my HP 6930p review

It’s about time for another hardware review as it reflects what’s on my mind these days. I know that a lot of people just go for anything they are recommended, but if your income depends on the performance and reliability of your computer at home (= home office), you’ll maybe pay extra attention to this and I know a lot of geeks who are much more demanding when it comes to their computer.

unpack

 

So I bought a new notebook today because I felt that my old machine from 2006 doesn’t deliver what I need for some applications. Mind you, I am a PC guy, running WinXP and Ubuntu only, where the performance of my old machine was sufficient for most tasks.

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My setup consisted of an HP nx8220 notebook on a docking station with an external mouse + keyboard and a 22″ LG W2242T TFT. The computer is in a local network with an HP OfficeJet 7210 printer, a 500GB NAS and a VoIP phone + her notebook as well as both our netbooks.

setup

The nx8220 proved to be a loyal workhorse, surviving dusty rural Kenya as well as running 24h/d. The docking station really is a huge advantage over to conventional consumer notebooks as it provides a) much more ports (e.g. DVI-D for the 22″ TFT) and b) makes it easier to use only one machine for both home office and mobile needs. This is also why I could never go for a MacBook as they afaik do not provide connectivity to a docking station.

Most users are better off buying a conventional consumer notebook and not a business machine like mine. It’s similar to cars: extras on a Mercedes or Volkswagen cost extra, while you’d get all of that for a much lower price on a SE Asian car. So you’ll equally have to pay extra for an LED screen or UMTS modem which you’ll also already find on cheaper Acer or Asus notebooks. Most of these consumer notebooks do not have a docking connector though and are usually designed for a 3years usage pattern (5years on business notebooks).

Since this docking station already existed (eBay is a great resource for used business hardware in mint condition), the idea was to get another HP as I would then just have to swap notebooks.

E6400On the other hand, Dell offers a very nice Latitude E6400 (with an illuminated keyboard & LED screen – similar to MacBooks!) that comes close to my current choice – and the (IBM) Lenovo T400 with an LED screen and internal UMTS modem is one of those *i want! i want!* machines.

lenovo-ThinkPad-T400-1I’ve tested the T400 in a shop and was surprised how great it actually looks. I think I’ll have to buy an older T42(p) one day to satisfy my IBM-needs. Built quality wasn’t that good though – most reviews on YouTube where customers are comparing this IBM-successor are somehow true, at least when it comes to the material used on these machines. But still, I’d love to test the Lenovo T400 for a longer period one day.

Comparing these to cars, I’d say that IBM ThinkPads are like Volvos.

Back to my choice: I eventually settled for an HP 6930p which comes with a 14,1″ screen size (old notebook was 15,4″) and weighs “only” 2.4kg. Compared to my old notebook (2.85kg), it’s much lighter. It still seems to be heavier than other 14,1″ notebooks – but honestly: 200gr more doesn’t matter to me. What matters, though, is the power supply on HP notebooks which is really really shitty. Too big, too heavy, to bulky. Apple has the best power supplies, imho. And I of course also like those small ones that came shipped with the netbooks (Kensington also produces light-weight power supplies – may have to look into those one day).

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power supplies: HP nx8220 vs. Asus eee 901

So my notebook is on a docking station most of the time and needs to deliver 24/7, which is why I went for a machine with an ATI graphics card even though it itsn’t that much better than the internal Intel graphics core and even though the ATI card drains the battery faster. Took me some time to decide on this though, as well as the screen resolution which is at 1440×900 (unfortunately no LED screen, just CCFL ) and I was afraid that it may be too small. But it isn’t.

