HP rolls out microtower Linux PC for SMBs

HP has announced a new low-end desktop PC designed for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) that features a version of the Linux operating system.

Customers will be able to build their own Compaq d220 PCs as of Monday. The base configuration includes a 2.0GHz Celeron processor, 128M bytes of DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a 40G-byte hard drive, and a CD-ROM drive.

The base model of the configurable version also comes with MandrakeSoft SA's Mandrake Linux version 9.1, rather than the usual Microsoft operating systems found on HP PCs.

The company did sell other business PCs with Mandrake Linux as an option, a spokesperson said.

Customers worldwide can choose Mandrake Linux 9.1, while customers in Asia-Pacific have the additional choice of TurboLinux's operating system, she said.

The Linux version of the d220 costs $US349, matching the price of the least expensive desktops in HP's product line. This price does not include a monitor. For $US150 more, small and medium-size business customers can upgrade their processor to the 2.4GHz Pentium 4.

The company also sells a $US349 Pavilion desktop for consumers that contains Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon XP 2000+ processor, and a Presario desktop with the same AMD processor for $US349 after a $US50 mail-in rebate.

Rival PC vendor, Dell Computer, sells a $US349 Dimension 2350 PC, but includes a 2.2GHz Celeron processor at that price for small business customers, after a $50 mail-in rebate.

HP will also offer the d220 in preconfigured solutions with Microsoft's Windows XP Home. The same base configuration of the d220 with the 2.0GHz Celeron processor and Windows XP Home costs $US429. Several other preconfigured versions are available immediately directly through HP or through resellers.

The d220 comes in what HP calls a microtower unit, that is designed to fit into tight places such as under shelves or desks in a cubicle environment.

It measures 18cm by 39.1cm by 35.6cm.

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