HP Banishes the Bulk with new Slim Business PCs

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted December 11, 2013

Bulky PCs are out. Slim and understatedly stylish designs are in.

HP revealed its new business-oriented PCs, including a sleek, work-ready Ultrabook and a new, low-cost compact desktop PC that may spell the end of lugging around big tower enclosures—much to the relief of IT support staffers (and their backs). In the modern small business computing environment, PC clutter is a thing of the past.

HP's revamped business PC portfolio continues the company's strategy of engineering computing systems that blend the reliability and manageability that businesses require with the desirable features, portable dimensions and trim designs that users want. In May, the IT systems and services provider offered a glimpse of the direction that it's headed with the HP ProBook 400 line.

HP's Smallest Desktop PC

Now, HP pushes PC design even further with devices like the new EliteDesk 800 G1 and ProDesk 800 G1 Desktop Mini (DM), which the company boasts are "HP's smallest desktops yet."

Similar in size to an external hard drive, the tiny PC packs a full desktop into a nearly pocket-sized form factor—minus perhaps the optical drive. What they lack in CD/DVD drives, they make up for in USB ports to plug in thumbdrives and peripherals (six USB 3.0 ports on the EliteDesk 800 G1).

The units are indeed small, but not toy-like. The EliteDesk 800 G1 DM offers a reassuring heft and confidence-inspiring construction. Space-savings aside, HP's new PCs help businesses keep their energy bills low. At idle, the EliteDesk 800 G1 DM consumes just eight watts of electricity.

The desktops, which are smaller than most business phones, feature Intel's fourth generation ("Haswell") i5 processor, VESA mounting and integrated wireless that doesn't require an external antenna.

The HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Desktop Mini and ProDesk 600 G1 Desktop Mini go on sale in April 2014. Prices start at $669 and $489, respectively.

HP's Latest Ultra-light Laptop

For professionals that want to exude a polished and professional image while on the road, there's the company's new ultrabook, the EliteBook Folio 1040 G1.

Compared to its predecessor, the 14-inch notebook is 16.1 percent thinner and 7.3 percent lighter, making it "the thinnest Ultrabook in the HP Elite portfolio," according to the company. Weighing 3.3 pounds and sporting a thickness (or thinness) of 15.9 mm, the device's weight and proportions stack up against the competition, including Dell's sleek XPS Ultrabooks.

Although slight in appearance, it's solid in hand. During an in-person preview in New York City, we found the EliteBook Folio 1040 G1's aluminum unibody flex-free with a premium feel. And it should survive the rigors of frequent travel unscathed. When subjected to military standard reliability tests (12 MIL-STD 810G), the notebook shrugged off the drops, shocks and temperature changes that turn many consumer-grade products into doorstops.

The EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 is available in full HD (1080P), touch and non-touch versions. Processor options include Intel Haswell dual core i5 and i7 processors. In addition to Wi-Fi, the 1040 G1 supports optional 4G LTE wireless. The company's new pressure-sensitive touchpad HP ForcePad makes drag-and-drop operations in Windows a breeze.

HP's EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 is now available in the U.S. Small business owners that want to tuck the premium Ultrabook under their arm will pay for the privilege. Prices start at $1,299.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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