Funny thing is: I bought this machine for a really good price on eBay (hey…!) and the offer said “Screen resolution: 1280 x 800″. Picked it up in the store (in Hanau, outside of Frankfurt) and realized it’s 1440×900. Thought they made a mistake and asked them a few times but it seemed to be correct. So now I am the proud owner of a notebook with the follow specifications:

HP “EliteBook” 6930p (p/n GW683AV)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8400
  • 1x 4GB 800MHz DDR2 RAM (32bit OS like WinXP = max. 3 GB)
  • 320GB Western Digital 5400 SATA II HDD (initially 120GB Seagate)
  • WXGA+ 1440×900 matte display
  • Intergrated 2 megapixels webcam
  • Keyboard light
  • Intel 5100 ABGN wireless
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • Dual pointing devices
  • Intergrated Fingerprint reader (crap..)
  • DVD+/-RW with LightScribe
  • Firewire 1394a, 3x USB, LAN, Modem, SD/MMC reader, SC card reader, ExpressCard
  • internal UMTS modem (ordered, hasn’t arrived yet. Again, used spare part from eBay)
  • 2.400kg with battery
  • 6-cell battery (55 Wh)
  • 3 years Warranty

No PCMCIA II card slot, so my PCMCIA / PC-Card UMTS modem (eBay, EUR 2,- :-)) can go into early retirement.

For a list of professional reviews on the 6930p, pls check out this page by notebookcheck.com (best site on this subject, imho).

As mentioned, the 6930p I got was really cheap as it is a used machine. Used ….as in: brand-new without any scratches or other damages but isn’t originally sealed. Which is why HP sells them for a lower price to wholesalers who are then reselling them on eBay (check for HP Renew or similar). That’s one sweet way of buying hardware and also how I got our printer, btw. You’re still given 3 years Warranty (checked the serial number via HP’s website) and get a proper receipt so basically it’s a new machine. Besides, I am geek enough to fix problems on my own and I do not have the resources to send in my machine for three weeks, anxiously waiting for a repair.

The machine came shipped with Windows Vista Business which is….well, I don’t know. I deleted it. You also get a downgrade option from M$ to exchange your Vista installation for XP (which I did).

Already tested Ubuntu 9.04 running as a live version from a USB key and: Heeeeyyyyy…. I may be a bit behind when it comes to modern hardware from 2009, but this Dual Core CPU and the RAM really kick ass on Ubuntu. Plugged it in, booted it up in less than 30 seconds and ..*baaam* , ready to go. Nice.

I also did a Geekbench benchmark on all four machines:

  • HP nx8220 GB score: 1.312 (@WinXP)
  • HP 6930p GB score: 3.060 (@Ubuntu 9.04)
  • Asus eee 1000HG netbook GB score: 935 (@WinXP)
  • Asus eee 901 netbook GB score: 924 (@WinXP)

Meaning: you can really feel the performance increase. It was a good idea to invest some money on a new machine.

Based on my first impressions so far, here’s a list of things I noticed on this HP “EliteBook”:

1. Pictograms, indicating the position and function of ports on each side are just next to the port, not on top (like on my old nx8220). Would be better to have them on top to see where the USB ports are.

beschriftung-alt
old: nx 8220

beschriftung-neu
new: 6930p

2. Comparing the nx8220 with the 6930p is a bit unfair as it should rather be a comparison between the nx8220 and the 8530p.
I am used to the 15,4″ notebook with the headphone socket on the right side instead of the positioning of these ports on the left side on the 6930p. This really unimportant detail actually means a lot to me.

touchpadtoucstick

3. The touchpad and the pointing stick on the 6930p are a bit too cheap. There’s almost no pressure point on both touchpad buttons. Why not? You won’t notice the weakness of the touchstick unless you’ve compared it to an IBM laptop so this really isn’t a serious issue.

webcam

4. Webcam is 2mpx and is ok. Also comes with a special OCR software that reads business cards and adds them to your address book. Seriously, who comes up with such ideas? It’s funny. Tested it once, didn’t work for me, gave up. My business card is different anyways as it comes as a QR-code (see right sidebar on my blog). I am sure there’s QR-Code software out there that will enable this webcam to read barcodes (like the one on my phone).

