On our multimedia tests, the HP Pavilion s7320n Slimline turned in decidedly average scores. Don't read too much into the fact that its times on CNET Labs' Photoshop and Sorenson Squeeze benchmarks were faster than those of the Mac Mini. Because universal binary apps--nonnative Mac software built for the Intel platform--have yet to be released for Photoshop and Sorenson Squeeze, the Mac Mini (when running Mac OS X) must rely on the Rosetta translation utility, which adversely affects performance.
The HP Pavilion s7320n Slimline ships with an Internet keyboard, which features Web buttons and media controls as well as dual eject buttons, even though the computer has only one optical drive. The eject command is a nice thing to have at your fingertips, although in this case the operation takes a while. We pressed the button several times in frustration, causing the commands to back up and the drive to open and close until all the commands were executed--annoying. Equally annoying is the bundled PS/2 roller-ball mouse; we expect an optical mouse with even the cheapest PCs these days. The PS/2 peripherals allow you to keep all five USB 2.0 ports free (four back, one front). There's also one six-pin FireWire port on the back panel along with integrated 5.1 audio ports. A headphone jack sits on the front panel.
At this price, HP could have decided in good faith not to bundle software or documentation; instead, it gives you Microsoft Works 8, Quicken 2006, and Microsoft Money 2006, as well as a suite of multimedia apps, including Muvee AutoProducer for basic video editing and DVD burning. We could do without the slew of annoying preloaded trial offers from AOL, EarthLink, and the like, however. HP also preloads electronic getting-started and PC-basics guides on the hard drive and includes some minimal printed documentation. Do note that although the s7320n uses the Media Center OS, it does not feature a TV tuner. Nor does it include the Media Center remote control.
HP backs the system with a standard one-year warranty, which you can upgrade to a two- or three-year plan. We recommend taking advantage of HP's Accidental Damage protection, which you can add to an extended warranty for only $50 more, no matter the warranty's length. You get toll-free phone support for the life of the warranty, but you can use HP's Total Care Web services even after the warranty expires. These services include e-mail support, online chat with a service representative, and a thorough help and support center.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|BAPCo's SysMark 2004 rating||SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating||SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating|
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Sorenson Squeeze 4.0 video-encoding test (in seconds)||Adobe Photoshop CS test (in seconds)||Apple iTunes 188.8.131.52 MP3-encoding test (in seconds)|
Apple Mac Mini Core Duo
Macintosh OS 10.4.5; 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; integrated Intel 915G graphics chip using 64MB shared memory; Seagate ST98823AS 80GB Serial ATA 7,200rpm
Dell Dimension E310
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 521; Intel 915G chipset; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; integrated Intel 915G graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; two WDC WD1600JS-75MHB0 160GB Serial ATA 7,200rpm; integrated Intel 82801FR Serial ATA RAID Controller (RAID 0)
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 2.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 3400+; Nvidia C51G (GeForce 6100) chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; integrated Nvidia GeForce 6100 graphics chip using 256MB shared memory; Seagate ST3200826A 200GB 7,200rpm IDE
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.93GHz Intel Celeron D 341; Intel 915G chipset; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; integrated Intel 915G graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; Western Digital WD800BD-22JMA0 80GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA
HP Pavilion s7320n Slimline PC
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 1.6GHz Intel Celeron M 380; Intel 915G chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; integrated Intel 915G graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; Seagate ST3200826AS 200GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA
HP Compaq Presario SR1620NX
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.0GHz AMD Sempron 3400+; ATI Radeon RS480 chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics chip using 256MB shared memory; Seagate ST3160021A 160GB 7,200rpm EIDE
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 2.8GHz Intel Pentium D 820; Intel 945G chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB ATI X300 (PCIe); Seagate 160GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA