The HP Pavilion MS214 is a budget all-in-one desktop PC. You know, kind of like the Asus Eee Top ET2002, Lenovo C100, and a whole bunch of other machines I’ve mentioned over the past few months. But while many of those models help keep the price and power consumption low by using netbook-like Intel Atom processors, the HP Pavilion MS214 has a 1.5GHz AMD Athlon X2 dual core CPU instead.
The $600 PC also packs ATI Radeon 3200 graphics, which should provide a better gaming experience than you’ll get from the integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics that come with many netbooks and low cost nettops and all-in-one systems, although I’m not 100% sure how it stacks up against a machine with NVIDIA ION graphics yet.
HP sent me a Pavilion MS214 to review, and it’s a nice looking machine. I really like the sturdy base, and the display is bright and vibrant. But here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- The 18.5 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display could be a lot sharper. I kind of expect higher resolution graphics from a display this size.
- Unlike the Eee Top ET2002, which ships with a wireless mouse and keyboard, the MS214 includes a USB mouse and keyboard which means you go through fewer batteries, but have a more cluttered desktop.
- The AMD Athlon X2 dual core CPU may be more powerful than an Intel Atom 230 or 330 chip, but it’s still not fast enough to handle smooth playback from Hulu and other high quality Flash video sites in fullscreen mode. And while Flash Player 10.1 will eventually support GPU acceleration, as far as I know only NVIDIA graphics will be supported, not ATI. Update: It looks like ATI will be supporting Flash Player 10.1, although it’s not clear if all ATI graphics cards will be supported. thanks SCAxman!
That said, the HP MS214 is attractive; it doesn’t take up a lot of space; and the CPU has a bit more kick to it than those found in many other all-in-one desktops that sell for $600 or less.
The computer has 2GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and a SuperMulti DVD burner with LightScribe. It also has a 6-in-1 memory card reader, 6 USB ports, Ethernet, mic, and headphone jacks.
I’ll be putting the HP Pavilion MS214 through the paces over the next few days, but in the meantime you can take a closer look at the Windows 7 Performance index after the break, along with an unboxing video. Oh yeah, did I mention this puppy is running Windows 7? So the unit I’m reviewing is the version that will ship beginning on October 22nd.