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5. Next to the webcam is a keyboard light which may not be that strong but is one of the reasons why IBM ThinkPads have in the past ruled the business world. Ok, not really, but their keyboard light has always been the little extra gimmick that made you me long for a ThinkPad instead of a Dell or HP (not knowing that the keyboard light on an IBM isn’t really that great). Good move, HP! The light elegantly pops out by pressing the button with the bulb icon and comes with a little diffusor in front of the integrated LED (no diffusor on IBM = problem!).

6. Keyboard is nice and firm, similar to my old one. Keyboards and displays are THE MOST IMPORTANT parts of a notebok. Which is probably also why Acer notebooks are so popular.

cover
(a nice example which shows that some cameras just aren’t capable of getting straight lines – this Sanyo cam from 2003 has a splendid macro mode but is really bad on horizontal lines due to the internal prism lens)

7. The scratch-resistant external aluminium panels and the casing made of aluminium, plastic and magnesium really kick ass. Almost solid as a rock. Good quality. I actually only miss the clamshell design known from ThinkPads on this HP.

front

I am also mentioning this as you can easíly test the overall stability yourself by pushing the display back and forth and seeing where there’s tension on the body. My old nx8220 has a slight crack on that part due to its age and usage but this is normal with most other notebooks I’ve tested and seen so far.

8. Hinges: remember the Dellicious story? Broken hinges are soooo Dell and Acer. The hinges on my nx8220 are still fine (even though I’ve already tightened them a bit, using a simple screwdriver).

9. The 1440×900 (WXGA+) screen resolution produces slightly better colours than the normal 1280×800 (WXGA) screen (both CCFL technology). Relatively low contrast, brightness is ok, viewing angels are average. Not good for serious photographers and I am afraid to admit that but I think that you’ll either have to go for a Sony notebook or MacBook if you can’t edit photos on an external screen (and mine is just a cheaper, low-end TFT from LG but still better than both notebook screens). I actually don’t know why HP uses such bad displays on business machines and the better LED screens on their cheaper consumer notebooks. Well, I knew that and skipped this point in the end because of the external monitor I am using for editing pictures. And who knew that I’d be blessed with a better screen resolution & picture quality for the same price? I paid for WXGA screen and got a WXGA+ … how cool is that? :-)

aufloesungen

Display also comes with a light-sensor to automatically adjust brightness. Deactivated it – like on my old nx8220.

LED displays are available from HP for this series, albeit at WXGA (1280×800) only and very hard to obtain and/or expensive (at least in Germany).

10. LEDs to indicate Wireless/Power/HDD acitivities are much better on the 6930p than on the nx8220 (and other, similar machines from that era in 2006). I once had to glue a little piece of plastic back between those LEDs on the nx8220 as it had broken away.

leds
old: nx8220

leds-new

new: 6930p

11. Weight: 2.4kg are a good weight. My Asus 1000HG netbook weighs 1.5kg and comes with a 10″ screen at 1024x600px screen resolution. There are those moments where you wish to have a bigger (!) machine (not neccessarily on the screen, but to elegantly balance it on your lap = laptop!) and forget about the weight issue. A 12″ notebook would also be nice, but these machines often only come with a crippled CPU, an expensive 1.8″ HDD and/or are ridiculously expensive. So the 14,1″ notebook is a perfect alternative. And yes, 13,3″ MacBooks are even better, at least size-wise.

latch

12. The display latch: many customers on user forums actually complained about the latch/lock on the display, arguing that it would require them to use both hands to close it (true) and some force (true). I like it this way, even though it easily pops open even if you only slightly touch the button. So it may accidentally open inside a bag. Not good. Too much tension.

13. Design: I think it’s rather ugly. This mixture of silver and black colours..is this the influence of peculiar Asian taste?

There’s a row of touch-sensitive buttons on top of the keyboard which is a bit too bright & has too many different LED colors which may be a bit irritating, but else it is working fine for me. This touch-sensitive panel replaces conventional buttons (that would provide more tactile feedback), and a lot of users actually complained about the volume “slider”. The problem is: it isn’t really a slider, it just looks like a slider. Because if you don’t try to “slide down volume” but instead keep your finger on the “Volume (-)” area, it will quickly reduce volume. So users got irritated, thinking it works like a slider and consequently complained about it.
Why touch-sensitive controls instead of conventional buttons? Me thinks there are three posssible reasons for this: a) the SEAsian geek influence & an affection for iPhone-alike features, b) costs and c) less trouble with designing the PCB / more space.

