PCs offer consumer-market features

The Gateway Profile 4 takes up about as much space on a desktop as a CRT monitor.

Hewlett-Packard's smart-card keyboard is op-tional equipment with its new PCs.

Agency IT buyers are willing to take a chance on consumer-market features that have stood the test of time, two vendors said last month in a rollout of new PCs and servers.

Hewlett-Packard Co. for the first time has put gigahertz-level Athlon XP instead of Pentium 4 processors into the Compaq D315 Business PC, because 'customers want choice,' said Jeff Groudan, head of desktop marketing.

Government-priced at $599 with Microsoft Windows XP Professional, HP's Compaq D315 has an nVidia GeForce2 graphics card, 128M of RAM, a network card, six Universal Serial Bus ports, a 20G hard drive and a 48X CD-ROM drive. No monitor is included with the microtower.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. rates the Athlon XP differently from 2- or 2.2-GHz Pentium 4 processors, but they're roughly equal in performance, Groudan said. 'Some government bids have been fulfilled with AMD processors,' he said.

Gateway Inc. slimmed down the new Profile 4 in an all-in-one design with an integrated 15- or 17-inch LCD. The PC takes up the same space as a 15-inch CRT monitor.

It starts around $1,000 depending on the choice of 1.7-GHz Celeron up to 2.8-GHz Pentium 4 CPUs and other options. Four USB 2.0 ports, 128M of RAM and network interface come standard.

LCD appeal

Keith Linden, Gateway's desktop marketing manager, said he has heard 'extremely positive feedback' about bundling the space-saving LCDs, which he said have a wide viewing angle, low power consumption and instant warmup. He estimated a 15-inch LCD adds about $200 to a PC's price.

The only area where Linden said he considers LCDs inferior to CRTs is in rendering fast motion on screen.

Gateway also launched three Pentium III and Intel Celeron servers starting at $635 without Windows 2000 Server preinstalled.

Gigabit Ethernet is now standard even in the entry-level, uniprocessor 920 server. 'Gigabit is taking off as a mainstream requirement in all IT products,' said Sam Salem, senior manager for server products.

Gateway's 960 server starts at $2,266 with Win 2000 Server, 256M of RAM, 400-MHz frontside bus, six PCI slots and 12 drive bays. The $3,225 980 server can have dual processors and power supplies. All cases have toolless entry and charcoal industrial design.

Gateway offers a free server consultation to Washington area agencies through three Maryland companies: Attronica of Gaithersburg, Certified Instructors.com LLC, also of Gaithersburg, and Dataprise Inc. of Rockville.

Contact HP at 800-727-2472 and Gateway at 800-221-9616.


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