Decidedly mundane…

Compaq Presario CQ20-205TU

I’ve been looking for a notebook, since I got transferred to the IT Dept and got stripped of my auditor-standard notebook. At first, I was eyeing the up-and-coming netbooks at that time. Lenovo’s ideapad S10 caught my attention. But with the increasing USD to IDR exchange rate and considering the performance factor of the Intel Atom N270 processor, I decided to aim for a real notebook instead.

Then I saw an ad in KOMPAS for Compaq Presario CQ20-205TU which retailed at a promotion price of IDR 7,590,000. After doing some research, I snatched one at INDOCOMTECH 2008. So far, I’m satisfied. There are the requisite quips about the notebook, but overall I’m very happy with the purchase.


  • 2.0 GHz Dual-core processor. Sure, it’s a watered down version of Centrino Duo’s Core2 Duo processor. But it’s still packs a lot of prowess  – for it’s class – methinks.
  • Ample set of pizzaz. Bluetooth? Wifi b/g? SD/MMC cardreader? ExpressCard port? 1.3 MP Webcam? Internal dual-layer DVD writer? 3 USB ports? HDMI port? 56K Modem? Fast Ethernet? 160 GB SATA harddrive? You want it, we got it.
  • Did I mention the 12.1″ screen? Woohoo! Exactly what I’m looking for. My work/play sweet spot. At 1.68 kgs, it’s not much of a burden either.
  • Price. For a 12 incher, this is quite a bargain, you know.
  • Beauty. Unlike some similar offerings – a wink to Lenovo – this one doesn’t scream budget notebook. The outer top shell and the palm rest area sport a subtle and stylish pattern – see the zoomed-in image above. The glossy black and metallic color combination is outright great.


  • No OS included. Well, what do you expect? What you skimp is what you get.
  • Shiny top shell attracts more smudges than a playboy centerfold page. If only the top shell is as hot.
  • Metallic touchpad doesn’t bode well with sweaty fingers. Bad news for my sweaty palms. If my fingers get damp, I guarantee there won’t be a smooth mousing experience. My mom even made me a finger-sock just to get me around this problem.
  • Lacklustre 3-cell battery. Roughly translates of less than 2 hours of normal computing sessions.


  • I’ve tried to install Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex on it. All devices work except the audio driver – grave – and the USB ports – fatal. Darn. You were so close, Ubuntu. Perhaps on the next iteration?
  • If you’re looking for its Windows XP drivers, there’s this good HP forum post on the topic.

29 Responses to “Compaq Presario CQ20-205TU”

  1. I have this laptop, too and quite happy as well. Everything works with Ubuntu 8.04, but the sound stops working after upgrading to 8.10. Ah! But, it does work actually from front headphones, but not the laptop speakers. I haven’t found a solution to this tho.

    Btw, nice looking website you have. The stars background make it a little slow tho.

  2. After googling and trial-and-error, finally I found the solution. Just add this line to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base:

    options snd-hda-intel model=laptop

    and restart. Voila! The sound comes back. Read more from http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=820959

  3. @ Rian Awi:
    Thanks for the tip on the audio drivers. As I remembered now, the problem was indeed had something to do with ALSA and the Intel chipset.

  4. Hehe…gue baru aja beli S10, jadi jgn dihina donk… :D

  5. @ Vita:
    Oops. Hehe. Gpp juga sih. Dengan budget terbatas, I opted for the one with biggest bang for the buck. No offense loh. S10 juga bagus kok (gimana nggak, wong gw aja sempet ngiler, berarti memang bagus barangnya – Arga approved!).

  6. Hello! I have the exact same model. Right now I’m using Vista Ultimate on it and it works quite well. I did try installing Ubuntu Ibex before but found that there are some devices that don’t work (as you mentioned). I wanna ask if you managed to get the Fn keys working and also the webcam? Thats’ why I installed Vista because I want everything to be working.. hehe.. and this model has the most drivers for Vista..

    Another question (to those using Windows) — has anyone of you tried using bluetooth headphones and connecting it with this laptops bluetooth? Thanks!

