Business is a Contact Sport

by Mel Quagliata

Rating 91

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.

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.

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