HP unveils desktop PCs for power business users

Hewlett-Packard Monday unveiled a new desktop PC family for power business users that it said offers added security and power-saving features.

The HP Compaq dc7900 Business Desktop series machines come in three different styles — an ultra-slim desktop, a small form factor or a convertible minitower.

The new desktops are slated to be available by the end of September with a starting price of US$599.

The desktops run the HP Firefox Virtual Browser, which was jointly developed with the Mozilla Foundation and Symantec Corp. The browser operates in a virtual run-time environment, which means that everything from cookies to downloads are squirreled away in sandbox. That sandbox keeps downloads from touching everything else in the system and can be cleaned out with a click of the mouse.

“This preventative measure potentially limits the need to conduct a scan, repair and reinstall of applications and security settings,” HP said in a statement.

The new systems include HP’s ProtectTools, which allow users to personally adjust levels of security protection. The dc7900 line also includes a Privacy Manager for securely exchanging e-mails, and a File Sanitizer, which enables users to remove data before disposing of their computer.

The dc7900 series also uses HP Power Manager, a technology designed to enable users to personalize their power settings so they can vary the mix of performance and power conservation.

The new power systems come out a month after HP went after business travelers with the release of three new ultraportable laptops. The lineup, according to HP, included a 3-lb. semi-rugged notebook, a machine that can convert from a notebook into a pen-based tablet, and an inexpensive Compaq laptop.

The HP EliteBook 2530p is the smallest and lightest HP laptop that contains a built-in optical drive. Weighing in at 3 lb., the machine sports an HP DuraCase made of a brushed, anodized aluminum combined with a magnesium alloy. The case is designed to pass military-standard durability tests for extreme temperatures, dust and humidity.

The HP EliteBook 2730p is an ultrathin convertible machine that can go from a laptop to a pen-based tablet that is 1.11 in. thick — just by rotating the screen. New features, according to HP, include an integrated touchpad, tablet buttons and a jog dial. An optional ultraslim battery accessory offers up to 12 combined hours of battery life.

HP called the third ultraportable that it released today a “value-priced” HP Compaq 2230s. The 4.07-lb. laptop has a 12.1-in. diagonal wide-screen display and a satin, reflective, black-on-black surface.

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