capsule review

HP Pavilion s7220n Slimline Desktop PC

At a Glance
  • HP Pavilion S7220n

    PCWorld Rating

    Affordable price and a very small footprint make this basic PC attractive for modest computing tasks in small spaces.

HP Pavilion s7220n Slimline Desktop PC
Photograph: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

The HP Pavilion s7220n Slimline Desktop PC packs a basic machine into a case no larger than a major metropolitan phone book. Priced at a very competitive $870 (and as low as $490 after rebate and with a less expensive monitor), the s7220n would make a great second computer in the home, or a primary system for a dorm room or other crowded space where a small footprint is more important than speedy performance.

The system's 1.5-GHz Celeron M 370 CPU and 512MB of RAM should provide ample processing power for common computing tasks such as e-mail, word processing, moderate-size spreadsheets, or modestly demanding games. With a WorldBench 5 score of 69, this Pavilion is sluggish in comparison with many of the high-powered PCs we've tested lately, but its mark matches the scores of other systems using the same CPU. We can't recommend using this PC to play the latest 3D games or to work with large graphics files: Its scores on our graphics tests were abysmal. The integrated Intel 915GV graphics chip set, which shares system RAM instead of using dedicated graphics memory, produced some of the lowest frame-rate scores we've seen.

With its small size, the s7220n has no room for growth. If you want more hard-drive storage, you'll have to replace the 200GB drive that comes with the system. The same goes for RAM: There's only one slot, so you'll lose the 512MB module you already paid for if you trade up. And the unit has no open expansion slots, so bypassing the integrated graphics in favor of a faster graphics card isn't an option.

Despite having compact dimensions, the s7220n offers a good selection of connectors. A single USB port sits on the front panel next to the vertically mounted, 4X dual-layer DVD±RW drive and the five-in-one media card reader. Four more USB ports are located on the back. A coaxial digital audio port, audio jacks to support 7.1-channel surround sound, a FireWire port, an ethernet port, and an RJ-11 modem jack also sit on the back. The system lacks a parallel port to connect an old printer, however, and it also has no DVI port for connecting a digital display.

Our review unit didn't have complete documentation, but HP systems usually ship with well-written manuals and setup guides. Though the silver keyboard and mouse included with our test system felt a bit flimsy and light for our taste, the keyboard's five shortcut buttons and big optical-drive control buttons are easy to reach.

The affordable price and very small footprint make the basic s7220n Slimline Desktop PC an attractive system for modest computing tasks in a cramped workspace.

Kirk Steers

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Affordable price and a very small footprint make this basic PC attractive for modest computing tasks in small spaces.

    Pros

    • Inexpesive and well designed

    Cons

    • Middling CPU performance; slow graphics
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