Usability – Keyboard, Touch Pad, Ports, HeatKeyboard
I know there are some people out there who will decide on which laptop to buy based solely on the feel of the keyboard. The keyboard on the Compaq Presario V2410 is solid. There isn’t much flex or give when typing or hammering the keys which makes it feel nice and sturdy.
The keys themselves are not mushy like other laptops, but not as hard as some business-class machines (re: Lenovo T43 laptops). I found the keys comfortable to use but a little clicky.
The layout of the keyboard is good. It’s laid out like a typical keyboard so there is no re-learning involved like on 12.1″ laptops.
Touch pad / Buttons
The touch pad I found very nice to use. It’s smooth and glides very well. There are side-scrolling areas on the pad to make moving up/down and across documents a lot quicker. You can also use these scroll areas to move the mouse pointer up-down and left-right if the window’s focus is not a scrollable window. I found the scroll areas to be a bit sensitive by default and hard to control. The feature can be adjusted in Windows or disabled all together.
The touch pad buttons don’t require much force to activate, but just enough pressure is required to prevent accidental clicks.
The location of the peripherals ports are all located in accessible areas at the sides and front of the laptop – you no longer have to turn your laptop around, or stand up just to access your ports! The pictures below show you the layout of all these ports. As much as I like having the ports accessible, having the ports on the side is a bit awkward when sitting cross-legged.
All ports, like the card reader above, are all accessible from the sides.
Heat & Cooling
Heat isn’t really a big issue with the V2410. I found that even after a few hours of general usage and benchmarking, the laptop became warm, but not hot or uncomfortable to use. The bottom-left of the laptop where the hard drive and CPU are located does get noticeably warmer than the rest of the system. The left wrist area is warmer so you may get sweaty palms.
According to Everest, the CPU is 51c and HDD 42c after general usage. Under a full load, the CPU reaches 59c (138F) and the HDD 43c (108F). At maximum cooling, the fan on the laptop is noticeable, but barely if there is background chatter or noise. At idle processor speeds the fan is essentially silent.