BOSTON - Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced a new low-end desktop PC designed for small businesses that features a version of the Linux operating system, the company said Wednesday.
Customers will be able to build their own Compaq d220 PCs as of Monday. The base configuration includes a 2.0GHz Celeron processor, 128M bytes of DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a 40G-byte hard drive, and a CD-ROM drive.
The base model of the configurable version also comes with MandrakeSoft's Mandrake Linux version 9.1, rather than the usual Microsoft operating systems found on HP PCs. The company does sell other business PCs with Mandrake Linux as an option, a spokeswoman said. Customers worldwide can choose Mandrake Linux 9.1, while customers in Asia-Pacific have the additional choice of TurboLinux Inc.'s operating system, she said.
The Linux version of the d220 costs only $349, matching the price of the least expensive desktops in HP's product line. This price does not include a monitor. For $150 more, small and medium-size business customers can upgrade their processor to the 2.4GHz Pentium 4.
The Palo Alto, California, company also sells a $349 Pavilion desktop for consumers that contains Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Athlon XP 2000+ processor, and a Presario desktop with the same AMD processor for $349 after a $50 mail-in rebate.
Rival PC vendor Dell Computer Corp. sells a $349 Dimension 2350 PC, but includes a 2.2GHz Celeron processor at that price for small business customers, after a $50 mail-in rebate.
HP will also offer the d220 in preconfigured solutions with Microsoft's Windows XP Home. The same base configuration of the d220 with the 2.0GHz Celeron processor and Windows XP Home costs $429. Several other preconfigured versions are available immediately directly through HP or through resellers.
The d220 comes in what HP calls a microtower unit, which is designed to fit into tight places such as under shelves or desks in a cubicle environment. It measures 7.1 inches wide by 15.4 inches deep by 14 inches high (18cm by 39.1cm by 35.6cm).