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Desktops

HP Pavilion a6400z

HP Pavilion a6400z

The desktop is part of the HP Pavilion a6400z series. You can read a full review of a representative model from this series here.

The design of this system, which we like, will stay the same regardless of the configuration you select. Its attractive, simple matte- and glossy-black chassis will fit into almost any environment. You get some expansion room, including a slot for a dedicated graphics card, but you'll want to look further if you're looking for a desktop to use as an upgrading platform.

Features and performance will vary depending on the options of the model you select. HP offers only lower-end dual-core AMD processor options for the Pavilion a6400z, so your performance will always be limited, but HP also prices this system accordingly. You can opt for different versions of Windows Vista, more RAM, and a larger hard drive, among other features. HP offers no graphics card, Blu-ray drive, or TV tuner for this system, so for those features, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Dell, eMachines, and Acer, among others, all offer competitive systems in this price range. Some of the preconfigured systems from those vendors may offer more features for the money, but HP also offers a relatively wide variety of configuration options with the Pavilion a6400z. Depending on your needs, you might be able to configure an a6400z that's an equally good deal.

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