The small-form-factor system also has a tool-less chassis design, which makes both maintenance and recycling easier. Speaking of form factor, the systems are built with 95 percent recyclable components, according to HP. The plastic components are made, on average, of at least 10 percent post-consumer recycled plastics, and the outer packaging contains at least 25 percent post-consumer recycled cardboard.
Like other PCs that have recently made it to the market, both from HP and Dell, only certain configurations of the rp5700 meet the Energy Star 4.0 standard, and I remain curious whether any of those ES 4.0 configs are equipped to deliver the "full" Vista experience, including Aero and good performance running basic apps.
Frankly, when I look at the two preconfigured systems on the HP site that come with Vista Business 32, or when I try the Configure and Buy option, it's not clear whether the system I choose meets ES 4.0 of not, nor whether I can take full advantage of Vista. I had similar problems on Dell's site looking for its ES 4.0 configurations.
Interestingly, the fine print at the bottom of the ordering page notes, "Not all Windows Vista features are available for use on all Windows Vista Capable PCs. All Windows Vista Capable PCs will run the core experiences of Windows Vista, such as innovations in organizing and finding information, security, and reliability. Some features available in premium editions of Windows Vista -- like the new Windows Aero user interface -- require advanced or additional hardware."
To HP's credit, the company says it is working "on an update to the online configurator that will display which systems run Vista and meet Energy Star or EPEAT criteria."
One other thing: HP alluded to an interesting optional feature for the rp5700 in its product announcement: "a solar renewable energy source as an alternative power choice." Turns out that is the Solar PowerPac II, which, when charged, can provide up to 600 watt-hours of power for small loads.
However, the PowerPac seems a bit unwiedly, measuring 14.8 inches tall, 15.6 inches wide, and 12.3 inches deep, and weighs 60 pounds. (It has a 38-inch handle and wheels, so you can cart it around.) The solar-panel kits starts at 75 watts, measures 21 inches by 47 inches, and weighs 16.5 pounds. I'm not sure how practical that would be for most companies, especially with a price tag of $1,325. Anyone out there have thoughts on the utility of this kind of unit?
For more information about the HP rp5700, go to HP's Web site.