IBM shrinks the NetVista desktop

IBM Corp.'s new NetVista S42 is designed to be put into tight places, without forcing the user to sacrifice performance for size, IBM said Wednesday in a release.

The S42 is the first in a new line of small form-factor desktop machines from IBM. It measures 3.3 inches high by 12.2 inches wide by 13.6 inches deep (8.4 cm by 31 cm by 35 cm), making it IBM's smallest desktop.

A base configuration of IBM's S42 uses a 1.8GHz Pentium 4 processor from Intel Corp., 256M bytes of DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a 40G-byte hard drive, Intel's Extreme integrated graphics, six USB (universal serial bus) 2.0 ports and a CD-ROM drive for US$949. It is generally available worldwide now.

The PC comes with Rapid Restore, IBM's software for enabling users to restore previously saved files in the event of a software glitch by simply pushing an external button. Also included is IBM's ImageUltra software, which allows system administrators to create and maintain unique "images" of all the software installed on a given PC, making it easier to set up new systems.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) is also pushing a small form factor desktop as PC makers try different strategies to convince businesses to upgrade their IT infrastructure. HP began shipping the Compaq Evo D510 e-pc, which measures 3.8 inches high by 9.8 inches wide and 12.2 inches deep (9.7 cm by 25 cm by 31 cm), in September for US$699.

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