HP Media Center Photosmart 7200

The Good Strong feature set at a competitive price; large hard drive; includes Personal Drive expansion bay and LightScribe DVD burner; good documentation.

The Bad Not configurable; some expansion slots difficult to access; monitor and speakers not included.

The Bottom Line The HP Media Center m7260n Photosmart is an attractive, feature-packed midrange PC that can be had for a fair price if you don't mind the lack of customization options prior to purchase.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Support 6.0
6.7 Overall

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Price ... ... $340 Walmart ... ...
Design
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Features
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Performance
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Support
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Review

HP Media Center Photosmart 7200

HP Media Center m7260n Photosmart PC

Does it ever make sense for an educated consumer to buy a preconfigured PC rather than configuring one online to exact specifications? In the case of the midrange HP Media Center m7260n Photosmart PC, the answer is a qualified yes. The $1,169 system includes features that will satisfy families and students (and may even include some things they never imagined they'd need) while costing less than many comparative systems. More-advanced users with specific hardware needs such as high-end graphics or an easy-to-upgrade case will balk at its one-size-fits-all approach, but multitasking mainstream users will put the system's dual-core CPU and multimedia features to good use right out of the box.

The m7260n looks innocuous enough with its low-key silver-and-gray case, but this outward friendliness belies a powerful passel of parts underneath the hood. The m7260n features a dual-core Pentium D 830 processor running at 3.0GHz, along with 1GB of RAM, a hefty 300GB hard drive, and a standard-def TV tuner. (The slightly cheaper m7246n model downgrades the CPU to a Pentium D 820 while the m7248n model goes the AMD route, with an Athlon 64 X2 4200+ dual-core processor. Our recent dual-core CPU prizefight feature showed that AMD dual-core chips outperform their Intel counterparts. We'd sacrifice 50GB of hard drive space and choose the cheaper AMD Athlon X2-based m7248n model.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand HP
  • Type Athlon 64 X2
  • Installed Size 1 GB
  • Edition Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • Capacity 250 GB
See full specs
model HP Pavilion Media Center m7248n - Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2 GHz

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