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HP Pavillion MS228uk review

Kat Orphanides
25 Mar 2010
HP Pavillion MS228uk
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

This all-in-one PC has everything you need for basic computing, but is underpowered for the price.

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Specifications

1.6GHz AMD Athlon II X2 250u, 4.000000 RAM, 18.5in 1,366x768 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

HP's Pavillion MS228uk is a compact and surprisingly unobtrusive all-in-one PC. It's not big enough to replace the TV in your sitting room and it doesn't have extra features like a touchscreen or even a wireless keyboard and mouse. But all this helps make it relatively inexpensive.

The 18.5in screen, although small by current standards, is bright, with rich, accurate colours and a non-reflective finish. Unlike some budget net-top all-in-one PCs, the MS228uk comes compete with a DVD RW drive, so you'll have no trouble installing software or watching movies. There also a memory card reader for uploading your photos. The 500GB hard disk isn't as big as we'd like from a desktop system, but it's in line with a lot of all-in-one PCs.

Unfortunately, once you've scratched the surface, the MS228uk starts to look far less appealing. The 18.5in integrated display might be widescreen, but it's certainly not high definition, with a resolution of just 1,366x768. This means you have no more desktop space than a far smaller laptop. That said, the screen itself is bright with vibrant colours and even backlighting.

The ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics chipset can handle 1080p HD video, but there's no DVI or HDMI output, so you can't hook it up to your TV to make the most of this. The onboard audio is limited to 2.1 stereo - there are two line outputs and a mic input, but these can't be reassigned as 5.1 audio outputs.

Due to the limitations of the 1,366x768 screen resolution, we were unable to run our usual 1,680x1,050 tests of CoD4 and Crysis. Instead, we ran them at the Pavilion's maximum resolution, which produced frame rates of just 3fps in CoD4 and 1.5fps in Crysis. You're unlikely to be able to play anything much more demanding than a game of mah-jong.

The MS228uk is highly energy efficient, with a standby power consumption of 2.7W and idle consumption of 48W. This is thanks to its energy-efficient dual-core AMD Athlon II X2 250u processor. Unfortunately it's one of AMD's least powerful processors too; though there's 4GB of RAM fitted which should be sufficient for any task you'd want to undertake on a PC this powerful. As might be guessed from this modest specification, the MS228uk doesn't perform at all well, even by the standard of cheap all-in-one PCs, with an overall score of just 42 in our benchmark tests.

Although its wired and wireless networking capabilities aren't exactly cutting edge, the 10/100 Ethernet port and 802.11b/g integrated wireless adaptor shouldn't be a problem unless you regularly copy large files over your network.

The MS228uk isn't without its charms. It looks good, is power efficient and has a great screen. Despite a few nice touches, it's poor value for money. Similarly-priced laptop or desktop systems can provide significantly better performance for the money. If you have your heart set on an all-in-one, then you really need to spend more to get something decent. The Asus ET2203T (see Labs, Shopper 266) costs almost £250 more but is a full entertainment PC, with a 22in HD screen and a Blu-ray drive.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD Athlon II X2 250u
Processor external bus200MHz (1.6GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx8
Processor clock speed1.6GHz
Processor socketAM3
Level 1 cache3x 128KB
Level 2 cache2x 512KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typePC2-6400
Maximum memory4GB
MotherboardQuanta CaprionaD
Motherboard chipsetAMD 780G

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Caseall-in-one
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)0 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports0
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Western Digital Caviar (00AAKS-65A7B2)
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity500GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)ATI Radeon HD 3200
Graphics/video portsnone

Sound

SoundRealtec ALC269
Sound outputs2x stereo line out, mic in
Speakersintegrated

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GT20L
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size18.5 in
Screen modelintegrated
Native resolution1,366x768
Screen inputsnone

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardHP KU-0841 wired keyboard
MouseHP M-U0009-HP1 wired optical mouse

Software

Software includedCyberlink DVD Suite 6, Micrisoft Works 9
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition, restore disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£500
Supplierhttp://www.pcworld.co.uk
Detailswww.hp.co.uk

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