14. Fan design still sucks. Maybe I am too much of an engineer, but I’d prefer if the intake could be on the back side of the notebook, not below the machine. IBM/Lenovo is a bit better on this. Proper heat dissipation is an important issue. Fortunately, the machine comes with an otherwise good cooling system and isn’t too loud.
I’ve also set the BIOS to “fan always on” as I’ve had good experience with this on my nx8220. Keeps the machine colder right from the start.

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open fan on the nx8220 (without aluminium cover & removed keyboard)

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6930p: heatpipe may remain on all chips even when the fan is being cleaned

Also interesting to see that there’s no extra cover for the pcb as compared to the nx8220 which had an aluminum cover betweeen the keyboard and the pcb (which also had the heat dissipitation pipes connected to it). Would be interesting to know what this looks like on the 8530p. On the other hand, it always irritated me having to remove the heat pipes from the graphics & northbridge processor just to clean the fan and I am glad it is different on the new machine. There usually is a lot of dust in between the fan and the cooler (= what you see as copper-coloured grill from the outside) which is only accessible once you open it up and use tweezers to remove the dust. Also helps using a vacuum cleaner and/or a camera lens blower to clean it

bottom

14. Users can exchange the HDD, the battery (now try that with a MacBook), add a UMTS modem or add more RAM – all without voiding the warranty. Nothing great, but still important as the Apple example shows that not all gadgets come with similar warranty conditions.
To know what’s “possible”, HP uses two different screw types. A Torx for service and conventional cross slot screws for upgrades from customers. Pls also note the sleeve for a business card which I also already know from my nx8220. HP was smart enough to hide both the licence key and service tag stickers underneath this protective cover. Simple, but effective.

15. This 6930p is a custom made model, hence the 120GB HDD it came shipped with as well as 4GB of RAM on a single board. Knowing that 32bit operating systems can only address a maximum of 3GB, I am wondering why it comes with 4GB and Windows Vista Business 32bit? (and don’t even get me started on the 800MHz vs. 1066MHz discussion the RAM is running on – these 4GB are at 798 MHz instead of 1066 // DDR2 vs DDR3).
Oh, and Vista ist just crap. This is MS Windows Vista Business and it instantly failed to reboot (endless loop of booting up and down) after an initial update. And needless to mention that I actually failed getting the HP Backup tool to do a copy of the installation. Vista alone used 20GB on the HDD. Incredible.
Now I am left with an XP downgrade & drivers DVD and will probably (& hopefully) never need a Vista backup. I’ve tested Windows7 on my Asus eee 1000HG the other day which is a bit better.

16. The battery is a bit too loose which is partly also due to the hook on the battery. I am used to this from the nx8220 though and these guys found the same fault on their test notebook. So I am not the only one who pulls out the sliding calliper to measure the play between the battery and the notebook body (I hope :-).

spaltmass


17. CPU Whining (CPU generates a high frequency sound): yes, it is there, but only slightly audible. Good.

18. The docking station I am using is an HP PA286A (used, cheap, eBay…) which *officially* doesn’t work with an EliteBook notebook but actually it does. It just doesn’t match the silver cover as it comes with the old grey colour tone as used on the nx8220. If you’ve come here searching for an answer on this: yes, it works. The PA286A 120W HP docking station is compatible with the HP 6930p (at least most standard ports – don’t know about Video-S which was supported by the nx8220 but not the 6930p). HP used to mention it on their website but have since removed this remark, probably due to marketing reasons. I initially had some problems with it as the LAN port wouldn’t respond but it was due to my 6930p which seems to have a picky docking connector that doesn’t properly sit on the docking station.

The socket for the docking station on the notebook itself also isn’t secured by any protective cover which may seem to be a potential problem. If in doubt, just use adhesive tape to cover it up. As mentioned earlier, the nx8220 also didn’t have this cover and it has never really been a problem.

