So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
HP Pavilion All-In-One MS212a desktop PC
A reasonably priced all-in-one desktop PC
- Slim and attractive, MediaSmart software is handy, can encode media relatively quickly
- Lacks Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi, underpowered integrated graphics, bloatware
HP's entry-level all-in-one offering is not very powerful and doesn't offer many extra features. If you can work your way through the pre-installed bloatware, this desktop PC will suffice for Web browsing and watching videos.
Price$ 1,199.00 (AUD)
HP's Pavilion MS212a is a slim, all-in-one desktop PC. It's reasonably priced, but intrusive software and low-power components mean it can't be used for anything more than Web browsing, watching standard-definition media and running basic office applications.
The HP Pavilion All-In-One MS212a desktop PC has a minimalist, glossy black design that should suit modern-looking living rooms. It has an 18.5in BrightView LCD screen. This is a tad small for an all-in-one PC — the Apple iMac starts at 21.5in, for example — but it will still be able to display 720p content. The display is highly reflective, which can be annoying in well-lit environments.
This all-in-one PC provides six USB 2.0 ports in total, with four on the back panel and two at the side. There's also a multi-card reader supporting MemoryStick, SD, MMC, CF and xD cards, as well as a 10/100 Ethernet port and headphone/microphone jacks. Integrated 802.11b/g Wi-Fi is sufficient for small homes, but the lack of the faster and farther-reaching 802.11n standard means the desktop PC can't be situated too far from a wireless router.
The HP Pavilion MS212a provides stereo sound through speakers underneath the display. The sound quality isn't particularly impressive and the speakers won't fill a large room even at maximum volume. Adjusting the volume using the media keys on the keyboard annoyingly exits any full-screen video playback.
Given that many current and upcoming all-in-one PCs feature touch screens, we almost expected the Pavilion MS212a to have the same ability. However, its low retail price means a keyboard and mouse are the only input methods. These are wired rather than wireless, detracting from the PC's overall look. It doesn't have Bluetooth either, so any wireless keyboards or mice you buy will require their own wireless dongle.
Like most all-in-one PCs, the HP Pavilion MS212a uses notebook components, so it is a little underpowered compared to regular desktop PCs. HP offers a single hardware configuration; the Pavilion MS212a is equipped with a 1.5GHz, dual-core AMD Athlon X2 3250e processor as well as 2GB of DDR2 memory, ATI Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics and a 7200rpm, 320GB hard drive. HP reserves 12GB of the hard drive for a second partition for system recovery — so you're effectively left with 286GB of usable space.
|Model||Price||WorldBench 6||iTunes Encoding
|HP Pavilion All-In-One MS212a||$1199||58||3m 5s||2m 27s|
|ASUS Eee Top ET2002||$999||36||6m 40s||3m 42s|
|Medion akoya P4010||$1299||87||1m 21s||1m 23s|
|Dell Studio One 19||$1888||100||57s||1m|
The Pavilion All-In-One MS212a isn't a high-powered machine. Our benchmarks show it is quite slow when multitasking and performing heavy duty tasks, though the AMD processor is capable of rendering 3D images and encoding media at a decent pace. The integrated graphics are the weakest component, with Futuremark's 3DMark06 benchmark failing to test properly.
HP's MediaSmart Software Suite is handy for watching and editing media.
HP is known for rather intrusive software and, unfortunately, the Pavilion MS212a doesn't buck this trend. Instead of going through the standard Windows set-up process, you are faced with HP's own version which guides you through registration and connecting to the Internet or a local network. While handy, it's painfully slow. Once set up, you'll find Windows 7 Home Premium bloated with a 60-day Norton Internet Security trial as well as HP help software and Cyberlink DVD burning and editing software. HP's MediaSmart Software Suite is useful for watching and editing media, though the HP Advisor, a Mac OS X-like dock, is redundant when you can just use Windows 7's revamped taskbar.
Considering you can spend an extra $100 and get Medion's akoya P4010 all-in-one with better performance and a touch screen, the Pavilion All-In-One MS212a seems a bit of a raw deal. However, if you only need to browse the Web or watch videos, it will suffice.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 ASUS FX503 review: An ROG Notebook By Any Other Name
- 2 HP Envy x360 (Ryzen 5) review: Power over portability
- 3 Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 4 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 5 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
Latest News Articles
- Judge paves the way for British hacker's extradition to US
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- Frostpunk review: A richly conceived and vividly realised city sim
- Netgear Arlo Go review: An expensive but comprehensive home security solution
- Fitbit Versa review: New look, better price, same limits
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?