by Mel Quagliata
The compaq prosignia 170 notebook is compact and flexible. Designed specifically for the small business user, it comes complete with productivity tools and free browser-based e-business services. The notebook offers functional components that are easily upgradable and swappable. The line starts with an Intel Pentium II 366MHz processor and ranges up to a PentiumIII 650MHz option.
The Prosignia we reviewed featured a PentiumII 366MHz Intel processor, 64MB of RAM, a 4GB hard drive, and a removable floppy and 24X CD-ROM drive. The 170 also included an internal 56Kbps/V.90 modem. And, it all came in a 12.4-by-9.8-by-1.1-inch unit that weighs 5.8 pounds. The notebook’s large 14.1-inch color display was sharp, with a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768 dpi. Speakers are included, as well as a built in TV connector that is great for presentations. The Prosignia has a sturdy magnesium alloy case, and a full-size keyboard that is very responsive.
In addition to MS Office 2000 Small Business Edition, Compaq offers a desktop link to their free Web-hosted services that include site building and marketing.
As for performance, the 170 did an admirable job of running the standard Windows applications. Battery life, depending upon usage, can last a solid three hours. The unit also accommodates a second battery in the drive bay for added life. The 170 is highly customizable with options that include a removable DVD drive, a modem/NIC PC card combo, or a touch pad instead of the pointing stick. A three-year warranty on parts and one-year labor warranty are included.
The Prosignia 170 is one of the most flexible notebook lines available, with extra Web-based services to help small business. The price isn’t cheap, but it’s one worth swallowing.