Compaq revs up slim desktop

The day of the four-digit processor is here.

For our first look at a 1 GHz processor, we put a desktop system from Compaq Computer Corp. through its paces. The results were impressive, particularly given the price of the system.

The Deskpro EN Slim Desktop is part of Compaq's lineup of Deskpro EN models that feature a small form factor and a convertible minitower. This particular member of the family sports a 1 GHz Intel Corp. Pentium III processor.

The processor is indeed fast: The system scored an impressive 201 on {} Business Applications Performance Corp.'s SYSmark 2000 suite of real-world benchmark tests. That's significantly faster than the next-fastest system we've tested: A Micron Electronics Inc. ClientPro Dx5000 with an 800 MHz Pentium III processor scored 176.

Our system came with 128M of PC133 synchronous dynamic RAM, a 20G hard drive, a 28x CD-ROM drive and NVIDIA Corp.'s TNT2 Pro graphics chipset with 16M of synchronous graphics RAM.

Five available PCI slots allow for plenty of expansion. The single Accelerated Graphics Port slot is occupied with the graphics card. The system has three external drive bays and two internal drive bays. Our system came with one external and both internal drive bays free.

The Deskpro EN features a parallel, VGA and Ethernet port as well as two Universal Serial Bus, two PS/2 and two serial ports.

The case cover is secured with a thumb screw that does not come all the way out, so it can't get lost. Cover removal is not difficult, but some users may find it slightly awkward. You must slide and hold two plastic devices, one with each hand on either side of the machine, while simultaneously lifting the top panel off. Short of using three hands, the only way to do this is to hold the sliders with three fingers and use your index fingers or thumbs to hook around the top panel and lift it.

The inside of the unit is clean and everything is easily accessible, especially memory. Cables are bundled together and out of the way.

One feature we liked a lot was the Smart Cover Sensor, a software-based, security feature that notifies users when the cover or side panel has been removed. It can be set to require password entry to restart the computer after cover removal. This feature works even if the cover is removed and replaced while the computer is powered off.

The Deskpro EN offers users the latest and greatest in desktop technology, from the 1 GHz processor to the large hard drive and fast CD-ROM. It also offers excellent security with the Smart Cover Sensor and Desktop Management Interface 2.0 compliance. At only $1,864 (without monitor) the Deskpro EN is a strong value.


Deskpro EN

Score: A

Compaq Computer Corp.
(281) 370-0670

Price and availability: The Deskpro EN slim desktop is available onthe GSA schedule for $1,864 without a monitor; it's $2,123 with a 17-inchS710 monitor.

Remarks: This is a nice system with blazing speed and all the latestdesktop features, such as a large hard drive and fast CD-ROM. We especiallyliked the Smart Cover Sensor that alerts users if the case cover has beenremoved — even if removal takes place while the machine is off.


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