it. Not even having it for a month, there are at least 3 scratched on the laptop. One right where the battery is because of my laptop cooler. Does anyone know how to get rid of scratches? Also one of the rubber things on the bottom is chipped and I don't know what to do with it. Please help.

-KKL

Anonymous said...

Well - attempted to upgrade the RAM to 4G (PC5400) installed (Disz's comments on 12/10/07 + PC5300)- system reporting 2.75G - or 1.93G individually (either one).

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

While my system is only recognizing 2.75G of installed 4G RAM (PC5400/ 667mhz) the WEI Memory rating has gone from 4.5 w/1G to 5.3 w/2G to 5.5 w.4G.

Tried 3G of RAM too - system still recognizing only 2.75G. Compaq/HP says max is 2G - disz has 4G. System differences?

Best.

TK said...

Can anyone who has upgraded memory on F730US, tell me how to discharge static electricity before I attempt to remove 2 512mb and replace with 1gb in each slot without damaging my laptop? I have never replaced any memory before. I live in an apartment that is all carpeted.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!
TK

Anonymous said...

tk,

The info you asked about installing new memory has been posted above by Glenn on 12/5/07.

Enjoy your new memory.

imo

TK said...

Glenn,
As per your detailed instructions I opened the memory compartment to replace 2 1GB in my F730US notebook but I was afraid I might break the clips holding the memory cards. Hence I closed the back cover and got it replaced by someone who did it in 1 minute and I was feeling terrible why I could not do such a simple task. I learnt a lesson. After replacing the memory' mine is showing 1.93GB. With 2GB it is running little faster. I am yet to remove all Vista junk. Thank you Glenn.
TK

Glenn said...

Hi all,

TK, glad to hear that you have your memory installed now, and that it went well. Glad I could be of assistance!

Hey, I was wondering if anyone that bought their F730us at Staples has recieved their rebate check yet? I sent my rebate stuff in about the first week of November, and haven't seen a thing in the mail yet? Just wondering, I guess sometimes these things take quite a while, but this is going on 9 weeks now...

My F730us is still going strong, and it's the best value of the 3 laptops that I purchased in 2007! Not quite up to par with my Sony VAIO, but very nice for the little money I spent for sure...

Well, take care all, and have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
Glenn

Troubled F730us User said...

I picked up one of these for my mom at Staples on 12/30. In preparing the laptop for her, I did the following:

1) Made recovery disks

2) Ran 'PC Decrapifier' to remove junk (http://pcdecrapifier.com)

3) Ran msconfig to stop a few unnecessary startup programs

4) Manually uninstalled as much leftover junk that I could.

5) Ran 'PC Pitstop 1.5' software, to optimize laptop system settings for speed.

After doing all this, I hoped to get good results - however, although it did speed up a little bit (though boot-time is still slow), the machine is exhibiting really bad memory issues.

My mom tried opening MS Word, and got a pop-up saying something like "Word cannot be opened, memory is full". She later tried opening a PDF email attachment (via yahoo mail), and got a similar message "Acrobat cannot be opened, memory is full". The ACTUAL pop-up language may have been slightly different, but essentially that's what they said.

This is pretty horrible, and I don't see anyone else complaining about such an issue. I have another 1gig of ram coming via mail, but it won't be here for a couple weeks. However, I suspect this is not normal, despite Vista's appetite for memory. Does anyone know what adjustments (i.e., virtual memory settings) I might make to remedy this issue?

I realize the two programs I ran to remove junk & optimize the laptop may have done something to cause this as well, but before resorting to restore disks (or waiting 2 weeks for ram), I wanted to see what users here thought.

Thanks for any help!

Troubled F730us User said...

Ok, I did some more digging. The actual error message says "Not enough memory to run Word". It does NOT come up when opening up Adobe. It comes up similarly however when trying to run anything from MS Office (ppt, xls, etc).

So it seems like just am issue with MS Office on this machine. Anyone else get this? I am going to get a copy of Office Pro 2007, so hopefully uninstalling this home/studen trial and reinstalling the new version will fix the issue. Still, strange activity for a brand-new laptop.

High Tech User Reviews said...

@ Troubled F730 user:

You can check how much memory is available in your system, using the Task Manager or some of the other included perform monitoring tools.

