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SUITABLE PORTABLE COMPUTERS USED

AT CLIENTS SITES

Introduction
1.1 Background

XYZ Training Company Ltd. is a well respected supplier of quality executive


training courses for the business community. The company has division
wise representation with plans to expand countrywide support within the
next 12 months. It has recently found it’s out training staff encountered
several problems while giving support services at client sites. But as a well
reputed company it has to ensure best quality technical service to the
clients.
So it is essential that its training staff be equipped with portable computers
including suitable software which can be used at client’s sites.

1.2 Purpose

The purpose of this report was to analyze two portable computers and
recommend a suitable machine for our training staff to use at client
locations.

While investigating these two computers it was important to consider their


suitability for corporate use, standard features like; initial purchasing
expenses, speed, screen size and memory, optional benefits and
warranties.

1.3 Limitations

There were some limitations of this report; such as

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• Local computer stores did not stock either machine.
• Additional information difficult to locate.
• Software packages included with the machine not specified.

It has been assumed that the Microsoft Office software package will be
installed on the computers to ensure our training staffs have access to
PowerPoint. This program will enable them to present effective teaching
media.

As our staff regularly uses computer applications it has been assumed that
the implementation of portable computers will cause little delays for the
company.

1.4 Source and Methods

The information used in this report was collected by consulting an


independent review by the American PC Authority magazine and contacting
the individual companies for additional information on the technical
specifications and warranties on the machines.

As most computer companies offer clients an extended warranty, it is


assumed that XYZ Training Company Ltd. will have the option to purchase
an extended warranty for a period of one year. All the specification of two
computer including it’s software suitability and capacity to support
technological sides such as e-mail, video conferencing etc. also to be
considered while selecting the suitable machine.

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Comparison of Two Computers

XYZ Training Company Ltd. has a demand to supply new clients with
numerous training courses. With such demands it is crucial that training
staff can have computer access for training presentations and be able to
complete day to day operations while mobile. There were two different
machine configurations was available for the company to choose.

2.1 Micro-pro 8500 Series

• Cost: $7895 RRP


• Weight: 4.5 Kg
• Size: (W x D x H) 357 x 275 x 50mm
• Screen size: 15.1"
• Clarity of screen image: Resolution could be higher, set at 1,024 x
768 you can see the pixels, but very easy on your eyes. (American PC
Authority, April 1998, 'PCs and Notebooks - Reviews, p. 81)
• RAM: 64 Mb, RAM can be raised to a maximum 128Mb for $1140
• Disk Drive: CD-ROM and 3.5" FDD
• Speed of the CPU: Pentium processor
• Battery capabilities: Lithium-ion battery, smart battery option
available. Lithium-ion battery lasts 2.5 hours without smart battery

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upgrade. (American PC Authority, April 1998, 'PCs and Notebooks -
Reviews, p. 81)
• Service agreements and warranties: Two year parts and labor
warranty

2.2 Hewlett Packard 3000CTX 5/233

• Cost: $8245 RRP


• Weight: 3.1 Kg
• Size: (W x D x H) 304 x 238 x 47mm
• Screen size: 13.3"
• Clarity of screen image: Resolution is set at 1,024 x 768. Reasonably
easy to read... with normal working conditions. (American PC
Authority, April 1998, 'PCs and Notebooks - Reviews, p. 81)
• RAM: 16Mb, upgrade available, $242 for 16Mb.
• Disk drives: 3.5" FDD, CD-ROM available for $570
• Speed of the CPU: Pentium processor
• Battery capabilities: - 2.5 hours from a lithium-ion battery
• Service agreements and warranties: All Hewlett Packard Omni books
come with a 3 year parts and labor warranty. (Stephen, 7/5/1998,
Telephone Interview, Customer Service Officer, Hewlett Packard
Information Centre, Hewlett Packard)

The following table summarizes the important points of comparison


between the two portable computers - Hewlett Packard Omni book and
Micro-pro 8500 Series.

Table 1: Comparison of two portable computers


Hewlett Packard Omnibook Micropro 8500
Series
Initial cost $8245 $7895

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Weight 3.1 Kg 4.5 Kg
Size (Dimensions 304 x 238 x 47mm 357 x 275 x 50mm
WxDxH)
Screen Size 13.3" 15.1"
RAM 16 Mb 64 Mb
Battery Time 2.5 Hours 2.5 Hours
Warranty Period 3 Years 2 Years

There is a RRP difference between the two computers of $350. In order to


have the computers ready for staff use, upgraded memory size would be
required on the Hewlett Packard model.

2.3 Analysis

There is a RRP difference between the two computers of $350. In order to


have the computers ready for staff use, upgraded memory size would be
required on the Hewlett Packard model.

