HP Pavilion Slimline s5-1060: Slim Desktop PC Packs a Few Surprises
At a Glance
HP Pavilion Slimline s5-1060
This slim tower boasts solid computing and a few fancy features, such as a Blu-ray disc player, that boost its appeal.
The slender HP Pavilion Slimline s5-1060 desktop PC boasts solid computing and some fancy features, such as a Blu-ray disc player. Though it has a discrete graphics card, you won't be able to use it for gaming, but if you're looking for a basic home and entertainment machine, this machine packs a decent punch for a pretty good price.
Our review model, priced at $830 (as of July 25, 2011), came preloaded with an Intel Core i5-2310 processor running at 2.9GHz, 6GB of installed RAM (upgradable to 16GB), a 1TB hard drive, an AMD Radeon HD 6450 graphics card, Wi-Fi 802.11n connectivity, a Blu-ray disc player, and a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium.
In PCWorld's WorldBench 6 benchmark tests, the Slimline s5-1060 racked up a score of 145, putting it in the middle of our top 10 list of mainstream desktop PCs. On that list, our fifth-ranked PC, the Dell Studio XPS 7100, earned a mark of 120 on WorldBench 6, while our fourth-ranked PC, the Micro Express MicroFlex 25B, roared to a score of 188.
In our Unreal Tournament 3 graphics tests, the Slimline s5-1060 managed an acceptable--but not stellar--frame rate of 47.4 frames per second (at high quality settings and 1024-by-768-pixel resolution). The system plays back HD video and Blu-ray discs without a hitch.
The Slimline s5-1060's chassis is just 6.2 inches wide by 15.5 inches long by 12.3 inches high, and is composed of matte black aluminum, with a slightly convex, shiny black plastic face. On the front of the machine are two USB ports, a headphone jack, and a multiformat card reader.
The rest of the system's ports are located on its back: four more USB ports (for a total of six), gigabit ethernet, optical audio-out, S-Video-in, a TV tuner, and support for 7.1 surround sound. You also get a DVI port and an HDMI port on the graphics card, and the system can support a total of two monitors.
The Slimline s5-1060's compact size leaves somewhat limits internal expansion, but you can do a little tinkering once you get inside the system (a single flat-head/star-shaped screw secures the side panel; however, even with the screw removed, the panel is tough to yank off). The interior is somewhat messy, and you'll have to remove a large fan to get at some of the slots. Still, HP provides two open PCIe x1 slots and two open RAM slots for your upgrading pleasure.
The Slimline comes with a mouse and a keyboard, both of which are USB-wired. The comfortable, quiet keyboard has flat keys. Though it's basic, it does have dedicated volume-control buttons (up, down, and mute). The three-button optical mouse is lightweight, but I found it slightly too large for my (admittedly small) hands.
If you're looking for a svelte tower that performs well, the HP Pavilion Slimline s5-1060 isn't a bad bet--as long as you're not planning on doing anything fancy. But be forewarned: There's no Bluetooth connectivity, USB 3.0, FireWire, or e-SATA. On the positive side, its Blu-ray disc player, Wi-Fi, and TV tuner are all useful extra features.