by March 12, 2000 0 comments

The e-Vectra from HP is a mini PC aimed primarily at
corporates. It’s about one fifth the size of a conventional desktop PC and is
only 3.5″ thick. You can lay it flat or keep it upright on a small plastic
stand that comes with it. The e-Vectra has an external power supply similar to
that in laptops, so it saves the space of an internal SMPS. The main computer is
divided into two parts. One holds the bulk of the system including the
motherboard, processor, RAM, etc. The other half contains the hard drive. A thin
metal sheet separates both these. The hard drive can easily be taken out by
simply sliding the cover, but you can’t access the other components.

Since the e-Vectra has such a compact design, it’s not
meant to be upgradable. So there are no PCI, ISA or AGP slots for further
expansion. One thing you will miss in it though is a floppy drive. Also, it
doesn’t have any extra bays to add devices like a DVD or a CD-Writer.

HP e-Vectra

Mini PC. 
Price: Model 2025A (with win 98) is priced at Rs 79,990; and model 2024A (with Windows 2000) is priced at Rs 86,662 
Features: PIII/733; 128 MB RAM; built-in LAN, sound and video.
Pros: Good performance; compact; good hardware security.
Cons: No floppy drive and extra bays to attach drives. 
Source: Hewlett-Packard India Chandiwala Estate
Maa Anandmai Marg
New Delhi 110019. 
Tel: 11-6826000 Fax: 6826059 E-mail: 

Two models of eVectra are available in India–2025A (with
win 98) and D2024A (with Win 2k). we reviewed D2024A which came pre-installed
with Windows 2000 Professional and had a PIII/733 MHz processor with 128 MB
SDRAM. It uses an Intel 810e chipset motherboard and comes with onboard sound,
graphics, and network connectivity. Graphics functionality has 4 MB VRAM. Sound
is produced by a Crystal WDM audio Codec, and a 3Com Fast Etherlink LAN card
gives it 10/100 Mbps network connectivity. It has two USB, one serial, one
parallel, and two PS2 ports. It also has jacks for microphone, line-in and
line-out functions. All ports and jacks are placed on the system’s back panel
and are color coded for easy identification.

A special security feature of the
e-Vectra is the HP Port Control System, which is basically a small plastic
stand, which when attached covers its I/O ports. So, it prevents anyone from
removing VGA, USB, serial, parallel, or PS2 devices that may be attached to your
system. It also locks the hard drive chamber. These features and the fact that
you can’t access the other components make the e-Vectra a secure machine. Each
e-Vectra comes with its own unique key, and a master key is also available for
the whole fleet of e-Vectras. This means that your system administrator needs
only one key to open any e-Vectra machine’s lock, making it easier to manage.

To check out the overall system performance while running
productivity applications we ran Business Winstone 99 on it. It got 34.4, which
is pretty good. We then installed Win 98 SE on it and repeated the test. The
score fell to 28.1, a difference of more than 22 percent. So according to the
score, Windows 2000 Professional seems a better option for this system. The e-Vectra
uses a zippy hard drive, which gives pretty good transfer rates.

The e-Vectra we reviewed came with two CDs. One is called the
Image Creation and Recovery CD, which lets you restore your PC with Windows 2000
or Win NT in case of a crash. You can also use the CD to format your hard drive,
create partitions, reinstall or change your OS. The other CD contains device
drivers for Win 98, Win NT 4 and Windows 2000.

So, if you’re looking for small and manageable PCs for your
company’s productivity work, then the e-Vectra is a good candidate. Provided,
of course, you don’t plan to add any additional hardware as it doesn’t have
room for further expansion.

Sachin Makhija at PCQ Labs

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