The HP Compaq 6735s is a relatively new addition to HP’s extensive range of laptops. It would be safe to say that with the spec you get with the 6735s it is mainly aimed at office users and those on a budget. However with that being said the performance you get is very good considering the price tag and even some lower end gaming can be achieved easily enough from it.

Look and feel – The case is well built and designed and has a sleek and slim line look to it. You get the standard 15.4″ tft screen which is well attached, the first thing you will notice however is the maximum angle at which the screen will go, you cannot extend it back anymore than 135 degrees. Whilst this might not seem a big issue you might be surprised at how often you might need to extend the screen back further.

The laptop itself is quite light weighing in at 2.5kg which is quite reasonable considering its standard size, the other thing you might notice to begin with is that there is no locking mechanism for when the screen is down and this can cause problems for some! It is also a bit more fiddly to unlock the screen when it’s down.

The 6735s is quite a tricky laptop to clean, above the keyboard you have the built in speaker panel mesh which is a nightmare to clean if you get anything in it! Also the hinge covers will soon gather lots of dust and it’s tricky to get it out of.

The keyboard is well built and like with all HP laptops very easy to use, keys are spaced perfectly apart and require just the right amount of effort to use. As for the touch pad well, let’s just say it’s very sensitive, perhaps a bit TOO sensitive, I have found myself typing away and all of a sudden the mouse has moved position because my hand has hovered over the keypad ever so slightly, this can get a bit annoying!

Display – The screen is probably one of the slight bad points with the 6735s, when you are using it you will probably notice that the contrast is a bit weak and dull, especially so when running on batteries. If you plan on using this laptop outside in the sun then you are going to struggle to see anything unless you have the charger plugged in.

Spec and performance – The 6735s comes in a range of models but by standard you will get an AMD X2 dual core 2ghz processor with 64bit capabilities (should you decide to go down the 64bit operating system route). The lowest spec version will come with 1GB of ram bit you have a maximum capacity of 8GB. As standard, 1GB is quite poor nowadays and will not serve you too well if you’re planning on running any memory intensive applications. Storage will vary but the model I tested was 150GB which for some people will be plenty. You get the usual built in accessories: wireless LAN, 1GB network card, 4 usb ports, DVD writer, modem and card reader.

If you plan on pushing this laptop to the limit then I would probably reconsider. The performance starts to get very sluggish when the CPU is over half load; you will notice jolty response times and once the fan kicks into double speed things start to get very noisy! Not only that but the left hand side of the laptop where the heat sink is will get very warm indeed.

Battery life – The battery life can vary, if the laptop is under minimal load you might be lucky to get over four hours of life out of the 6735s! However, as soon as you start to put the CPU under stress you will soon see the battery life drain and under 75% load you might get just over an hour out of it!

Conclusion – The 6735s is a nice entry level laptop and is probably more suited for the casual user. It has all the features you would need for general laptop use (including a built in webcam!) with good performance and a very decent price tag ($420!). For those who need a laptop for more intensive use they might want to choose a different model as the 6735s struggles under heavy load and doesn’t offer the performance for a more high end user.