Hewlett-Packard Australia Pavilion M9190a
- Digital TV tuner with video capture, combination Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive, HDMI-out on the graphics card, Media Drive bays, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
- Bulky form-factor for a media centre-style machine
The only downside of this machine is that the form-factor doesn't really match the functionality. Beyond that it's a very functional, easy to setup system, which will aid families with a digital media lifestyle.
Price$ 3,000.00 (AUD)
With a strong focus on family use, entertainment and media management, the HP Pavilion M9190a is a good choice for homes with plenty of digital media. The combination of its Blu-ray/HD-DVD player with LightScribe DVD functionality, 15-in-1 media card reader, TV-tuner and its easy to use Media Drives make this PC very handy to have for the media-oriented household.
As far as the specifications go the Pavilion M9190a is a fairly healthy machine, with a reasonable amount of power under the hood. An Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz CPU is at the helm, with 3GB of DDR2 RAM, ensuring smooth multitasking in Windows Vista Ultimate.
The NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT isn't a powerful gaming card, but it will play most games in lower quality settings. It's perfect for high-definition video, though, which requires dedicated hardware for guaranteed smooth playback. More importantly, the model HP has used includes a native HDMI port. HDMI is fast becoming the standard for home theatre systems and large flat screen TVs, as it transmits a digital video and audio signal through the one cable. If you don't have a home theatre with an HDMI input then you'll still be able to use the 3.5mm analogue ports on the PC to hook up PC speakers.
Storage-wise the HP Pavilion M9190a offers plenty, with a terabyte worth of space across two 500GB hard drives. The Media Drives are essentially USB-based external storage devices. The PC offers two Media Drive bays, one 2.5in and one 3.5in. Both sizes can be bought through HP. They're generally more expensive per megabyte than a third-party external storage solution, but they're convenient. Having this option allows you to backup data, or expand your storage space. The smaller drives are also good for transporting data from one PC to another. This feature is supported by an HP Easy Backup button on the front of the machine, which quickly backs up a pre-defined set of files or folders to the Media Drive when pressed.
The optical drive won't write HD-DVD or Blu-ray discs, but it will write and re-write DVD discs. As well as writing data to DVDs the LightScribe technology allows users to create special labels on special LightScribe discs, which use the drive's laser to burn the labels on. Now that Blu-ray has won the format war it seems a little pointless to have an HD-DVD player too, but HD-DVD movies are still available and are often cheaper than Blu-ray due to the obsolete nature of the technology.
Digital photos are easy to import thanks to the inclusion of a full 15-in-1 media card reader. As well as the high-definition player, HP has installed a digital TV tuner for digital and high-definition TV channels. This allows you to view and record TV through your PC, as well as capture video from other sources, thanks to a set of input ports on the rear. Sharing files on a network is made easier by the fact this PC includes a wireless network adapter, supporting Wi-Fi 802.11b/g.
The one thing that lets all the media functionality down is its form-factor. While the mid-tower is a comfortable form-factor for a PC, it isn't as suited to lounge rooms and media centres. This means it's unlikely you're going to want to situate the PC in the room it can be of the most use, the living room.
With a score of 113 in WorldBench 6 it's far from sluggish, but doesn't compete with high-end gaming and editing machines. In our MP3 encoding test, which tests the CPU's performance by converting 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files, the machine did well. Using iTunes to make the conversion, the Pavilion M9190a took 62sec to complete the task, a good time. In 3DMark 2006 it scored 3741, an average score, but an indicator that it will at least play most games, even if it's necessary to turn the quality settings down.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- How to recover data from a corrupt hard drive or SSD with no backup on Mac: How to delete corrupted files on external Mac drive
- Acer's new Predator gaming systems are powerful beasts that will also run your VR headset
- As Intel shifts its focus to the Cloud, it commands its PC products to fight - or die
- Intel to ship thumb-sized Compute Sticks with Skylake chips in late April
- PC sales plunge further, as Windows 10 and Skylake CPUs fail to inspire upgrades
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTAGILE Training Manager/CoachNSW
- CCUX Designer and UX ResearcherVIC
- FTMs Dynamics Nav Support Analyst- Level 1/2WA
- CCFull Stack Developers - JavaNSW
- FTDatabase Administrator / ArchitectNSW
- CCSenior Frontend DeveloperNSW
- CCOperational Team LeadVIC
- CCTechnical WriterACT
- CCSenior DevOps ConsultantVIC
- FTSystem testersACT
- CCEnterprise Architect (Security)NSW
- CCContract Analyst/Programmer II (Drupal 7.39/PHP) 160427/CAP/vccAsia
- CCSenior Automation Tester - MicroservicesNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystSA
- CCNV1 | System admin with SQL server experience for Defence Application SupportACT
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCLead Administrator - Network and SecurityNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager, SoftwareNSW
- FTDesktop SupportNSW
- FTDigital Sales Manager - Online MediaNSW
- FTITSM Head of Service Desk & SwitchboardACT
- CCSenior Agile Business AnalystVIC
- CCSenior ICT Project OfficerACT
- CCData AnalystVIC