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HP Compaq dc7700P

  • Editors' rating
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Equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and vPro remote management hardware, the HP Compaq dc7700P is certainly an attractive option for business users.

It's a small form factor PC (also available in ultra-slim or minitower configurations) that uses an all-in-one motherboard encompassing processor, sound and video. But don't expect great multimedia performance and, unfortunately, you're limited to using low profile expansion cards in the PCI and PCI-E slots.

What's Inside
The dc7700P has a good design and makes upgrading of this PC very easy. The lid can be removed by undoing just one screw while the power supply and optical drive can be lifted outwards which gives you better access to the motherboard and hard disk. There's also room for an additional hard disk if needed. HP had also done a pretty good job with the cabling by tying and routing all cables nicely so they don't get in the way.

Powered with the Intel E6300 Core 2 Duo processor, the dc7700P has two cores running at 1.8 GHz each. We received our model with 1GB of RAM occupying two slots leaving an extra two slots for an easy upgrade. The RAM can be upgraded to a massive 4GB which is more than what any business user would need.

There is 80GB of hard drive space on the Western Digital hard disk which is a little on a low side and could be considered as an entry level hard disk size. The video memory is shared with the main memory and powered by the integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3000. With a reasonable amount of system RAM being available the graphics accelerator was allocated 256MB of RAM which is more than acceptable to tackle any complex graphic requirements.

A DVD burner with LightScribe is also included, allowing you to burn labels from the same drive. You do however have to flip the disc over to burn a label on the other side or upper side.

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This dc7700P features a standard array of connections with front and rear mounted USB and audio ports as well as well as legacy ports like parallel and serial ports, which you might be unlikely to use. PS2 ports, VGA and a Gigabit Ethernet port can also be found at the rear of the PC.

The supplied 19-inch HP LCD display (which pushes the price up to AU$1,999) is a premier display which can be used in both portrait and landscape mode. It features two DVI connectors and a 2 port USB hub. It has a native resolution of 1280 by 1024, which provides comfortable viewing for a screen of this size.

Also bundled with the dc7700P is HP's Backup and Recovery Manager software, giving you an easy way to schedule backups as well as recover from any loss of data. Protect Tools Security Manager is another handy piece of software which is the foundation of its client security solution on select business desktops. The Credential Manager is HP's latest featured addition to this manager which provides a secured password solution -- especially handy when multiple users share the same PC resources.

Like the Lenovo ThinkCentre M55p and Optima WorkPro X860 before it, the dc7700P supports Intel's vPro platform, allowing administrators to better manage their assets (hardware and software inventory) and diagnose and repair PCs remotely even if powered down or if the OS is inoperable. You will need remote management software (such as Microsoft SMS) to access the vPro features.

With good expansion potential, plenty of power for the typical business user and small form factor design this PC makes for the ideal office workhorse. The 19-inch display complements this PC nicely and at a price which won't break the bank. Our only major complaint was the small hard disk size, which may be an issue for some users.

3.5 out of 5
3.5 out of 5
Good number of standard connectivity options, including eight USB ports.
4 out of 5
Fast, dual-core processor, RAM can be expanded to 4GB and small form factor design with room for an additional HDD.
3.5 out of 5
Reasonably priced especially with all the HP management software which is supplied.
4 out of 5
Three years parts and labour warranty, includes on-site support and telephone support during business hours.