A quad-core, Blu-ray, media-center desktop for $479.99

This compact system has everything you need for home-theater happiness, including a TV tuner, a remote, a Blu-ray drive, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. If it matters, it's a refurb.

HP's ultra-compact Pavilion is stuffed with home theater-friendly features. HP

If you're in the market for a PC to serve as the hub of your home theater, look no further than the refurbished HP Pavilion Slimline S3750F. It's compact, loaded, and on sale at Buy.com for $479.99 shipped.

As many of you pointed out in last weekend's post about the Nero LiquidTV TiVo PC , Windows Media Center offers some pretty killer DVR features.

I agree 100 percent, which is why there's a PC much like this HP sitting in my family room, connected to my TV.

The S3750F features a quad-core AMD processor, 4GB of RAM, a 640GB hard drive, and a Blu-ray drive/LightScribe DVD burner.

It also comes with an AverMedia ATSC/NTSC TV tuner, which can pull in analog cable or over-the-air digital signals. My advice: add a couple extra tuners so you can record multiple shows from multiple sources simultaneously. (Thursday night is just a bear this year, isn't it?)

HP supplies a remote for couch-friendly operation and 802.11n Wi-Fi for wireless-friendly operation.

My one and only complaint with this system (apart from the 90-day warranty, which I consider minor) is that it comes with Vista Home Premium, not Windows 7. And because it's a refurb, it's not eligible for a free upgrade.

Still, I'm running Vista on my media-center PC, and it's been absolutely fine and dandy. In other words, an upgrade isn't essential, IMHO.

Shop around a bit and you'll see this system selling for at least $800 elsewhere, and as high as $1,000 at many stores (including Amazon). A desktop this loaded for $479 is a real deal.


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET


Mac running slow?

Boost your computer with these five useful tips that will clean up the clutter.