Much as some of us might wish otherwise, not all computers are for fun and games. Business PCs are a large and important part of the desktop market, and have a different set of requirements to those of the general home user, enthusiast or gamer. Obviously, they don't need to be as aggressively styled or contain cutting edge components, with the most important factors, from a corporate point of view, being reliability, price and security. It's this that makes the likes of Dell, HP and Lenovo key players, since all have the infrastructure to service large companies.
Today we're looking at the HP Compaq dc7900 Convertible Mini Tower Business Desktop PC. This is one of the company's high-end models and is priced accordingly at £723 excluding VAT direct from HP. However, it can be found online for £680 (£799 inc. VAT).
For this kind of outlay even a business PC should offer some serious hardware and the dc7900 obliges by packing an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 CPU with a speedy 1,333MHz front side bus and generous 6MB of cache. This is backed by 2GBs of 800MHz DDR2 RAM and a capacious 500GB hard drive, though the Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics aren't up to much. Still, this is more power than most office users will need and keeps the machine's maximum power draw below 370W.
Inside the box you get all the usual sundries, including a power cable, keyboard and mouse, warranty sheet and a Documentation and Diagnostics DVD. No frills, but pretty much everything you'd need to get started. Indeed, nowhere is the no fills approach more evident than in the peripherals, seeing as both the mouse and keyboard are native PS2 peripherals, rather than USB. This does actually make sense when you consider that though they're not hot-swappable, they should work reliably.
Both appear demure, sporting a slate and silver colour scheme that matches the PC, while the mouse is adequately comfortable with a symmetrical shape that's suitable for both left and right handed use. Unfortunately, though the mouse is perfectly competent, the keyboard is a nightmare. It is, without exception, the worst keyboard I've ever used. The keys are uncomfortable; too small and with sharp edges, while feedback is horribly squidgy. Honestly, if you value yourself or your workers, you'll want to send this thing straight to recycling upon arrival.