Compaq Evo N1020v

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The Compaq Evo N1020v was a notebook PC created in 2003 as a response to the change of AMD to Intel in notebook PCs by Compaq. The Compaq Presario 1580AP have the same hardware for the Asian market. There were several models, dependent on the RAM and CPU. The standard specifications are as follows:

The notebook was designed for Windows XP, although on some models it states that it was designed for Windows 98. The system was backward compatible with Windows 98 and 2000.

It came standard with a CD-ROM drive but optionally could be upgraded to a DVD-ROM/CD-RW.


MultiPort is an innovative feature created by Compaq. The idea was that it would use the MultiPort to connect to various expansion cards. The MultiPort used on the Evo N1020v used the USB 2.0 technology. This meant that, as though the notebook has no USB2 controller, and only supported the USB1.1 hub, the MutliPort was a separate technology altogether. There are three major variations of the cards that slot in; namely:

  • W200 - Wireless LAN (WLAN) 802.11b standard with 11 Mbit/s
  • W300 - Bluetooth standard with 2 Mbit/s
  • W400 - GPRS standard for worldwide communication

There are possible other versions which can be built customly on the technology.


The notebook conceals its interfaces behind a flap on the back. This means that the notebook has the following connections:

Internally, it contains:

The only device that can't be replaced easily is the floppy drive, everything else can be accessed by opening a cover under the laptop or by removing a couple screws and pulling free the device (in case of the optical disk drive).


CPU and RAM The CPU can be upgraded in this desktop replacement system, but with great difficulty. A maximum of 2.4 GHz should be inserted, as the formula determines this:

\ P = {C}{V}{^2}{f} \


P is power in watts
C is capacitance measured in farads
V is voltage measured in volts
f is frequency measured in hertz

The capacitance in the CPU is generally around 8.6 nF:

\therefore \!\, Maximum voltage (VCore) would be reduced to make up for the increase in power and the voltage is minimal as it is. Hence, the frequency increase to 3 GHz for instance, cannot be compensated by this notebook without further study. The maximum power usage of the CPU in this notebook is 56.5 W. This also requires a 90 W AC adapter. The CPU uses a Socket 478 connector.

The RAM can be upgraded to a maximum of 1024 MB or one gigabyte of DDR PC2100 RAM. The RAM used in this device is 266 MHz.

Wireless LAN Wireless LAN can be inserted via the expandable MultiPort or via the mini-PCI inside. This method requires the removal of the modem and the insertion of the card with two antenna (or three if using 802.11n). This can be a difficult process but when accomplished, it can work rather smoothly.

Hard disk drive

The backing storage of the initial 40 GB drive is usually insufficient. The drive may be upgraded to a 320 GB IDE drive (but this needs to be split into two partitions of 127 GB and the rest). These can cost very little amounts.

Optical storage

One expandable upgrade to the drive is a CD-RW/DVD-ROM. This was as far as Compaq produced, but, others have dismantled other drives and formed DVD-RW drives for the notebook, some of which have Lightscribe.

Operating system

While the performance with Vista is disappointing, this notebook can run Windows 7 without major performance differences with XP (with 1024MB of RAM). While HP did not assign drivers for Vista and above, all non-removable devices will work without the need to install drivers apart from what will be downloaded automatically by Windows Update. The graphics card will work fine with Windows 7's generic VGA driver, but if you need 3D acceleration you need to install Catalyst 9.7 from ATI. It's too weak to run any 3D game that isn't from 2001. In any case it won't run Windows Aero because it's too old to support DirectX 9 standards required by Aero. The device with the mini-pci connector (usually a dial-up modem card) will need dedicated drivers from its own manufacturer.

All devices (apart the mini-pci card) are supported natively by Linux distributions using linux kernel 3.10 or above (probably with older kernels as well, I just tested the latest).

Pros and cons[edit]


  • High specification notebook at its time
  • USB 2.0
  • Firewire 400
  • Battery life is ideal for desktop replacement
  • Ideal for business and has a good style
  • Docking connector


  • Short battery life
  • Heavy weight
  • Expensive
  • Overheats (due to a use of desktop Pentium IV processor)
  • Loud Fan always running due to overheating

Article does not specify what type of RAM the laptop uses

Maximum recognized N1020v RAM is 2 x 512MB SODIMM DDR 266mHz non-ECC 2.5V for a total of 1GB RAM. It is best to have a duplicate set of SODIMM RAM sticks installed.