The Task Manager can be started from the system tray (bottom right corner of the screen), right click there and click Task Manager. Once the Task Manager comes up, then click on the Processes Tab. After you click, observe the updating data: The fourth column there will show how much memory each program is using. If you click on the "Memory" tab it will sort them. Firefox for one is known for Jabba-the-Hut'ing memory especially if you don't restart it after a few days and/or heavy usage.

PS> If you don't see the Task Manager pop up, it may start minimized in the System Tray. It is the red/green bar that goes up and down depending on computer activity. Just click on that and it will come up.

High Tech User Reviews said...

Ooops, Task Manager in the System Tray is the black/green grid-box, it is not red/green! Side-effects of XMas? :)

Glenn said...

Need help with Staples Rebate!

I am getting the runaround from Staples regarding my $30 rebate on the F730us that I purchased in late October, when the price was $479.98, and a $30 rebate...bringing the final price to $449.98.

I mailed the rebate form, along with a copy of the receipt on or about November 1st, and have heard nothing yet. So, I went to the rebate website, and entered my info, and they have no record of my rebate!

Needless to say, I was a bit upset (not too upset, we're only talking about $30 here!), so I wrote them an email describing the problem. Their reply is that I need to supply them with the promotion code of the rebate offer...

Well, as you might imagine, it is on the rebate form that I mailed in...and me being the trusting person I am, I didn't make a copy of the rebate form...

So, I was wondering if anyone out there in F730us-land might by some outside chance have a copy of their Staples rebate form handy?

I will wait a bit for a reply, and I might go to the Staples store, to see if they can somehow look the sale up in their records, but that's probably not going to get me far...

The F730us is doing very well, I would do it all over again, with or without the rebate....at this point, it's more about the principal than the 30 bucks....why do these companies seem to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING they can to get out of paying the rebates?!!
Very frustrating....I did all that was required of me on my end...

Thanks in advance for anyone's help on this issue....and I am open to any other suggestions as well...

Glenn

Very pleased F730us owner!
(HP/Compaq are not at fault here!)

High Tech User Reviews said...

You can lookup the rebates at the Staples Easy Rebates website, so you could find the rebate code there.

Also, if this was an Easy Rebate, you can also submit it online, using your rebate receipt.

Making a copy of rebates submitted by mail is a must. They could be lost in the mail or mishandled - in addition to cases where they may be stalling on purpose.

In my experience, the Staples Easy Rebate (online) rebates are one of the most efficient.

PS> I don't know if additional information is accessible through the Staples Rewards site. They do keep track of past purchases, but I don't know if they keep track of rebates attached to the ites purchased.

PS2> Another option could be to look up the various bargain sites (fatwallet, etc) that mentioned the Staples deal the week that you purchased it. Some of them may have a link to the rebate or mention the rebate code.

Glenn said...

Hi High Tech,

Thanks for your suggestions and advice. I will, from now on, make copies of the rebate forms and save them in case of a scenario such as this one!

I scoured the internet for any rebate archives, etc., with no luck. I ended up emailing Staples again, and giving them all the info that I have on the reciept, and I got a different response from them.

Basically, they gave me another 800 number to call. I called it, and it was actually a fulfillment center for HP/Compaq...not for Staples. I talked to the rep (as best I could understand her heavy accent), and she told me that the reason that it was being held up was because they didn't have the UPC label, and/or it's information.

When I mailed the Staples rebate, it specifically stated that I didn't need the UPC label (please see my post above, around Nov.5th) which I thought was very nice, not having to cut up the box.

Well, I did still have the box, and ended up having to cut out the UPC label, make a copy of it, and Fax it to the HP/Compaq rebate center.

So, I asked if there would be some sort of confimation, or acknowledgement of the reciept of the Fax, and the reply was "we don't have email facitlies here"!
I was also told that it would take 4 to 6 weeks to process the request...

So, I GUESS I have the problem resolved, at least for now. I guess that there was some serious miscommunication between Staples, and HP/Compaq on this rebate offer, thus the missing UPC info...

Anyways, thanks very much for your response, and interest in my situation. I have learned a lesson here, whether I get my $30 or not remains to be seen...

Glenn

Go Compaq! said...

