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CNET First Look
HP Pavilion Slimline s5660fFrom fast performance, to a Blu-ray drive, to plentiful other features, HP's Pavilion Slimline includes almost everything we'd ask for in our ideal living room slim tower PC. It will seem expensive if you're more inclined to a Nettop or a set-top box,...
-Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the Editor's Choice-winning HP Pavilion Slimline s5660f. So, this is a slim tower PC that's pretty much fully-loaded with digital media extras. This system comes with a Blu-ray drive, a dedicated graphics card, as well as a TV tuner. It also has an HDMI video output and wireless networking. That makes it very well suited to your living room and you can connect it directly to your TV with minimum cable fuss, and pretty much play any content that you want from the system. Its dedicated graphics card is a budget card but it's still fast enough to play most 3D games. It also has a fast AMD Quad-Core CPU. So, it's actually a pretty good computer as well. So with all these features, this system doesn't come cheap. It's $750 and it's a fixed-configuration. You'll find it at retail and on HP's website. It also might be a little bit bigger than some people have in mind for a PC in the living room. We have this Dell Inspiron Zino for comparison, and it's about twice as high as the Mac Mini which is another system that's like this, that's small, has an HDMI port in the back, and it kinda just as easily goes into your living room. The difference between those is that this system has a relatively full-sized desktop chassis. That means it has a full-power desktop CPU as well as a full dedicated graphics card. The Dell and other systems like it, in small contained little chassis like this, tend to have slower CPUs and other parts. That means that while they're still pretty good for bringing media in the living room, they're definitely not as fast for computing. Because the HP uses standard desktop parts, you should have no trouble using it for editing media files. So, let me give you a little bit of a tour with the HP here. You can see there's a Blu-ray drive behind this front panel. There's a couple of USB ports down here as well as an SD card reader. Pretty clean on the front though, so it's more or less suited for putting in your living room. In the back of system, you'll see more of its connectivity options. You have a few more USB ports as well as 7.1 analog audio. You see the TV tuner down here as well as the DVI output and the HDMI output for connecting it directly to your TV. You've got an Ethernet cable here as well as a digital audio output up here. Now, there's no FireWire or eSATA or some more advanced data ports like we've seen on some systems, but overall, the system is pretty much everything we'd look for in a living room PC. Now, inside this HP, you'll see it's pretty fully loaded. It has the graphics card here, the TV tuner here, and underneath here, you've got the 2.9 gigahertz AMD Quad-Core CPU. There's a Blu-ray drive. There's a hard drive in there as well as the memory, but it's kinda hard to get to given the tight quarters. Now, there are other PCs out there that fit in the same sort of slim tower product family. Gateway has one----that SX Series----that we've actually liked quite a bit over the years. The difference though is this HP is a little bit higher than that Gateway. And usually, when we reviewed the Gateway, we said, "Yeah, this is a great system but you'll probably wanna add X, Y, and Z parts." HP has pretty much done all that work for you here. So this HP is a little bit more expensive. There's really nothing we can think to add here. So even though you'll have to pay a little bit more for this HP, then say, a nettop or some of the other slim towers out there, it really is one of the most complete living room PCs we've seen for its price. That's why it's an Editor's Choice-winning system. So, I'm Rich Brown, and this is the HP Pavilion Slimline s5660f.