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HolidayBuyer's Guide

HP Pavilion 23 review:

HP Pavilion 23

The HP is so inexpensive that it's difficult to find suitable comparison systems to use in our performance charts. The simple fact is that AMD's CPU architecture has fallen behind Intel's in recent years in terms of raw application performance. The advantage is that AMD-based PCs tend to be cheaper. General browsing, document navigation, passive media consumption, and even some light-duty image and video editing and light-duty 3D gaming are all within the capabilities of this PC, but if performance is at all a concern, you will want to look for a different, faster computer.

As mentioned earlier, the lack of an HDMI port also hurts the Pavilion 23's overall appeal. It offers a respectable assortment of other connectivity options, though. You get four USB 2.0 ports on the back, along with an Ethernet jack and an audio output. On the left edge, there's an SD Card reader, and headphone and microphone jacks, and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. The latter feels unexpected, although it's also perhaps a signal that USB 3.0 has hit the mainstream.

Otherwise the Pavilion 23 offers few surprises. There is a Webcam built into the bezel, as with pretty much every all-in-one desktop, but the system itself has no hardware volume or display control buttons. For volume controls at least, you'll need to look to the included wired keyboard, where you'll also find some basic media control keys mapped onto the function row as an alternate function.

HP includes a basic one-year parts-and-labor warranty with the Pavilion 23. You also get 24-7 toll-free phone support, and a variety of support resources are available on HP's Web site, as well as on the system itself.

The HP Pavilion 23 has one primary strength -- it offers a 23-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution all-in-one PC for under $699. Its primary feature set is unremarkable, and you will get as much performance from this system as you have a right to expect given its price. I don't expect that you will start to see remarkable deals trickle down to this price point, but I do expect to see more budget, big-screen all-in-ones, and it will be interesting to see how they can differentiate themselves. For now, HP is the lead contender in the price segment, and as long as you're willing to endure the accompanying slow performance, this PC will serve you well as a day-to-day computer.

All performance testing conducted by Joseph Kaminski. Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:
Acer Aspire Z5571 (fall 2011)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 3.3GHz Intel Core i3-2120; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB Intel HD Graphics 1000 embedded graphics chip; 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive

Dell Inspiron One 2320 (fall 2011)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.8GHz Intel Core i5-2400S; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB Nvidia GeForce 525M graphics card; 2TB 7,200rpm hard drive

HP Pavilion 23-1000z (summer 2012)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 3.6GHz AMD A-6 5400K; 4GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 512MB AMD Radeon HD 7540D embedded graphics chip; 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive

HP Omni 220-1080qd (fall 2011)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-2600S; 6GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6450A graphics card; 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive

Toshiba DX735-D3201 (fall 2011)
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430M; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB Embedded Intel HD Graphics 3000; 1TB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive

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