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Hewlett-Packard Australia dc7100u
- Tool-less design, good security features
- Small hard disk, no DVD drive
While we like the compact size of this unit, we believe a CD burner, or at least a free USB key, should be included to provide removable storage. This depends on the data storage practices of your workplace though, and if a machine without the ability to transport data externally is required, then this one should be considered.
Price$ 1,719.00 (AUD)
This ultra-slim form factor system from HP is ideal for large corporate roll-outs and even medium-sized businesses. Its space saving design and aesthetic styling mean it will look good on the desk, without taking up too much room. It can be positioned as a desktop or a tower with the included stand.
The dc7100u runs an Intel 915GV chipset-based motherboard, with integrated graphics and two memory slots. The 3GHz Pentium 4 processor supports Hyper-Threading, so virus checking, surfing the Internet or working on spreadsheets and Word documents can be done at the same time without a noticeable slowdown in performance. Its Serial ATA hard drive is only 40GB - tiny, considering that mainstream PC capacities are now greater than 120GB - but a machine such as this will ideally be installed in environments where most data will be stored centrally on a network server. Portable data will require the use of a USB key or external drive as this machine does not ship with a CD burner, only a CD-ROM drive.
This machine is not designed for viewing high-resolution photos, nor for viewing and storing multimedia files, as it lacks a DVD drive. So 40GB should be plenty for storing local copies of work documents and e-mail boxes.
For security, the dc7100u includes a Kensington lock, which allows the unit to be secured to an anchor point, such as a desk. It also has an intrusion switch, which can notify the administrator if someone has tried to open the case and tamper with the internal configurations. A tool-less design also allows techies to quickly access its internal components if required.
As for connectivity, legacy ports have been abandoned in favour of USB 2.0 ports (there are six, including two on the front of the case) and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Headphone and microphone jacks are present at the front of the case, too, for personal listening and recording of vocal notes.
The machine's basic configuration ran World Bench 5 without any glitches and its performance score indicates that it's suitable for running everyday office applications and Internet tasks, such as Web surfing and e-mail, but nothing more extensive.
HP ships the dc7100u with a 17in LCD monitor and both the system and the monitor are covered by a three-year on-site parts and labour warranty.
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Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
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