Compaq Presario SR1925AN_01
Not only a budget PC, but a media centre PC, the Compaq Presario (SR1925AN_01) has a few nice attributes that will suit a range of uses and also has plenty of connectivity.
- Media card reader, 160GB hard drive, good connectivity, free upgrades before June 07
- Multi-tasking test result, encoding test results
The Compaq Presario SR1925AN_01 is a good deal for anyone who wants a PC that will provide a good all-round user experience with a some functionality for everyone in the family.
Price$ 1,399.00 (AUD)
In line with the media centre title, there are a few features that give this machine its media centre qualities, the most obvious being Windows Media Center Edition (MCE). Windows MCE comes with a selection of easy to use media functions including a picture and movie viewer as well as functionality for live television should you choose to install a TV tuner. The Presario also has a 9-in-1 media card reader, which allows quick access to digital photos and movies. The digital coaxial audio output allows high quality audio to your stereo and finally, the 160GB hard drive is adequate storage for the casual media centre user and a good size for this price point. The Presario is also one of the quieter PCs we've reviewed, making it ideal for watching movies.
This system immediately stands out due to a couple of free upgrades available if purchased before June 2007. These include a free upgrade from a 17in LCD monitor to a 19in, as well as a free HP Photosmart printer. It also qualifies for a free upgrade to Windows Vista Home Premium.
With a digital coaxial port for 7.1 audio channels as well as analogue ports, six USB 2.0 ports, a pair of FireWire ports, 10/100 Ethernet and a 56k modem, the Presario packs more connectivity than any other PCs we've looked at in this price range - and that's before you count the 9-in-1 media card reader.
The Presario is ready to go as soon as you buy it; it comes with a keyboard and mouse combination, as well as the 19in LCD screen. An AMD Athlon 64 3500+ processor is combined with 512MB of DDR2 533MHz RAM, which pushed this system to an acceptable 82 in our World Bench 5 benchmark. Individual test results from this benchmark suggest that it will run the most common programs with relative ease, such as Microsoft Office, but the results also suggest that once you begin any heavy multi-tasking the system is likely to experience some slow down. We did an encoding test using CDEX by encoding 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s, which the Presario completed in one minute and 59 seconds. This is not particularly outstanding, especially for a computer with media centre aspirations. It reflects the mid-range CPU's performance, but should be fine for the casual encoder.
The fairly compact case houses a mini-ATX motherboard, which has one free PCI Express slot and two PCI slots free and a modem installed in the third PCI slot, as well as a couple of IDE ports for IDE drives. Three of four SATA ports are still available for additional drives, while three of the four internal 3.5in drive bays and one of two 5.25in optical drives bays are free. There's also one external 3.5in drive bay for a floppy drive or other device.
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