19. Internal 2G/3G modem: this 6930p didn’t come with an integrated 2G/3G (GSM, UMTS) modem but with the internal 3G antennas already set up and a SIM card slot behind the battery cover. You actually just buy the additional UMTS modem card, plug it in, install drivers and start surfing. I must however admit that – based on my experience with this same procedure on the Asus 1000HG netbook – the internal antenna setup on top of the display usually isn’t that much better than a conventional, external USB 3G modem. Still have to double-check this though.

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Soooo…is the 6930p any good? Yes of course! It’s a good notebook for most tasks and it comes with a good mixture of usability and performance. It may not be the best notebook for serious photo editing (due to HP’s shitty displays), but it already is a best seller in all other categories and just delivers what it was made for. I’d recommend it to anyone who has previously worked with HP notebooks, likes them and wants to use a stable machine for the home office.

Comparing it to my old nx8220 and seeing the performance increase, I am really happy that I eventually upgraded my computer hardware. I especially like the Dual Core thing which will ease up a lot of tasks on my notebook.

I am also happy that I didn’t have to spend too much money on a new machine. I think that it doesn’t actually come from HP’s Renew Program and that it had only been previously opened which is why the price was so low.

If you’re more into power saving laptops and value battery runtime, it may be better to get the Intel graphics card version coupled with an LED screen which should provide another 0,5 – 1h of battery runtime. And you may also think about getting a lighter power supply. HP really needs to continue working on the displays and on the power supplies. Improve contrast on the displays (a lot of customers will appreciate this), extend their vertical viewing angles and construct lighter and smaller power supplies. This is 2009 where notebook computers have to compete with netbooks, at least when it comes to portability issues.

Pls note that I am reviewing this machine from my German perspective where the market situation is slightly different from e.g. the US where DELL and Apple seem to dominate the market. Spare parts on Dells are still relatively expensive in Germany and not as available as in the US or even UK & Ireland.

For a sound reasoning on what to look for in a new notebook, pls check out this comment from 2006 by Steve , thx.

30 comments » Write a comment

  1. You know I had to comment on this post

    Congratulations on your new machine, it looks like a champ and seems to be an excellent choice.

    First off, hats off and mad props for actually owning a pair of Vernier Calipers. Even more scary to me is the fact that you actually use them…

    You have my undying fear and respect…

    I got an IBM T400 from work – I named the thing “The Beast”. it is physically brutishly big. I mean big, I do not have a laptop bag that it will fit in. It is solid, built like a tank and classic thinkpad. Also 4GB with Vista downgraded to XP. The matte screen is so-so at best – the resolution is 1280*800 and that alone makes me hate it. It is really really heavy.

    Other stuff I hate about it is no SD card reader, no bluetooth and retarded headphone jack positioning at the front. The worst thing about it though is the fact that sound is completely messed up if the laptop is put into hibernate or sleep and restarted. The issue is a hardware one since it is seen in both Ubuntu and Windows.

    The one thing about this machine that they got absolutely right was battery, It has the extended life battery and it actually goes 8 hours. I can actually use it a a full day without plugging it in meaning I carry it around without a charger.

    But, in the end, I think I have to say that the T400 is a big heaping stinking fat pile of garbage,

    Avoid.

    At. All. Costs.

    Now, on HP.

    About a year ago, I switched to HP and bought a TC4200 tablet. (You can see it here). I have nothing but good things to say about this machine. Light, fast, battery life is about 3.5 hours and tablet mode is great for reading docs/comics in portrait orientation.
    I use the fingerprint reader to log in and I was pleasantly surprised that it works really really well. The coolest thing about this machine though is how well it took to Ubuntu. I installed Ubuntu 9.04 and everything just works from the tablet pen to screen management. Beautiful.

    It has started giving me trouble though – the battery will not change and trying to start it (with or without battery, plugged in or not) simply makes the power LED blink orange 4 times and nothing happens. Any ideas?

  2. WOW!!

    Ok, first, the calliper: I bought it a year ago (guess where? yes, via ebay) because I always wanted to *own* one. This is the first time ever that I’ve used it.

    T400 that bad? Good to know!

    HP: congratulations! I know the TC4200, it is a very nice machine. Fingerprint reader: I will give it a try, this sounds smart.

    As for the blinking LED: does the FAN also start for a few seconds and then nothing happens and the screen remains black? ==> sounds like cold solderpoints below the Northbridge chip, requires “reballing”. Could also be on the voltage regulator pcb which is easier to repair.

  3. I was actually searching for power supply options for using my 6930p at my desk at work when I came across your site. Thanks so much for mentioning that the PA286A works; I happen to have one of these, and never would have thought to try it.

    If I could ask one question:
    What is the model number of your 120 watt adaptor for the PA286A? I’m assuming its a PPP017(H or L), 316688-001 or 002?
    I’ll need to purchase one, and as you might expect with HP and power supplies…changing supply numbers every 3 days appears to be a way of life there..

  4. Hi,
    the part number on my (German, 220V) 120W power supply is 316687-001 and PPP016L.

    Still having problems with the network cable though – currently running via the LAN port that’s directly on the 6930p.

  5. I just recieved my 6930p and I;m trying to wipe vista off and put XP on it. The problem I have is I keep getting the blue screen of death. What needs to be turned off in the bios so the XP disc will load? Or is there something else that I’m missing?
    Thanks,
    Roger

  6. Vernier Callipers = Messschieber.
    Messlehre ist der laienhafte, falsche Begriff. So etwas gibt es nicht. Man kann entweder “messen” oder “lehren”.
    Ich habe mir neulich auch so ein Ding gekauft (Messgenauigkeit bis zu 1/20 mm), für 36 Dollar in irgend einem Department store. Sehr nützlich, um Schrauben, Gewinde, Bohrungen und Spaltmaße zu checken. Ich baue mir gerade eine elektrische Seilwinde für mein Auto. :-)

  7. JKE

    The machine fan does not run.

    Only thing that happens is I get the 4 times flashing cycle BIOS code from the power LED.

    I will be trying to reset the machine this week per this page

    http://www.fixya.com/support/t1298104-reset_bios_compaq_tc4200

    I think that the voltage regulator PCB sounds likely as I think that I may have accidentally used a power supply from another HP machine that did not match voltages,

    HOw do I go about finding out if that is the issue and it it is, fixing it?

    Wish me luck.

    - Steve

  8. Steve, I think you could also try resetting it by pressing the power switch for 15 ~ 30 seconds which is often almost as good as removing the CMOS battery. According to this manual, the battery seems to be hidden somewhere on the pcb instead of being connected to the pcb via a cable and being stuck somewhere underneath the keyboard. In this manual for the TC4200, it also says “BIOS recovery can be forced on a non-functioning notebook by turning on the notebook while pressing and holding the Windows logo key + B on the nonfunctioning notebook keyboard until the caps lock light blinks.”

    I once had this issue with an Acer TM 290 which I managed to resurect from the dead where it also required an additional shortening of some pins inside the RAM compartement. It’s an undocumented bug that works on many other Acer notebooks (~ happens when Windows doesn’t properly go off and then doesn’t want to start at all).

    As for the voltage pcb, i think it’s just a dry contact which could be fixed in a jua kali way (~ resoldering the legs on the voltage chip). Of course it’s just a try as there are no papers available with values to be measured with e.g. a multimeter. I am convinced that most of these electronic components do not physically brake but just drop dead due to such “dry contacts”. This may happen when there’s too much tension on the pcb resulting from temperature differences or when the Gods of Electronics (they exist – see Murhpy’s Law) decide that it’s about time for a device to just fail.

  9. Thanks.

    Will try the Win key + B + Power option tonight.

    Which RAM keys did you short out to fix the issue that you had?

    The machine also does not charge the battery which I find really strange. Hopefully the fix you suggested will solve my issues.

    - Steve

  10. There was a hidden testpoint (TP) (two blank contacts) on the pcb next to the RAM module that required shortening.

  11. OK, tried Windows + B + power and nothing. I get 16 on/off cycles (blinking) from the power LED, not Caps Lock.

    I have some more new info though.

    If I charge the battery for the machine on another machine and then put it back into the laptop, it starts perfectly. It does not show the battery as charging though even if the power adapter is plugged in.

    Very frustrating. I think this is definitely something to do with the charging circuitry. I have to get a new laptop for my wife and she likes this model – not sure I should get it though since it has has this issue. But like I said, I used the wrong HP charger so it is probably my fault.

  12. Oh oh, yes, voltage regulator – which is (most likely) on the motherboard as the HP has only one pcb for everything. Try getting a used motherboard or else take it to a fundi to fix it. Pole sana. But it is good to know where to problem is.

    Btw, do you have a docking station for the TC4200?

  13. Thinking about it, an external docking station (I think it even is compatible to my old docking, the cheapest is the PA286A but there also is the PA287 and the EN488 / EN489.. pls check with eBay) could be the simplest solution as it imho also provides a voltage regulator to the pcb. You can see my opened PA286A docking station here. These dockings currently sell for ~ 29,- EUR in Germany but they may even be cheaper in NorthAmerica.

  14. I like this approach but the problem is that the machine becomes a desktop since it cannot be used without the docking station.

    I have actually found a store where the sell the docking station for about $50 CAN about 5 minutes from where I work so I have been considering this.

    There is another approach that I have also been considering. About a month or 2 ago, I found out that this particular machine has an extra long life battery that come with the option to charge the battery directly without using the laptop.

    See this link or this one.

    This would be the ideal solution since it would allow me to charge the battery directly without using the laptop.

    The main problem ( there is always one ) is that the charging port for this battery is on the top face where the battery attaches to the laptop, not on the side. This means that the battery is designed not to be used as it is charging, you charge then use.

    If the battery is new, this will not be a problem since it can probably go about 10 hours of use between charging sessions – this battery is huge, it is 12 cells and the regular 3 hour one is only 4 cells. 12 cells will probably give me at least 10 hours of runtime.

    If I decide to modify it to allow charging while using, I would have to carry out some jua-kali work to move the charging point somewhere on the side ( see the photo in the eBay auction to see what I mean about positioning of the power input – they have a close up photo. The battery is not cheap, minimum about $100 but I think that this is what I would do. I can probably do the job with some flat wire and some glue but not quite ready to buy yet since I have a perfectly good working laptop right now from work ( “The Beast” Thinkpad T400 I mentioned earlier ).

  15. How can they design an additional battery with the power socket on top of it?

    HP…High Price, Hugh Problems.

    What have you settled for? Am asking because I’ve also seen quite a few (used & tested) motherboards for sale on eBay for under 100 US$ which could also do the job for you.

  16. I think that I will go with a new motherboard.

    Last Thursday, I took the machine apart, tried testing without a BIOS battery as well as a new BIOS battery and as a last resort, tried re-soldering the powerjack connectors as they seemed a little loose.

    No luck, still not charging.

    Since the machine is completely disassembled at this point, I have decided to buy a new board and install that instead. It is still cheaper than buying the long-life battery especially since I bought a new regular battery for the machine about a year ago that still gives me about 3 hours of life.

    Will keep you posted on results.

    - Steve

  17. Hello

    I have some problems with my new laptop and its docking station. It ‘s a hp 6930p and I am using Vista Business. The sleep and hibernate options does not work properly, especially when it is connected to the docking station. There seems to be some thing that wakes it up immediately after putting it on sleep. I should mention that I am using a local area network as well. I have tried many suggestions as changing the power option property of LAN card and mouse so that computer can tern them off to sleep, but that seems to make no change. During my tries to solve this issue, 2 or 3 times happened that I got a blue screen error and the computer restarted. I do not what to do with this issue. Would you please give me some advice? I really appreciate your help.
    Thnx

  18. Many thanks for your reply. I have previously updated the BIOS, but I do not know for what reason it did not help. However, i did it again, and now my computer seems to work normally and the problem is solved. I AM SURPRISED!!!
    By the way, many thanks for your suggestion.
    Any way, do you have any experience with Wndows 7? Do you think upgrading to Windows 7 (64 bit) is a good idea?
    Kind regards and thanks again,

  19. I have a 2.53 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB RAM, and I am now using Windows vista Business 32 bit version.

