Compaq Presario 1200

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A Compaq Presario 1200 Series notebook with 12" LCD

The Compaq Presario 1200 Series was a line of notebook computers produced between 1998 and 2000 by Compaq. They were originally noted for their AMD processors, light weight and 12-inch LCD screens, while later models included a shift to Intel processors and other changed features. The label of "Compaq Presario 1200" includes a vast set of model numbers and revisions, many of which are not totally compatible, even though the machines share the same general Presario model number.


Many original models of the Presario 1200 series ran on AMD K6-2 processors, which was quite an adventurous move at a time when AMD was very much second place to the dominant market leader Intel. The chips were notable for their inclusion of 3D-NOW technology, enabling marked performance increases from the original K6. The chips came in a variety of speeds, ranging from 333 MHz to 550 MHz, however performance varied only slightly between models.

A number of Presario 1200 series notebooks exist with Celeron or Pentium III processors as well, primarily found in the later designs. These later models are often noted for having a silver display lid instead of the original black lid.


The range came with Toshiba HDDs and optical media drives, available as 24X CD-ROMs or 4X DVD-ROMs. Hard drives ranged from 3.01 GB to 10.0 GB and ran at a slow 3300 RPM across the range. This could have been due to noise limitations, as the series is noted for its low noise output. Screens were available as 12.1 / 13.0 inch LCDs yet screen housing varied from model to model. The 1245 and 1246 had very different screen housing to the 1200 and the 1200XL which came with the 13 inch screen. The 1200 also had a silver housing whereas all other models came in black. Screens for this series are notable for their banding and white edges which appear more evident as the machine ages, the backlight at the sides clearly visible. Memory expansion was available on the bottom of the units, allowing up to 128MB of additional SODIMM memory to be added. All models came equipped with a Floppy Disk Drive, VGA output and PC Card slot as standard. They also came with on-board JBL stereo speakers and Synaptics touchpads. These systems were preinstalled with Windows 98, Windows Me or Windows 2000 Professional. They were supplied with a Quick Restore disc which returned the system to its factory condition in the event of change of ownership, wish to reinstall the OS or system failure.



Priced at £1200, the 1200 contained a 500 MHz AMD K6-2 Processor and a Lithium Ion battery.

    • 12.1" LCD Screen
    • 500 MHz processor
    • Type 2 Cardbus slot
    • PS2 serial port
    • 1 USB port
    • 3 Game MRI Slots
    • Lithium Ion battery
    • 64 MB RAM
    • 1 GB Toshiba Hard Disk Drive
    • CD drive
    • Onboard speakers
    • 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive


Originally priced at $1,699,[1] the 1200-XL125 (designated with model number "12XL125") had:

    • 533 MHz AMD K6-2+ Processor (some had the K6-III CPU)[2]
    • 64 MB on-board RAM (expandable to 192 MB)
    • 6 GB Toshiba hard drive
    • Trident CyberBlade i7 video
    • 13.3" LCD
    • One Type II/III PCMCIA card slot
    • 6x Toshiba DVD-ROM drive
    • 56K Modem
    • On-board JBL stereo speakers


The 1200-XL300 (designated with model number "12XL325") is one of the newer models in the 1200 series. The features in the 1246 are generally mirrored in the 1200-XL325, with the most notable differences being the change to an Intel processor architecture. Physical differences include a silver lid, different display hinge configuration, and a slightly rearranged motherboard layout. These changes render this generation of Presario 1200 distinctly incompatible at the component level with most of its predecessors. The major differences in the hardware of the 1200-XL325 were:

    • 650 MHz Intel Pentium III mobile processor
    • 64 MB on-board RAM (expandable to 320 MB)
    • 6 GB hard drive
    • One Type II/III PCMCIA card slot
    • No CompactFlash slot as in the 1245
    • DVD-ROM drive


The 1200-XL405A (designated with model number "12XL405A") is another model using an Intel processor. It is similar in layout to the XL325 above. The motherboard is equipped with a Socket-370 ZIF CPU socket and uses a VIA PLE133 chipset (comprising the VT8601 North Bridge and VT82C686A South Bridge) with graphics provided via the Trident Cyberblade-i1 controller integrated into the VT8601 circuitry.

    • 700 MHz Intel Celeron processor (Coppermine core, 0.18 µm, 128 kB L2 cache)
    • 64 MB on-board RAM
    • 1 x SDRAM SO-DIMM slot with support for PC-100 SDRAM
    • 6 GB hard drive
    • 1 x Type II/III PCMCIA card slot
    • No CompactFlash slot as in the 1245
    • 24x CDROM drive


Although similar in hardware to the XL405A, the XL502A (model number "12XL502A") is an upgraded model, based on its brother. Most notorious is the inclusion of a MiniPCI slot on the bottom, the presence of a slightly faster processor, and the color of the case (silver lid was maintained, the rest of the case is all-black). Firsts units of this model originally came with a Ni-MH battery pack, while later ones came with a more dependable Li-Ion one. Both types were available for purchase, and obviously they fitted in all of the 1200-series. One interesting thing about this specific model is its support for Pentium III processors up to 1Ghz, but only for Coppermine cores and at the expense of massive heat & battery power draw increase.

    • 766 MHz Intel Celeron processor (Coppermine, 0.18 µm, 128 kB L2 cache, 25W)
    • 64 MB on-board RAM
    • 1 x SDRAM SO-DIMM PC133 slot (max.memory up to 320MB)
    • 6 GB hard drive
    • MiniPCI slot (allowing for example a wireless card, but no antenna nor connectors were installed in the case)
    • 1 x Type II/III PCMCIA card slot
    • 24x CDROM drive

There is a 1200-XL302 (with model number "12XL302") too. It is equipped similar to the XL502A - with the difference of an Celeron processor with 600 MHz and an AsKey modem in the MiniPCi slot.


The Compaq Presario 1230 was manufactured in 1998, had an MMX Intel processor and was known for its "3D sound" speakers.

    • 266 MHz MMX Intel processor
    • 64 MB of RAM
    • 4 GB hard drive
    • 24× CD-ROM drive
    • Phone jack
    • VGA video
    • 3D sound speakers
    • Floppy disk drive
    • Windows 98 OS
    • USB port
    • Keyboard/mouse port
    • Monitor port


Priced at an RRP of £1000, the 1245 came equipped with:

    • 12.1" LCD screen
    • 333 MHz AMD K6-2 Processor
    • PC Card slot
    • VGA output
    • Serial Port
    • NIMH battery
    • 32MB On-board RAM (expandable to 160MB)
    • 24x Toshiba CD-ROM drive
    • 3.01 GB Toshiba Hard Disk Drive
    • On-board JBL stereo speakers
    • Floppy Disk Drive


The next model up from the 1245, the 1246 offered a new processor, bigger HDD, CF card slot and fold-down feet for desktop operation. Aesthetically, the 1246 was almost identical to the 1245. Screens were the same, cases were highly similar and many components were interchangeable with those of the 1245 (such as the LCD inverters, processors and housing). In addition to the aforementioned 1245 spec, the 1246 offered:

    • 400 MHz K6-2 Processor
    • 4.3 GB Toshiba Hard Disk Drive
    • Dual motherboard fans
    • CF card slot in addition to PC card slot
    • Fold-down desktop mounted feet
    • L-Ion Battery


Almost technically identical to the 1245, the 1260 borrowed its 333 MHz AMD K6-2 processor, 64MB RAM and ATI Rage II Graphics chip.

    • 333 MHz AMD K6-2 processor
    • 64 MB SO-DIMM RAM
    • 4 GB Toshiba Hard Disk Drive
    • Floppy Disk Drive
    • Cardbus PCMCIA Slot
    • 24X Toshiba CD-Rom Drive
    • 7.5 lbs
    • Preinstalled with Microsoft Windows 98 Operating System

Known Problems[edit]

Compaq Presario 1200 laptops are often found with damaged power jacks. Some of these power jacks appear to have been blown in half due to some sort of short; others rip their copper traces off of the motherboard due to stress placed on the power jack. Presario 1200 laptops typically have four tiny copper rings embedded in the motherboard behind the power jack that can be used to reattach a slightly damaged power jack and repair the failing unit.
The LCD Power Inverter cable (which runs through the hinge from the base to the screen), is very susceptible to damage, given the strain of bending when closing the lid. The cable is a 6-strand ribbon variety, and therefore soldering is all but impossible.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]