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Desktop of the Year: HP Compaq dc7800 Ultra Slim Desktop PC
In 2007, manufacturers proved that the desktop doesn't need to go out for the Boring Award. We were smitten with the design of two in particular: Hewlett-Packard's Compaq dc7800 Ultra Slim Desktop PC and Lenovo's ThinkCentre A61e. In the end, HP won us over with its solid Intel-based performance, ease of deployment and shapely lines, which is why the dc7800 gets our nod for Desktop of the Year.
Injecting new life into a segment many considered moribund, the dc7800 returned solid desktop-worthy results during testing, performing better than many business laptops that have come through our labs.
The computer features an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1 Gbyte of memory, an 80-Gbyte hard drive and a PATA LightScribe DVD Writer. It's not built on the newest and shiniest components, but business users don't need the most powerful graphics card or professional-grade sound.
Weighing about six pounds, the Ultra Slim Desktop is small enough to be mounted on the back of a 19-inch flat panel monitor, hung on a wall or attached under a desk.
It's also easy to service, as the majority of common tasks can be done without tools. The case is easy to remove: turn the thumbscrew and slide the top cover off to see the motherboard. Everything is clearly visible and accessible despite the tight quarters.
If HP's goal was to provide a machine that does enough to meet daily business needs without taking up a lot of space or breaking the bank, then we say mission accomplished.