Compaq Presario 6027 US: How I got 512MB of memory for only $999
Sep 21, 2002 (Updated Sep 22, 2002)
Review by diverpam
Rated a Very Helpful Review
User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Quality of Tech Support:
Pros:Fast, quiet, lots of memory, looks great.
The Bottom Line: Fast,powerful,quiet; runs large programs simultaneously with no problems; plenty of expansion capability. It will take a long time to outgrow this computer.
It started out just an ordinary Sunday, browsing through all the computer store ads. There I found it ... the ad that did me in.
Recommend this product?
No, it's not what you think. It wasn't an add for the Presario 6027US that I'm now using to type this review. It was an ad for 256MB of memory for my previous Compaq computer. I decided to swap out one of the existing 128MB's so I would have a total of 512MG.
My husband told me I should leave well enough alone, but I had RAM lust and could not help myself. Did I listen to my husband? Of course not.
That's how I became the owner of this zippy new Presario 6027. I'll tell you the rest of the story later, if you haven't already guessed it.
What comes with the Compaq Presario 6027 US?
* A silver and black CPU that is somewhat sleeker than my previous Compaq. It stands 14.5 inches tall, almost 7 inches wide, and 16.5 inches deep. It weighs almost 24 pounds.
* A black mouse, with silver scroll wheel that nicely matches the keyboard.
* A silver Compaq internet keyboard with black keys and several shortcut keys. The rectangular shape is 18 by 6.5 inches. I was delighted to get rid of my previous curvy Microsoft keyboard, but that's a whole other story!
There are eight "magic" keys across the top of the keyboard that work as shortcuts. There are icons that pretty clearly depict their functions:
* Instant Internet - will take you directly MyYahoo, unless you reprogram it
* Instant Email - It opens AOL for me
* My Presario - There are tons of Presario information provided by Compaq at this site. It is a very good reference. You can download any product documentation you need.
* Entertainment - This defaults to Real.com
* Smart Card Zone - This takes you to a Smart Card application. This is supposed to provide secure Internet shopping through the use of a "smart" credit card. I haven't dared to experiment with this.
* Search & Research - Again, this went to MyYahoo. I have reprogramed mine to go to Dogpile, my favorite search engine.
* Retail Central (Of course this has a shopping cart)- I set mine to open Ebay (just for browsing purposes).
* Help - This opens the extensive help available for the Presario.
How to Reprogram the Instant Access Buttons
Go to Control Panel and select Easy Access Buttons. You can rename the buttons, as well as change their destination. Just type in the new name and URL and they will be updated.
I did not purchase a monitor, since I already had a perfectly good 19-inch monitor and JBL speakers from my previous Presario. It works quite well with the new computer.
Setting Up the Computer
Set-up was a snap. The hardest part was deciding whether the CPU should go on top of the desk or on the floor underneath.
After a trial run, by pretending to insert a CD, I opted for the under-the-desk configuration and my husband went to work connecting the cables for me.
He had previously told me that my cabling style was too messy for him and offered to rework all the connections to my two printers and scanner.
Hooking up the new computer required only connecting it to the monitor, plugging in the keyboard and mouse and connecting the USB cables from the printers.
There were plenty of USB slots from which to choose. Two in the front and four in the back. Plus, I had a USB hub he reconnected for me, as well. Okay, I have a lot of junk.
Within a few minutes, my beautiful new computer was up and running. I was amazed at how quiet it was. It worked perfectly with my home network configuration with no changes required.
It came loaded with a Microsoft XP Home operating system.
Other included software:
* Microsoft Works 6.0
* Microsoft Money 2002
* A basic version of Quicken
* Norton Anti Virus 2002
* Symantec Norton Internet Security 2002
* Roxio Easy CD Creator 5
* Real Player 8.0
* Microsoft Media Player 8.0
* Coloreal Color management technology
* Intervideo WinDVD
There are also a dozen or more games loaded in the accessories area.
I was thrilled to have a Pentium 4 2000MHz processor, an 80 GB UltraDMA hard drive, 512 MB 226Mhz DDR DRAM, a 16x DVD-ROM drive, and 40 x CD-RW Drive.
It also has10/100 ethernet Networking, a 56k modem, Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics, and Integrated Soundmax III Digital Audio.
* 4 expansion slots
* 5 expansion bays
* Two phone jacks, in and out
* Audio ports
There are two DIMM slots, upgradeable to 2 GB (DDR DRAM DIMM). The CPU is designed to be easily accessible for the owner to add additional memory or more components. However, I probably won't personally be using these options. See my sad story below.
My Sad Story
Yes, friends, I managed to fry my previous Presario when I somehow installed the new memory module upside down.
Go ahead, laugh at me.
I have successfully added memory to computers many times before. I still don't know how I managed to get it in upside down.
Of course, when I powered up it began to sizzle and smell. I will never forget that smell. One scorched motherboard and a fried memory slot later, I was convincer I really wanted a new computer. I couldn't bear to be without a computer to have the old one repaired and I convinced my husband of the benefits of making it my birthday present.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances leading to my purchase, I have been very happy with my new Presario 6027US.
Additional Changes for Me
I have since upgraded to XP Professional OS and added Microsoft Office XP, as well as PhotoShop 7. PhotoShop opens faster than I've ever seen it operate before. I also added FrontPage 2002.
I can have multiple browser windows and applications open simultaneously without locking up. I am notorious for having PhotoShop and FrontPage open while I'm updating my websites. Sometimes I even throw in Access for good measure.
This computer boots up quickly and shuts down much faster than any of my previous computers.
I had no problems getting my HP printer, my Lexmark printer/fax, and my HP scanner working on this new system.
I am extremely pleased with this computer and would highly recommend it to someone (like me) who spends a lot of time creating graphics and websites, as well as using Access, Word, and Excel. I think I've given it a pretty good workout and it has exceeded my expectations.
It might be more computer than really needed for someone who only wants to spend time on the Internet or uses very basic programs.
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Amount Paid (US$): 999
Operating System: Windows
Processor speed: over 1000
RAM: More than 256
Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD
Hard Drive (GB): Over 50
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