HP Pavilion A750y
At a Glance
The HP Pavilion A750y's highlights start with HP's impressive case design. The distinctive purple-blue, midsize tower holds DVD+RW and CD-RW drives behind labeled doors. A sliding panel below the drives hides a variety of media-card readers, two USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, and audio jacks. Tool-less access to the case exposes a roomy interior. As with the case cover, every drive can be removed without using tools. (Changing or adding PCI cards will require a screwdriver, however.) HP paid attention to detail by color-coding and labeling almost everything.
The $1410 Pavilion's integrated graphics and the 17-inch HP Vf17 LCD monitor produced legible and clear text and graphics. Small fonts appeared crisp at high resolutions, and the colors in our test images looked rich but not spectacular. The Altec Lansing VS2121 2.1-channel speakers produced basic sound, but they lacked depth when we played our test DVD. The Pavilion comes with a complete and comprehensive set of documentation; it's well organized and informative. We just wish it came in a storage folder.
With a 2.8-GHz Pentium 4 520 processor, 512MB of DDR400 SDRAM, and two 80GB drives striped for a total of 160GB of disk space, this Pavilion turned in the second-slowest WorldBench 5 score, 80, in our current lineup. (It is, however, within the expected range for a system with a low-end processor.) This system is a poor choice if you are interested in action gaming. The integrated Intel 845GV graphics, which uses main memory for graphics processing, produced an average frame rate of just 47 frames per second in our high-end gaming tests.
HP's Pavilion A750y will appeal to those with basic home-office needs who appreciate careful construction and want a national brand.
HP Pavilion A750y
WorldBench 5 score of 80, 2.8-GHz Pentium 4 520 CPU, 512MB of DDR400 SDRAM, Windows XP Professional, dual 80GB hard drives (RAID), dual-layer 8X DVD+RW drive, 48X CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive, integrated Intel 845GV graphics, 17-inch HP Pavilion Vf17 monitor, Altec Lansing VS2121 2.1-channel speakers, V.92 modem, midsize tower case; Microsoft Works. Three-year parts, one-year labor warranty; lifetime 24-hour daily toll-free support.