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7/30/2010
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HP Unveils Mini Tower Desktop PC

The sub-$600 Pro 3130 is targeted to professionals and knowledge workers in small to midsize companies with expansion options for power users.

Many businesses, especially small-to-midsize ones, have delayed refreshing, replacing or adding to their desktop fleets, out of budget frugality, waiting for Windows 7, or because of the anticipated migration effort required of IT.

"The average age of a desktop PC is four to five years," says Andy Bose, Founder, Chairman and CEO at strategy consulting firm AMI Partners, Inc. "And many are older."

And despite the growing range of alternatives like thin/zero clients, virtualized desktop infrastructures (VDI), and desktop-replacement notebooks, a lot of businesses still use, and expect to use, Windows desktop PCs.

To provide SMBs and others with an option that mixes affordability and low IT overhead with the configuration/upgrade headroom for performance growth, HP has introduced the HP Pro 3130 Mini-tower Business PC as an addition to its Pro 3000 line of desktop computers.

According to the company, "The HP Pro 3130 Mini-tower Business PC is intended as an affordable desktop PC, aimed at small-to-midsize businesses, and for businesses that require simple set-up, trusted technology and reliable support services."

HP's business desktop PC families include the 500, 3000, 6000 and 8000 series. "The HP Pro 3130 mini-tower is designed for SMB customers," says Kirk Godkin, Manager, America's Business PC and Display, HP.

Pricing for the new HP Pro 3130 starts at $569. That's for a system configured with an Intel Pentium G6950 CPU, Intel H57 Express Chipset, 2GB RAM, 160GB hard drive, DVD-ROM and Windows 7 Professional. Plus, HP Power Assistant software, security features, dual-monitor support (one DVI and one VGA port), a 250W power supply, and a three-year parts and one-year labor and on-site warranty. The system is intended to be sufficient for handling the standard office and Internet needs. "A new HP Pro 3130 will run about 350% faster than a five-year-old desktop while using about half the electricity, and it will do things that the old machine will have trouble doing," says Godkin.

Configurable options include Intel i, i5 and i7 CPUs; support for up to 16GB RAM; larger-capacity (currently up to 2TB) hard drives; a second hard drive, suitable for using with RAID; 22-in-1 Media Card Reader; SuperMulti LightScribe DVD Writer, or SATA Blu-ray Writer; and 300W power supply. The Pro 3130 is intended to be expandable, letting users or IT add or upgrade components over time, through available 3.5 to 5.25-inch internal and external bays, slots and ports.

The Pro 3130 is intended to have expandability to let a system be productive over a five-year period. "SMBs typically hang onto PCs for five to six years, versus the three to four in enterprises," says Godkin.

"HP's new Pro 3130 provides a good mix of low 'touch' with the security, and energy efficiencies that IT wants, and the productivity and collaborative features that today's SMB users want or need,'" says AMI's Bose. "The desktop form factor provides more power and features per dollar versus notebooks, while also making it easy to expand and upgrade hardware as needs grow."

Part of the HP Pro 3130's intended appeal to SMBs are its built-in security, energy-efficiency and administration/management features.

Key SMB-oriented security features in the 3130 include a password manager, multi-factor authentication, Windows Authentication, "file sanitizing" to prevent recovery of deleted information, HP's secure version of Mozilla FireFox, and Device Access Manager to let USBs ports be set to read-only or inactive.

HP also offers tools to help customers migrate users from existing windows PCs. "HP's Client Automation software will 'collect your personality' and expedite a migration, by associating to the user's old image, and layering the user's information onto the new system," says Godkin.

Available now, the HP Pro 3130 is available directly from HP, and through channel resellers.

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