Mail in rebates bite. They count on a high percentage of peeps not sending them in, or not "qualifying" even if they do.

but,

The Compaq F730 is our 2nd Compaq. Both are GREAT notebooks & INCREDIBLE values. Rebate BS aside (we've only gotten 1/2 our Staples purchase rebates so-far & we followed the directions religiously).

Still, we're VERY PLEASED with our Compaqs!

Kyle said...

Could someone upload the XP drivers somewhere? All of the links on the HP site are dead when you try and download!

Kyle said...

Actually, scratch that last post! Peer Guardian was blocking HP and so it wasn't working.

Thanks for the help guys!

Anonymous said...

"Easy" Rebates - ha . . . NO such thing - unless they're "instant" rebates - that's the only "easy" rebate. We're losing respect for Staples. They still haven't payed us on all rebates & provided the appropriate credits on our "rewards" card. Their "customer service" peeps do NOT follow through. Disappointing - these "slow" or "no" pay "rebate scams". Short-sighted business practices that will eventually lead to business failure. * imo *

prat said...

Hi
I've been using F730US for the last 3-4 months and I must say that this is a really good bargain at $500. I got it for the same price... :)

Since I got it I've been following this forum for reviews and help and I must say that it has helped me a lot.

I generally use it for work so it just today that I was somehow able to find time to format it and install XP, coz Vista sucks!

So, for all those ppl who are facing trouble in finding XP drivers, please follow this link http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareList?os=228&cc=us&product=1842078/#

You have to install
1. Conexant High Definition Audio Driver
2. NVIDIA nForce Chipset Driver and Network Controller
3. Broadcom Wireless LAN Driver


For the nVidia GeForce Go 6100, please use this link http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=15358


Installation of the drivers which you download from the Compaq site should be easy as they are all .exe files, but to install the nVidia GeForce Go 6100 driver you need to:

1. Extract the .exe file you download from the link above
2. Go to device manager and right the "(VGA Compatible)" hardware, and then click Update Driver
3. Instruct the system to take the drivers from the path where you extracted the compressed exe.



After this you will have one two hardware in Device Manager for which there are no drivers

1. Modem
2. Unknown Device


For the modem, right click and click update driver, and then instruct the system to find the driver from the internet, you should be able to get it.


Now the only thing remaining is the "Unknown Device" for which even I'm unable to find a driver, if anyone has found that please let me also know.


Apart from the drivers, the laptop is working just fine...
It's a great deal and I like the laptop, the XP response time is really good.
However, the only thing I don't like about it is the Battery Backup, on power saver mode I dont get more than 1.5 hours...
which is not good at all... rest all is just fine...

Anonymous said...

Update - (my 2/7/08 comments) - Staples just came through with our "Rewards" Card credit - THANK-YOU Staples! Hopefully the balance of rebates will come shortly.

Staples Rocks!

Best.

ps. Love the Compaq F730us w/Vista & 4G installed RAM (system recognizing about 3G).

Compaq = Outstanding Value ! ! ! !

pps. HTUR - thanks again for the site.

Anonymous said...

For those of you downgrading to xp from vista, note that the unkown device can be fixed by installing the Richo Card reader driver. I downloaded the sp37614.exe from the HP site and it worked perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone: I bought this laptop for my 13 yr old for xmas. After 2 wks of use the battery would no longer chrg. Fussed with HP for over 2 hrs on 2occassions. Finally they sent a ac adapter and new battery 2 wks ago. Guess what, the same thing is happening again! Battery won't chrg! I don't see anyone else having this problem.
I hope someone can give me some advice before I pop a blood vessel getting on the phone to the Philipines with reps who sound like broken records ugh!! Thanks to anyone who replies.

Anonymous said...

looks like we might have the same issue here - battery all of a sudden is not holding a charge.

Glenn said...

I am pleased to announce that I have finally received my $30 rebate check from HP/Compaq today...5 MONTHS after I mailed it in.

This rebate all started life as a Staples "Easy Rebate", which I sent in according to the directions on the rebate form. I has turned into a long, drawn out process, ending with talking, faxing, emailing HP/Compaq, not Staples.

Somewhere along the line, the rebate magically changed from a Staples rebate, and dealing with them, to an HP/Compaq rebate.

The sad fact is, had I not pursued the issue to the extent that I have, I am certain that I would have never received the rebate at all.

