Update: HP informs us that only the 8000f model of this system is PVC and BFRS-free. It makes no such claim about the standard 8000 Elite Ultra-slim, which also has different specs than the 8000f.
Even if HP, Dell, and Lenovo lost points from Greenpeace last year for failing to eliminate environmentally harmful materials across all of their products, the earth activists have to appreciate HP's efforts behind its new HP Compaq 8000 Elite Ultra-slim business desktop series.
Plastered with green-approved certifications from EPEAT Gold and EnergyStar, and equipped with an 80-Plus certified power supply, the system meets all of the familiar tech standards we look for in a PC with an environmentally conscious pedigree. HP also says it took a less common step by using no polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or brominated flame retardants (BFRS) in any of the system's components or accessories. We're especially glad to see HP take these steps in a business PC, given the tendency for bulk enterprise orders. If enough companies place large orders for systems like this, they stand to make a noticeable reduction in energy consumption and pollutant spread.
As to whether a business would actually want to purchase one of these PCs, the $799 default configuration for a Windows XP Professional (via Windows 7 downgrade) model gets you basically everything you'd find in an OptiPlex 380 small-form-factor desktop from Dell for the same price. Options include Intel Pentium Dual Core and Core 2 Duo CPUs, solid-state and platter hard drives, wireless networking, and other features. Not only is HP's new system environmentally conscious; it also seems to be competitive.