HP Pavilion All-In-One MS214a desktop PC
An attractive all-in-one desktop PC for the modern living room
- Attractive enclosure, MediaSmart software is handy, can handle some older games
- Lacks Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi, bloatware
A step up from the Pavilion All-In-One MS212a, this beefier HP PC gives you faster media encoding and the ability play older games. Though better value options are available, this desktop PC should be suitable for families.
Price$ 1,399.00 (AUD)
HP's Pavilion All-In-One MS214a desktop PC isn't a powerhouse by any means, but it is a more capable machine than some other PCs we've seen at the same price point. If you want to avoid ugly technology in the living room, this all-in-one is a decent — albeit low-powered — option.
The HP Pavilion All-In-One MS214a desktop PC has a minimalist, glossy black design that should suit modern-looking living rooms. Its 18.5in BrightView LCD screen 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 connectivity 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 All-In-One MS214a 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, and there is no actual mute button.
Given that many current and upcoming all-in-one PCs feature touch screens, we almost expected the Pavilion All-In-One MS214a to be equipped with one. 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 and there's no 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 All-In-One MS214a uses notebook components, so it is a little underpowered compared to regular desktop PCs. HP offers a single hardware configuration; a 1.8GHz, dual-core AMD Athlon X2 6850e processor, 4GB of DDR2 memory and NVIDIA G210 integrated graphics. This is beefier than the slightly cheaper Pavilion All-In-One MS212a, but it still won't be able to handle intensive tasks like playing games or editing video.
The PC includes a 7200rpm, 500GB hard drive. HP reserves 12GB of the hard drive for a second partition for system recovery — so you're effectively left with 454GB of usable space.
|Model||Price||WorldBench 6||3DMark06||iTunes Encoding
|HP Pavilion All-In-One MS214a||$1399||66||3427||2m 23s||2m 3s|
|HP Pavilion All-In-One MS212a||$1199||58||N/A||3m 5s||2m 27s|
|ASUS Eee Top ET2002||$999||36||N/A||6m 40s||3m 42s|
|Medion akoya P4010||$1299||87||1316||1m 21s||1m 23s|
|Dell Studio One 19||$1888||100||1524||57s||1m|
Though the Pavilion All-In-One MS214a's WorldBench score isn't particularly impressive, its quick rendering times and 3DMark06 score show that it is suitable for occasionally encoding media and watching high-definition videos. It can even handle some older games like Half Life 2.
HP's MediaSmart Software Suite is handy for watching and editing media.
HP is known for rather intrusive software and, unfortunately, the Pavilion MS214a 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.
For $1399, we think you can get a better performing PC with a larger monitor for viewing high-definition media or detailed photos. However, the slimline enclosure and glossy black styling should mean this all-in-one PC will fit in well in a modern living room.
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 Oppo A5Xs review: Cutting corners
- 2 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Xiro Drone Xplorer V by Rapoo review
- 5 Bradley Digital Smoker review: Make a great barbecue even better
Latest News Articles
- Settings in iOS 10: Every notable change you need to know
- 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
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
I highly recommend the Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook for everyday business use, it is a benchmark setting notebook of its generation in the lightweight category.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
- Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- Soundbars: Why they’re worth it and which one should you buy
- Buying a laptop this EOFY? Here's a cheat sheet
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies