Compaq Presario 5320 Review | Is ARM laptop with Windows good?
In February 2023, Compaq launched in Brazil the Presario 5320 notebook with ARM architecture, technology that you should know from current MacBooks. In the Compaq model, however, the Apple M1 chip gives way to the intermediate Snapdragon 7C Gen 2, and the operating system is Windows 11.
Promising 15 hours of battery life and good performance for productivity, is it time to bet on Windows notebooks with an ARM processor? I worked and consumed a lot of media with the Compaq laptop, and I share my impressions in the next paragraphs.
- HD screen only
- below average performance
- Incompatibility with many apps
Compaq Presario 5320 construction and design
- Dimensions: 491 x 291 x 56 mm (HxWxL)
- Weight: 1.63 kg
The Compaq 5000 Snapdragon line is positioned in the middle segment, but I’d say it’s more like the basics. The Presario 5320, the most complete notebook in the family, is made entirely of plastic with a discreet matte finish on the lid and casing. Only the Compaq logo is highlighted in silver.
In addition, the laptop appears to be heavier than it really is, although it only weighs 1.6 kg according to the brand. The feeling is due to the large dimensions and characteristics of the product: the screen is 15 inches, the edges are thick and the keyboard has a numerical pad.
A positive point of the design of the Compaq notebook is that the keyboard is slightly inclined during use, thanks to a region of the screen that touches the table before the body. In practice, typing is more pleasant and ergonomic, remembering the wedges we usually find on desktop keyboards.
A peculiarity of this notebook is that there are no fans or air vents to do the cooling and heat dissipation part of the processor. This freedom only happens because, compared to x64 and x86 CPUs, ARM processors have lower power consumption and better thermal management.
Compaq Presario 5320 connectivity
Regarding connectivity, the Presario 5320 is equipped with an HDMI 1.4 port, to connect the notebook to external video sources, two USB-A ports, one 3.0 and one 2.0, and one USB-C 2.0. In addition, there is a microSD card reader and a P2-type (3.5mm) headphone jack.
As for wireless connections, the laptop has Bluetooth 5.0, not Bluetooth 5.2, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac/b/g/n. That is, it does not offer an Ethernet port for wired internet.
Compaq Presario 5320 Screen
- Technology: LCD TN;
- Size: 15.6”;
- Resolution: HD.
The screen of the Compaq Presario 5320 notebook has a good 15.6 inches in 16:9 aspect ratio and HD resolution (1,366 x 768 pixels). The panel uses LCD TN technology, being the most basic variant among the solutions used in notebooks.
Although the size is nice for all kinds of activities, the quality is not the best. The low definition on such a large display makes the images a bit blurry, while the TN panel lacks in colors, contrast and viewing angle.
Practically any notebook in the price range up to R$ 2,000 has a screen superior to that of the Presario 5320. The Galaxy Book Go, another model with ARM architecture in Brazil, already has a Full HD screen, as well as the IdeaPad 3i 1115G4 with Intel i3-1115G4 .
Perhaps the only positive point of the Presario 5320’s screen is the maximum brightness, which, combined with the anti-reflective coating, makes viewing outdoors comfortable. On one of the test days, I worked on the porch at home without any problems.
Despite the screen not being the best, the sound of the Compaq Presario 5320 notebook is good. The sound output is positioned on top of the case, above the keyboard, and has good volume and little distortion when it’s at maximum. I enjoyed listening to music on Spotify without headphones as it has balanced frequencies.
keyboard and touchpad
- Standard: ABNT2
- Backlight: no;
- Multi-touch touchpad: Yes.
The Presario 5320’s keyboard is one of the positive highlights. The keys are low profile, but not as low as the Book 3 Ultra. In addition, the keys are well spaced and, at least in the main letters, they are very comfortable and precise.
The only issue with the keyboard is the very small semicolon keys, which made typing a little difficult at first. After a few days, however, I got used to it. The notebook’s touchpad is pleasant, having the ideal size and precision for the category.
Compaq Presario 5320 Review configuration and performance
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7C Gen 2 SC7180 (8 cores up to 2.55 GHz);
- RAM memory: 8 GB LPDDR4x;
- Internal storage: 256 GB UFS;
- GPU: Adreno 618;
- Webcam: 720p;
- System: Windows 11 Home.
The Compaq 5000 Snapdragon line has two versions: the Presario 5110, with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage; and the Presario 5320, with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of space. The model used for most of the review was the most powerful, but we also used the 5110 for comparison purposes in benchmark tests.
Notebooks with ARM architecture are still not very popular, as the share of these models in the global market should end 2023 at just 15%, according to analysis by Counterpoint Research consultancy. Furthermore, if you break this number down by operating system, 90% are macOS and 10% are Windows.
The main problem with the ARM and Windows duo remains incompatibility. Even though Microsoft has improved its system to run on products with this architecture over the years, the limitation of essential programs continues to push ARM notebooks away from consumers.
In my tests, some applications relevant to everyday life did not perform well because they only have versions for x86 and x64 processors, being more common on Windows devices. This was the case with the Chrome browser, essential for my work, which ran with great difficulty. The Slack app also disappoints.
That is, to use the Presario 5320 for productivity, I had to practically get used to alternatives, such as the Microsoft Edge browser, which has native arm64 compatibility, but I don’t think it’s as good as Chrome. Slack was used in the web version, anyway.
I researched some Windows 11 programs that work relatively well and are compatible with ARM devices. Check out some names that can be useful in your daily life:
- Firefox Browser;
- Adobe Photoshop (but Creative Cloud does not);
- Spotify (beta);
- VLC (media player);
- Microsoft Teams;
- X (Twitter);
- Steam (but games also need to support);
- Microsoft apps (Office, Xbox, OneDrive).
As you can see, there are only a few famous programs compatible with this architecture, and it is worth mentioning that not all of them work perfectly, since it depends on the hardware of the product. For example, it must not be easy to find a game that runs well here.
I tried to run the famous ultralight CS:GO, which is officially compatible with the ARM architecture, but I could barely open it, it was so slow. Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel, another very smooth game, also didn’t perform well on the Compaq notebook.
Overall, my experience with the Presario 5320 was average to negative. With very basic applications such as the Edge browser, social networks, instant messengers and Netflix, performance was generally acceptable, even with a noticeable delay in loading.
The model with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, the 5110, curiously performed similarly to the 8 GB and 256 GB in almost everything, showing that this architecture does not lose much in simpler hardware.
As for tests using synthetic benchmarks, the Presario 5320 was unfortunately not compatible with most of the programs we normally use, such as PCMark 10, 3DMark 10 and Time Spy. With great difficulty, however, he ran Cinebench R23 and AnTuTu for the PC. Below, check the results of models 5320 and 5112.
Cinebench R23 measures processor and GPU performance in single-core and multi-core. Thus, the user can compare the performance of the hardware in different scenarios with other models, such as rendering, etc.
The Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor present in the Compaq Presario 5320, for example, scored 521 points (multi-core) and 299 points (single-core), the lowest scores according to the platform’s database. It’s worth mentioning that the rendering test took about 30 minutes to complete, way more than the standard 10 minutes.