by October 1, 2001 0 comments

As stock-market indices fall and the fear of a worldwide recession looms, companies must undertake serious cost-saving measures. For companies planning to buy PCs for their offices, it’s important to understand how they can save.

The reviews are divided into two categories: entry-level and mid-range. The participants in the two categories are Celeron and PIII based respectively, as both in performance and price, they are clearly different from each other.

This time our evaluation was slightly different from what we normally do. Here is how we tested the PCs this time.

Performance/Price Ratio

The Final Weights

The following weights were assigned to the parameters that we used in evaluating the PCs:

Features  25
Warranty  25
Total 100

This time, instead of taking price and performance as separate factors, we took the performance/price ratio. That’s because a PC’s performance is determined by its configuration, which in turn is governed largely by its price. For the tests, we used benchmarks that measure a PC’s performance in commonly used office applications. These were the Business Winstone 2001 and Content Creation Winstone 2001 benchmarks from eTestinglabs. While the former tests a PC’s performance in running productivity applications like office suites and Web browser, the latter runs content creation applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Dream-weaver.

Features and warranty

Besides performance, two other important factors are its features it offers and warranty offered by the vendor. Starting with features, the important ones to consider for an office PC are:
Network card for network connectivity.

Final Scores
Model Performance/ Price  Features Warranty Total
  50 25 25  
Celeron Machines
Spice Net MOL 50 40 25 25 90
HCL Busybee eCo  39 23 25 87
Vintron Biz 123 1000 45 20 25 91
Connoi Celeron 800 49 24 25 98
NetKracker PC Celeron 50 23 25 98
PCS Oriion 43 24 25 92
PIII Machines
HCL Busybee 2000 35 21 17 73
Compaq Deskpro SB Series 36 23 17 76
Acer Power Sx 22 20 25 68
Womba PC Gold Series 43 22 17 81
NetKracker PC PIII 46 22 17 85
Connoi PIII 933 50 23 17 90
HP Vectra 36 25 25 86

Drivers and bundled software. Drivers are important, as they govern the proper functioning of all hardware in a PC. 
Accompanying OS. The choice of OS is important, as it can create a significant difference in cost. For instance, Windows 2000 Professional has more features, and is more secure and stable than Windows 98, but at the same time costlier.
Other important features we considered were monitor size (14” or 15”), hard-drive capacity (10 GB or higher), and whether a PC comes with a CD-drive or not.

Finally, onsite warranty is very important for an office PC. Try and get the best warranty terms from your vendor, as you wouldn’t want to waste time taking the PC to the vendor’s customer-support center every time there’s a problem.

Anil Chopra

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