Power, heat and noise
The 8200 Elite is not a silent desktop, but neither is it obtrusively noisy. It?s very difficult to completely avoid fan noise when it comes to shoving so much technology into a small box, and HP managed to do a pretty good job of mitigating it. I find the gentle whirring of the fan to be soothing, but others might find it distracting, especially since this box will likely sit nearby on the desk.
At boot, the ultra-slim desktop drew a peak of 56 watts of electricity. Sitting idle at a Windows desktop, however, the mobile components and high-efficiency power supply really shone - the 8200 only drew an average 18W of power. Considering that desktops will sit idle most of the time, you?d have to leave this desktop sit for over two days before it hits even 1kWh of usage. That?s extremely affordable. Maxing out the power draw managed to push things up to roughly 68 watts of electricity - that?s a testament to how much work Intel and other chipmakers have put into their idle power states.
Similarly, this desktop doesn?t put out much heat, especially under light use. That?s no surprise, considering the already low power draw. At any rate, the low heat output means that you won?t have to worry about the 8200 heating up the room like some desktops can do. Keeping the power brick on the floor helps in terms of preventing noticeable heat build-up.
We didn?t spend a lot of time going over the variety of software pre-installed on the HP desktop, but it does bear mentioning here. Like with most business machines, the ultra-slim comes with Windows 7 Professional pre-installed; it?s the 64-bit edition, an option HP has never been shy to embrace. There is a bit of bloatware, like the Norton Internet Security suite; what makes it super annoying is the difficulty to close and remove.
HP does add on a few of its own homegrown tools in order to help users and businesses secure and manage their hardware. HP ProtectTools lets users easily activate security features, like data encryption or password management, tying it to keys like biometric data or Smart Cards.
The HP Compaq 8200 Elite Ultra-slim Desktop (yes, the Compaq brand is still alive and pretty well) is a worthwhile machine. It offers businesses a high-quality, easy-to-maintain desktop that doesn?t take up much space or generate too much noise. Components such as a 2.5-inch hard drive and mobile Intel Core i5 CPU guarantee that the desktop remains power efficient; a property helped by the 87% efficient PSU that comes included.
There are are a few areas that HP needs to work on; it would be nice to have the power supply completely internal so that users won?t need to drape a power brick artfully underneath their desks. It would also be nice to see the graphics options boosted, if only slightly; slapping in something besides an ATI 5450 card could really make this box scream.
Additionally, and this is a problem endemic to HP?s website, but it still deserves pointing out, it?s a little ridiculous that the company charges such an obscene premium just to customize your machine; simply clicking on the button is guaranteed to add several hundred dollars to your order (even if you configure it to the exact same specifications).
Still, if you?re looking for a small but capable new desktop for your business, be sure to check out the HP Compaq 8200 Elite.
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