desktop computersCheap Desktop Computers are still the heart and soul of computing. While iPads are the “hottie” of the moment, cheap desktop computers are the day-in-day-out workhorses for the “bring your lunch” as well as “work at home” businesses.

Memory:
Each computer has a processor speed of 166 MHz. The Compaq has the least amount of standard memory with 16 MB, with a maximum of 48 MB. Both the Dell and Gateway computers come with 40 MB installed with their maximums being 72 and 80 MB respectively. The Micron had the most standard memory at 48 MB, having a maximum at 80 MB also. The Micron machine rates best in this area [1:144-145].
Weight:

The Compaq and Dell come in with the lowest travel weight at 8.5 pounds. The Gateway came in right behind them with 8.6 pounds travelling. Of the four computers, the Micron was the heaviest, weighting in at 9.1 pounds. The Dell and Compaq are the best in the weight department [1:144-145].

Battery:
Another key factor for laptop computers is the length of time they can operate away from an outlet. The Dell computer had the longest rated battery life with a rating of 4 to 5 hours. Compaq’s computer had a rating of 3 hours while Gateway and Micron’s laptops were rated with 2.5 and 2.25 hours, respectively. Dell’s computer has the best rating for battery life [1:144-145].

Storage:
All computers rely on their storage unit to operate for the use of programs and storing information. The Presario had the smallest standard hard drive at 1.4 GB. Both the Dell and the Gateway computers had 2.1 GB hard drives. Micron rates at the top for this category for its 3 GB hard drive [1:144-145].
Overall, the Latitude from Dell gets the best rating for this section. It’s light weight and long battery life aid in portability, and while its hard drive and memory are average for this group, they are more than sufficient for good performance.

Performance:
The various machines were put through their paces to determine their comparative performance. The several different tests are listed below as well as the various computers’ performances. The numbers don’t mean much on their own and are best used in comparison.
Windows applications: The various computers were tested and scored on the execution time of eight top-selling Windows applications. The Compaq had the lowest score with a 29.4. The final three scored fairly closely together with the Dell coming in at 36.6, the Gateway having a score of 37.5, ad the Micron having a score of 39.5 [1:140-141]. The Micron ranks at the top of this category.
Processor: These tests were run by exercising the processor and memory with test that mirror the processor usage of many Window programs. The Latitude has the lowest rating at 322. Next in order for performance was the Presario at 328. The final two machines are fairly the same in this test with the Gateway testing at 331 and the Micron at 332 [1:140-141]. The Micron comes in at the top of this category also.

Battery:
Battery life was tested by performing a combination of down time and heavy activity for the extent of the battery lifetime. The Micron and Gateway computers ranked at the bottom with 2 minutes 20 seconds and 2 minutes 19 seconds, respectively. Dell’s Latitude was next with a battery life of 2 minutes 30 seconds. Finally, the Compaq was rated at 2 minutes 32 seconds [1:140-141]. The Compaq was at the top in this category.

In this battery of tests, the Micron appears to be the leader. Although the battery life is lower than two of the machines, the difference is not enough to negate the Transport’s superior performance in the other tests.

Cost:
The computers were priced by the manufacturers suggested price, but the prices grow considerably when adding options. The Compaq Presario sells for $4,299 for the average mail order price. The Latitude priced at $3,999 direct. Gateway’s system can be purchased for $4,724 direct.
Finally, and most expensively, the Micron sells for $5,199 direct.

The HP Pavilion dv7-1270us is a 7.7-pound, mainstream notebook computer. As a 17? laptop, HP Pavilion DV7-1270US is absolutely a perfect desktop replacement. Offering an eye-catching modern look, the entertainment-focused HP Pavilion dv7-1260us notebook PC makes it easy to enjoy your favorite music and videos while on the go, as well as keep you productive with a speedy dual-core processor and 64-bit Windows Home Vista Premium operating system.

The 17-inch high-definition BrightView display looks good even in direct sunlight, and the Blu-ray Disc optical drive (read-only) is compatible with the latest high-definition disc standard, enabling you to enjoy movies in crystal-clear resolution. You’ll enjoy movies or music in seconds with the external DVD or music buttons to launch HP QuickPlay (which bypasses the boot process). Control playback settings from up to 10 feet away with the included HP remote, then store it conveniently in the Express card slot. Turn your next instant message into a live video chat with the integrated webcam and omni-directional microphone. Optimized for low-light environments, it’s great for capturing short videos to share on your favorite social networking site.

What’s more, Pavilion DV7-1270US is powered by the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processor–with Centrino 2 technology–which boosts speed, reduces power requirements, and saves on battery life. The 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 includes a quick 1066 MHz front-side bus and 3 MB of L2 cache, providing an optimized, multithreaded architecture for improved multimedia and multitasking performance. HP’s ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection locks your 400 GB hard drive into place when it senses abrupt motion to help prevent data loss.

The built-in eSATA/USB combo port enables fast backup to an external hard drive. And it includes 4 GB of installed RAM (8 GB maximum), Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics with up to 1918 MB of available memory, dual-layer Lightscribe DVD±RW drive (which also burns CDs), ExpressCard 54 slot, quad-mode Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), and 5-in-1 memory card reader.

Pavilion DV7-1270US entertainment laptop comes with a lot of wonderful features.

Features:
*Razor-sharp graphics and widescreen movies with the 17-inch WXGA high-definition screen, which has a widescreen resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels–perfect for watching DVD movies the way they were meant to be seen.

*Wireless connectivity with the integrated quad-mode Wi-Fi chip. Based on the draft 802.11n Wi-Fi specification, it offers up to five times the performance and twice the wireless range as existing 802.11g wireless.

* ExpressCard 34 card slot (replacing the PCMCIA slot), which lets you take advantage of thinner, faster, and lighter expansion cards for even more advanced wireless, networking, storage, and security features.

* The 64-bit version of Windows Vista Home Premium (with SP1)

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