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!
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
ESET Internet Security
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
ESET Smart Security Premium
Tivoli PAL BT
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Apart from offering a wide range of services and competitive pricing, ISPs must offer quality technical and customer support, and bill clarity.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Tab S4 review: Freestyle
- 2 Sony WF-SP900 review: One step forward, two steps back
- 3 Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 review: Safety first
- 4 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 5 Lenovo Smart Display review: The bigger, better buy
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
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20, and we only have one question
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?