HP Pavilion p6-2022uk Desktop PC Bundle review
3.3GHz Intel Core i3-2120, 4GB RAM, 21.5in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
HP’s Pavilion p6-2022uk is usually sold as a stand-alone base unit, but PC World has bundled it with an LED-backlit Samsung monitor. Big brand PCs rarely compete with smaller vendors for value, but the Pavilion matches or exceeds the specifications of some custom-built PCs. Its Intel Core i3-2120 processor is par for the course: an overall score of 64 means it’s capable of most running Windows applications smoothly, and there's also 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard disk.
There's no dedicated graphics card and the Core i3-2120's integrated Intel HD Graphics chip isn't up to playing games, as shown by its score of under 13fps in our DiRT 3 benchmark. You might be able to play older games but you won’t be able to play Call of Duty: Modern Warefare 3, for example.
As well as two free SATA headers, there are three free PCI-E x1 slots and one free PCI-E x16 slot. If you tidy the wiring away, there's enough room to fit a large dedicated graphics card. The problem is the 300W power supply, which won't be able to power some cards and doesn't have any free Molex or PCI-E power plugs. Another problem is the lack of drive bays - despite having two free SATA headers, there are no extra drive bays.
External expansion is limited as well. There are only six USB ports in total, and none of these supports the faster USB3 standard. Audio is limited to three 3.5mm outputs and, although there are VGA and DVI outputs, the Samsung monitor has only a VGA input.
Strangely it doesn't have any controls beyond a power button. However, by holding this down you can get the monitor to auto-adjust, so you'll get a stable picture on the VGA-only monitor. It can also be adjusted using Samsung's MagicTune software via the PC.
That's a shame, as the Samsung S22A100N is a good-looking monitor, with a thin profile and a textured rear casing, and its image quality was otherwise good, with strong colours. The bright backlight was even, but there was a bit of backlight bleed at the edges that spoiled the image. Vertical viewing angles were also fussy, with no discernible sweet spot where contrast was uniformly even. The HP keyboard and mouse are decent budget models.
The Pavilion p6-2022uk bundle isn't designed with upgrades or playing games in mind; but it is a great-looking and compact PC with a large hard disk and reasonable Windows performance. However, the Palicomp Hyper Flame is better value if size isn’t an issue as it gives you a 1TB hard disk, a Blu-ray drive and a much better monitor. Plus, it has more room for expansion too.