The Good New Intel technology will help it stand the test of time; easy to access and replace internal components; solid performer; eight USB 2.0 ports; outstanding warranty.
The Bad Case hood is hard to remove; hard drive is situated under the power supply; no room for full-size PCIe graphics card.
The Bottom Line A strong performer with a flexible design and an excellent warranty, the HP Compaq dc7100 is perfect for corporate environments.
HP Compaq Business Desktop dc7100
Editors' note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Find out more here.
Available in your choice of case and operating system (from Windows to Linux), the HP Compaq Business Desktop dc7100 is designed for fast and friendly deployment in enterprise settings. Released in June 2004, the system is equipped to stand the test of time, with Intel's new mainstream 915 Express chipset (a.k.a. Grantsdale), whose modular nature makes for easy component swapping--once you get the too-tight hood off, that is. The dc7100 also boasts more USB 2.0 ports than other multimedia PCs, and the $599 LCD monitor that HP bundled with our test system ($1,239 without the monitor) earned particularly high marks on our tests. The aspects that corporate customers will most appreciate, however, are the system's security features for both software and hardware, the custom-image options, and the generous three-year warranty, which includes onsite service and 24-hour toll-free phone support. HP offers three case designs for the Compaq Business Desktop dc7100: the largest, a minitower; the slighter, a small form factor (SFF); and the smallest, an ultraslim desktop. We reviewed the SFF, which weighs approximately 20 pounds and measures 4.0 by 13.3 by 14.9 inches (H, W, D). The SFF case is flat on both sides, and it can stand like a tower without the need for a base. What's more, the processor and power-supply fans blow out of the front and rear of the case, respectively, so no airflow is lost if you place the unit on its side.