  7. @ dozzyboy:
    Hmm. I didn’t manage to test those ones – the Fn key and webcam. The non-functional audio card put me off near-instantly. Sorry.

    You’re right about the Vista support. There are all the drivers it needs for Vista but only so many for XP. Darn. I say this is the way the computer industry forces their new products unto our lives.

    And another sorry for you about the bluetooth headset. I got none and even my friends got none, so no chance of testing it.

  8. Yeah, the computer industry surely has a clever way on forcing us users to use the products that they sell. Good thing there are people who develop linux. At least we are given good alternatives.

    I’ll be buying one of those bluetooth headphones maybe next month. I’ll post on how it turns out.

    I’m so waiting for the next Ubuntu release. Maybe this time everything on my CQ20 will work out of the box.


  9. Hey!

    Finally, I installed Ubuntu on my CQ20. Since its only a trial for now, I just did a Wubi install. I am very surprised! The only thing that I configured is the sound problem, and it’s smooth sailing from there on.

    Hehe… maybe I’ll do a full post about it this weekend.


  10. @ dozzyboy:
    Please do. My laptop is under heavy use right now, there’s no chance of any OS change for the time being. *sigh* Your insight will be very useful. Thanks!

  11. Guyz,

    I Got a new CQ20-205TU. I’m trying to install vista but it takes ages to finish. It takes a while (more than an hour) in ‘Completing Installation…” and then it reboots. After that it just goes black screen though I can still move the mouse. I reset the unit coz it took hours but still nothing happened. Any help guyz?

  12. @gardine: Hey, I did a full install of Ubuntu Ibex on my laptop and it works perfectly fine. Aside from some Fn buttons not working (brightness, lock, mute, and the DVD play buttons), everthing seems to work just fine. I have a full post on it on my blog.

    @Noel: It seems that the Vista installtion is not completing normally. It maybe a problem with the install disc itself. You might have a corruped Vista disc. Check to see for scratches. Have you tried installing Vista on another computer with the disc you are using? Or are you using a modified Vista disc?

  13. Just bought one din for a low low price of P28500 and installed my own windows XP and it’s great! but i need help playing DVD’s because it needs a DVD decoder for media player 10 and none are free, is there another way?

    • @JC:
      Do you really have to use Windows Media Player. I mean, there are tons of free/open source media players out there that won’t need any specific codec to install. Or you can revert back to WMP 9 which was free, right?

  14. @JC — you can install Klite Media Codec pack, its free and will install the media player classic. You should be able to play your DVDs or any video after that.

  15. thank’s guys the sound is coming back

  16. I finally bought this CQ20 3 days ago after reading this testi heheh…
    And know what, my friends said that this’s a nice, slim, n smart lepti, yeaaa… like the owner :D *OOT*
    Well, thank you so much for this tutorial…

  17. @bungaperdu:
    Selamat ya atas laptop barunya. Semoga puas seperti gw puas juga. Hehe. Terima kasih sama-sama. :)

  18. Gw punya compaq presario CQ20-205TU….wa install pake OS XP professional…tapi ada beberapa hardwarenya ga ke detect.
    ada yang bisa bantu ga dimana download drivernya?


  19. @Dani Aryandi:
    Lha. Itu yang ada di bagian bawah blog post saya apa hayooo. :)

  20. saya baru akan membeli compaq tipe cq20 tapi masih ragu… apakah nanti bisa diinstal vista busines… karena kebetulan saya punya vista busines yang original…

  21. kalo untuk vista busines, kira2 berapa RAM idealnya? tks

  22. i cant install win xp professional for this notebook. there’s a blue screen to begin the setup files. anybody help?

  23. saya punya compaq presario CQ20-205TU, system operasi yang saya gunakan windows 7 tetapi ada masalah…, masalahnya yaitu setiap mau gunakan power adapter, sekitar 3 menit laptop tiba-tiba mati tanpa shutdown ,saya coba ganti power adapter dengan yang baru(Original) gejalanya juga sama, tapi kalau gunakan battry saja windows jalan normal, barangkali teman-teman ada yang bisa bantu….

  24. fn brightness ga fungsi..ada drivernya ga gan? untuk windows 7

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