Hewlett-Packard Australia Slimline Pavilion s7540

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Hewlett-Packard Australia Slimline Pavilion s7540
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Very compact and quiet, media centre capabilities.

Cons

  • Limited room for upgrades, not outstanding performance.

Bottom Line

While it seems this unit only goes halfway to being a good media centre, at $1999 it’s a tidy little package that will perform above and beyond the normal needs of the average user, even if it doesn’t top the charts.

Would you buy this?

When a notebook doesn't fit your needs and a skyscraper-like tower, humming with fans won't suit either your room or your chosen aesthetic, smaller can definitely be better.

HP's answer to this problem is the Pavilion s7540, a small form factor PC that doubles as a media centre, though it lacks some essential features. It has many of the attributes of a good media centre, starting with Windows Media Center Edition (MCE), a remote control with receiver, and wireless mouse and keyboard. As well as the remote, HP's colour matched keyboard is crammed with media centre controls for easy navigation. There's also a 9-in-1 media card reader so you'll be very unlucky to have a camera that isn't compatible. FireWire should take care of any other camera or camcorder needs. Of course a DVD player is essential and the DVD writer sits snugly behind the front panel until ejected.

For audio, there are a couple of options: the motherboard supplies 7.1 surround sound output, which can be sourced through an array of 3.5mm ports at the rear of the case for analog 7.1; or, you can use the coaxial digital output for digital surround sound. Also for convenience, a single 3.5mm analog output is on the front panel.

There's enough USB connectivity for USB keys or an external hard drive with four USB 2.0 ports on the rear and one on the front panel. Plugging in the receiver for the remote takes up one USB slot, while the peripherals use up one more for their shared hub. If you really need to free up that one extra port, you can always plug your mouse and keyboard into the PS2 ports available. With a 160GB 3.5in hard drive (7200rpm), you've got enough space to store a fair chunk of your movies, photos and MP3s. Ripping the MP3s in the first place may take some time as this unit's Intel Pentium M 1.7GHz and 512MB RAM only managed to rip 14 WAV files to 192Kbps in three minutes and took 16min44sec to encode a full audio CD. We also ran WorldBench 5 and got a score of 71. This is indicative of the CPU and by no means a powerhouse score, but should suffice for casual usage.

The onboard Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 won't win any blue ribbons either, scoring only 3580 in 3DMark 2001 SE and only supplies a VGA output, not DVI. Sadly that is all the Slimline offers in video ports, with no S-Video or composite output. This essentially cancels any hopes of plugging this unit into your TV, though you also get a 19in screen as part of the $1999 package. There is no TV tuner installed for watching and recording TV onto your computer.

The unit runs fairly quiet with one fan cooling two heat sinks over the CPU and chipset. Two DIMM slots mean there's some room for a RAM upgrade, though space is otherwise too tight for any storage improvements with the DVD writer and hard drive taking up most of the front two-thirds of the chassis. Naturally there's a 10/100 LAN and a 56Kbps modem for network connections.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?