The following figure illustrates the difference more clearly.

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Figure 1: Initial cost of the two computers

RAM between the two machines varies greatly. The American PC Authority
states that the Micro-pro comes with 64 Mb of RAM standards, with an
option of buying the maximum 128 Mb for $1140. They also state Hewlett
Packards Omnibook comes with 16 Mb RAM, but as most computer
applications require 32 Mb, this extra memory will cost you $242. Both
machines come with a standard 3.5" FDD. Only the Micro-pro machine
comes with a CD-ROM drive, you must buy this as an extra for the
Omnibook for a cost of $570. (American PC Authority, April 1998, PCs and
Notebooks - Reviews, p. 81- 82).

Figure 2 shows how the other factors upon which we would consider the
suitable computer except the initial cost differ for the two machines.

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Figure 2: Comparison between Weight, Screen Size, RAM & Warranty Period of the two
Computers.

The Micro-pro computer weighs an extra 1.4 Kg. This is substantially


heavier, but the Micro-pro is a larger machine with each dimension larger
than the Hewlett Packard computer. Micro-pro measures 53W x 37D x 3H
mm larger.

There is a notable gap between screen sizes. Micro-pro has a 15.1 inch
screen compared with Hewlett Packards 13.3 inch screen. When using over
long periods a larger screen is preferred to avoid eye strain.

The resolution on both machines is set a 1,024 x 768. Pixels can be seen on
the Micro-pro model, while the Omnibook is reasonably easy to read.
(American PC Authority, April 1998, PCs and Notebooks - Reviews, p. 81 -
82)

With 32 Mb of RAM fitted the Omnibook is one of the fastest portable


computers the American PC Authority magazine has ever seen, They also
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found that with 64 Mb RAM the Micro-pro was not exceptionally quick but
for word processing and other office tasks it was quite acceptable.

Both machines come with a standard lithium-ion battery which can support
the computers for up to 2.5 hours. The computers come with power
management tools that will save battery power. A smart battery option is
available on the Micro-pro for $60. (American PC Authority, April 1998, PCs
and Notebooks - Reviews, p. 81)

Micro-pro supplies their clients with a two year part and labour warranty,
while Hewlett Packard supplies a three year parts and labour warranty. It is
assumed that when the machines are purchased a service agreement will
be negotiated with the option to extend the warranty.

After investigating the Hewlett Packard Omnibook 3000CTX 5/233 and the
Micro-pro 8500 Series portable computers, it was found that both models
are suitable for corporate use and would meet All Purpose Training
Company requirements.

It is important to consider the long term benefits to the company when


considering which computer was best suited. Apart from initial purchasing
expenses, warranty, speed, size and memory were some factors which have
been taken into account. Software suitability was also considered.

The computers had to be easily adaptable for new technology such as e-


mail, video conferencing and presentation aids, for future company
requirements.

Both computers are distinct from each other and, although both companies
have the corporate user in mind, Micro-pro appears to be offering an
exceptional package.

1. The Micro-pro 8500 Series portable computer is purchased at a rate of


one computer per training staff member.
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2. The smart battery option is purchased with each computer; this will
assist with heavy workloads and long training programs.
3. Staff must have e-mail access on their computers to enable them to
be in contact with the company.
4. All Purpose Training Company should negotiate price, warranty and
on going service agreements with Micro-pro direct.
5. To reduce company long term expenses:
o The company could investigate the viability of staff leasing the
computers
o A staff option of buying the computers for personal use after
the warranty period expires.
6. Computers should be available to staff after a maximum of 6 weeks.

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Conclusion and Recommendations
Comparing the configurations of both computers we finally found that the
price of Micro-pro 8500 Series computer is $350 less than Hewlett Packard
Omnibook computers. Moreover it supports more powerful RAM which will
ensure us more speed and it can be raised up to 128MB while Hewlett
Packards Omnibook provides only 16 Mb RAM, but as most computer
applications require 32 Mb, this extra memory will cost us $242 more.

Again, Micro-pro has a 15.1 inch screen with resolution on 1,024 x 768
compared with Hewlett Packards 13.3 inch screen. When using over long
periods a larger screen is preferred to avoid eye strain.

Both machine’s lithium-ion battery can support the computers for up to 2.5
hours.

Micro-pro supplies their clients with a two year part and labor warranty,
while Hewlett Packard supplies a three year parts and labor warranty but it
may possible to extend the warranty time by negotiation .

Though Micro-pro 8500 Series computer is substantially heavier and it


provides one year less warranty period , but considering the other factors
we highly recommend it for best client support.

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