It was only 30 bucks, and it became more of a principal thing to me than a monetary issue. I guess I should be happy I received it at all...

I am still as pleased as I can be with the F730us, it has been one remarkable deal for the price that I paid, rebate or not...and I am thankful for that!

Mine has been pretty much flawless from day one, with the exception of the inaccuracies with the Windows Experience Index when I first got it. I have long forgotten about that, and the issue with HP Total Care Advisor, since I removed that from the PC long ago.

I also still remain a very happy Windows Vista user, and like the OS very much to this day. Looks like SP1 is coming soon, can't wait to see what improvements that might bring as well...

Happy F730us computing to all...
Glenn

Anonymous said...

Hi All: I am the one who posted on Feb 17 08 about the battery not being chrg. I called HP expecting another 2 hr sessn and to my surprise it was much more reasonable. The problem is that the BIOS had an update in Dec and the laptop was not connected to the net during the month. I did not realize that when updates occur it automatically goes to your laptop. All I had to do was download the new BIOS and VIOLA! battery chrgs like a charm now. The customer service/tech lady was very nice and was not repetitive in her speech as was my experience with the other reps. Her name is Michelle (if that helps anyone)

Anonymous said...

First, i'd like to say thanks for all the posts. they've been extremely helpfull

second, i figured i'd give my input;
micro center has these on the website( microcenter.com ) for only $429.00, no rebates =)

two problems though:

-In-store pick up ONLY

-It's a refurb

Personally, i could care less. I'm gonna drag my lazy self down there and get one, refurb or not. That's a great price.

P.s. can anyone tell me how the light scribe thing works?
I've heard about it but i guess i just don't understand it.

Thanks!

High Tech User Reviews said...

I'm glad you found them helpful :)

Yes, that's a good price, but things are getting more competitive out there, with so many models and falling prices.

Here is a good starting point for Lightscribe, at Wikipedia. Note the four links under reference as well.

And for more hardcore lightscribe stuff, CDR Info is loaded.

Anonymous said...

Thanks!

I'll be sure to check it out.
I also went to the official website and I'm beginning to understand it a little better.

Anonymous said...

Update . . . .

In my 12/19/07 post - I indicated that the 4G of Ram (matched) I installed was being shown as 2.75G.

Since installing the Vista Service Pack 1 upgrade - I'm pleased to report Ram is being recognized as 4.0G!!! System performance is the same.

Upgrading the memory from the 1G provided should be considered a must with Vista - 2G is fine for most situations.

Vaya con Dios.

High Tech User Reviews said...

Thanks for the update! Better late than never!

I'm glad it's all set at 4gb now!

Turning off Aero can boost some operations as well!

Anonymous said...

htur,

Could you elaborate on "turning off Areo?"

What do you think about running a ReadyBoost USB drive - (best size, etc) to enhance performance?

Thanks.

High Tech User Reviews said...

Sorry for the tape-delayed response. By turning off Aero I mean using this approach.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link on Aero. I was wonderering if you got the post . . . . Maybe you had a nice vacation? I haven't tried it yet (I do like the Vista look #:-) Always some trade-offs between appearance & speed, I guess . . . .

BTW - I answered my own question on ReadyBoost with this link: www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial136.html My current PNY ReadyBoost USB Drive is 2G & I have 4G of physical system RAM - (min recommended ReadyBoost is AT LEAST 1:1 of the physical RAM).

So it looks like I'll upgrade the ReadyBoost USB to 8G (too much is never enough). It's on sale at Circuit City now for $27.99.

Go Faster . . . .

Vaya con Dios.

Anonymous said...

My F730US working fine so far with May 2009 Windows 7 Release Candidate... if only I could get it fully functional with XP Pro.

Win7 more enjoyable than Vista and I am thankful to be finally rid of HP crud, unfortunately many purchased programs not working on Win7 and "compatibility mode" is as much a joke on Win7 as with Vista.

Normally I wait 2 years after public release before installing a Win OS... but I may keep Win7 on Presario.

Scott

High Tech User Reviews said...

Thanks for the feedback! It looks like Vista is probably the best thing that happened for Windows-7. The great escape from Vista!

Program compatibility though, as you pointed out, is an issue :-(