Beneath the HP Compaq Business Notebook Nc6000's mild-mannered exterior lies a 5.8-pound powerhouse. Its stupendous battery life of 6 hours and 23 minutes is one of the longest we've seen. And it's no slouch: Equipped with a 1.6-GHz Pentium M processor and 512MB of RAM, the Nc6000 earned an impressive PC WorldBench 4 score of 125.
The nr3600 has superstrong magnesium skin, a reinforced internal frame, a shock-resistant hard drive, and the right stuff to meet the military's 810F standard for battlefield ruggedness. Slightly thinner than Panasonic's ToughBook CF-29, which has a larger screen, the HP Compaq Rugged Notebook nr3600 measures 2.3 by 9.8 by 11.9 inches. (Its rubber feet add another 0.2 inch to its profile.) Its 9.1-pound heft makes this one of the heaviest notebooks around; however, if you leave the handle behind, it weighs 7.9 pounds.
HP Compaq Business Notebook NX9010
The documentation we received was less comprehensive than that accompanying other HP Compaq notebooks. It consisted of a single printed booklet. Nevertheless, it does a fair job of identifying parts and describing features. (HP says that it bundles an electronic manual too, but we didn't receive one.) HP offers a number of expansion options for the Nc6000. Power gluttons can beef up battery life by swapping out the removable combo drive for a $170 secondary battery or gain more storage with a $600, 60GB secondary hard drive. The two slots for RAM modules are located under the keyboard in a cramped compartment we could barely squeeze our fingers into. On our test unit, one was filled with a 512MB module. But storage upgrades should be easy: Just remove a couple of screws on the bottom to tug the hard drive out of the left side of the notebook. HP sells two port replicators for this notebook--a $179 basic model and a $279 unit that includes two built-in modular bays. Both use a connector on the bottom of the notebook.
HP Compaq Rugged Notebook nr3600
Aimed at mobile professionals and public-safety workers who need to take data into the field--literally--the HP Compaq Rugged Notebook nr3600 has the strength to stand up to the craggiest construction site. Its armor plating and a phalanx of protection from all sorts of abuse makes the nr3600 just as at home in Baghdad as in the boardroom. Based on the , the nr3600 is similarly heavy and expensive, but for data-centric organizations that can't afford a breakdown, this system is worth it, though we liked the better.