  20. Win7 – I am not yet convinced why I should be upgrading to Win7, but since you are already using Vista (and not XP like me), I think that Win7 is still much better than Vista, so yes, upgrading from Vista to Win7 makes sense, in my opinion.

    I also got my copy of Win7 from HP in the beginning of November but haven’t upgraded yet. Don’t know if I will ever do that as some software I am running was built for XP and atm this works fine with me.

  21. Hi,

    Sub: Note to Kill your support member by buying Hp 6930p scrap!!!

    Im working for MNC company recently we shifted to Hp 6930p product. Our orgrazation use Windows Xp professional with service pack 3(32 bit).

    Hp 6930p product ruining me, It is not even fit to dump into garbrage because garbrage may loose its value.
    Because Hp 6930p product has major issue like:
    >> HDD get crupted in few days it wont even work for month

    >HDD crupt because of over heat. Hope and belive Hp 6930p product is not thermally test

    >> Docking and undocking exercise 1000% bring issue like flickering issue, Display not waking up in internal or in external when using two monitors. Even with latest Bios and ATI driver

    >Hp escaping answer is problem with ATI driver

    >> Whenever case is logged for replacement of warrnty part like faulty Mmotherboard, in return again we received faulty motherboard when question is rise to Hp ” Why it is not tested before deplying to customer site”

    >Hp answer TESTED from R & D department(Customers Please note this point how Hp R & D do test’s on Motherboard and waste customer valuable time)

    >> Hp onsite Service in INDIA is really really awesome because it never happened in three business work days for me since from last 6-months.

    I personally request to ppl reading this artical Not to force your system or desktop Engineer to take step like self-killing for scrap products!!!

    Hopefull my time take to post this artical wont go waste!

    Thanks,
    Vinay
    I HATE HP 6930P more then My Enemy!!!

  22. Vinay,

    A little nitpicking if I may: I identified a small grammatical error in your comment, you said

    “Im working for MNC company recently we shifted to Hp 6930p product”.

    I believe you may have meant to say “I work for MNC. We recently started using HP’s 6930p product”

    I think that other readers will agree with me that all other grammatical, style, syntax and spelling errors in the sentence and indeed, the rest of your post are self-evident.

    Cheers,
    - Steve

  23. Steve,

    Thanks for your comment and correcting my grammatical error. im weak in Engish because its not my mother tounge nor I am carring a strong experience like you. But you understood what I want to say about 6930p product, I am happy for that.

    It doesn’t mean that all my statement are worng about HP 6930p nor im techinically weak.
    Everyday minimum 3-4 case I log with Hp. This exercise is from last 6 months onwards. for each call I spend around 1hr 20 to 30mins minimum.

    Please answer these few points:

    > Have you ever heard On time Service from HP end(HP commited time 3 work business days)? Because we necver Had till date

    > Have you ever calculated Laptop temperature? do you think this product is thermally calculated?

    Steve as I said above, I am not a Son of English, so again you may find grammatical error, Hope again you will understand and reply.

    Thanks,
    Vinay

  24. Pax!

    Re: thermal design – my 6930p never overheats, but I am also using it on a docking station most of the time and regularly cleaning the fan.

    The thermal design on IBM ThinkPads is much smarter though. It would help if HP could redesign the air intake (move it from the bottom to the side).

    “>Hp escaping answer is problem with ATI driver”
    Well I don’t know what they missed doing for you, but in my case they exchanged the complete motherboard and this fixed the flickering monitor issue.

    I think it is safe to state that the 6930p has some design flaws like many other new devices.