Not everybody has the need, or the space, for a high-octane desktop tower. If your workspace is tight, and your budget even tighter, consider the HP Pavilion 20-b010z ($449.99 direct). This all-in-one desktop PC offers middling performance and a mediocre feature set but that's why it's so inexpensive. Its AMD APU is a low-end processor and it only comes with 2GB of RAM, but it's more than adequate for basic home productivity tasks such as email, web surfing, and word processing.
Design and Features
The Pavilion 20 is nearly identical in design to its predecessor, the HP Omni 120-1024. The 20-inch screen is framed by thick glossy black bezels and has a black speaker grill and silver support bar at the bottom. The 14-pound cabinet measures 2.25 inches thick and is supported around back by a hinged picture frame stand that can be adjusted for the optimal tilt angle. The perimeter of the Pavilion 20 is adorned with a band of silver trim and the center of the speaker grill holds a small round HP logo. A larger logo is etched in to the black plastic of at the rear of the cabinet.
On the left side of the system are two USB 3.0 ports, a feature missing from the HP Omni 120 and Lenovo C325, a 6-in-1 card reader, and a pair of audio ports (headphone and microphone). On the right is a DVD burner (sorry, no Blu-ray at this price point) and at the rear are four USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, and an audio output. Regrettably, you don't get an HDMI port on this model; in fact, there no video outputs whatsoever.
The 20-inch display has a resolution of 1,600-by-900 and a non-reflective matte coating. It lacks touchscreen capabilities and it can't do true HD (1080p) but it does a fine job of displaying 720p content. Despite the matte coating, colors have good deal of pop and viewing angles are better than what you get with most TN (twisted nematic) panels. Granted, the screen will darken when you view it from the top or bottom but color shifting is minimal when viewed from a side angle. The speakers are loud enough but predictably lack bass.
The Pavilion 20 comes with a keyboard and a mouse, both of which are wired USB devices, and an HP TruVision HD webcam and microphone array, which is embedded in the screen's upper bezel. It also offers wireless networking via 802.11 n and Bluetooth radios. The 500GB hard drive is preloaded with Windows 8 and a variety of useful apps including Cyberlink's PowerDVD, PowerDirector, and PhotoDirector, HP's MyRoom video chat software, and Skype. You also get a few trial programs such as Norton Internet Security and Microsoft Office, and apps from ebay, Netflix, and iHeartRadio. HP covers the Pavilion 20 with a one year warranty.
The Pavilion 20 is powered by a 1.4GHz AMD E1-1200 APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), a low-power, dual-core processor, and a meager 2GB of system memory. As expected, this combo yielded less than stellar results on our benchmark tests.
Its PCMark 7 score of 1,151 was slightly better than the Lenovo C325 (1,014) and the HP Omni 120 (1,084), but it couldn't top the HP TouchSmart 320-1030 (1,825). The affordable Acer Veriton VZ2650G-UG645X beat all four with a score of 2,232. Not surprisingly, the Pavilion 20 couldn't keep pace with the more powerful (and more expensive) quad-core systems such as the Toshiba LX835-D3230 (4,249).
On our multimedia tests, the Pavilion 20 came up short. Its Handbrake encoding time of 8:23 trailed the Lenovo C325 (7:54) and HP Omni 120 (6:30) and was significantly slower than the HP TouchSmart 320 (2:41) and Toshiba LX835 (1:17). Results were similar on our Cinebench R11.5 test; the Pavilion 20's score of 0.42 was the lowest of the bunch. Our Editors' Choice, the HP TouchSmart 320-1030, turned in a score of 1.51 while the quad-core Toshiba LX835-D3230 produced a score of 6.27.
The integrated AMD Radeon HD 7310 graphics solution is adequate for basic video tasks like playing You Tube clips and games with light graphic content but it's not cut out for running today's graphics laden games. It managed just 5.8 fps (frames per second) on our Aliens Vs. Predator gaming test, and that was with medium quality settings. Likewise it churned out a paltry 4.6 fps on our Heaven benchmark at medium settings and a miserable 1.8 fps with setting cranked up to maximum quality.
The HP Pavilion 20-b010z offers an affordable way to bring basic computing power to workspaces that can't accommodate a full-blown desktop system, such as dorm rooms, kitchens, and small living room areas. It's not a powerhouse by any stretch, and it's not loaded with features either, but it has enough chops to handle your day-today workload. If touch-screen is a must, our Editors' Choice, the HP TouchSmart 320-1030, has it, and it's got a bit more horsepower than the Pavilion 20, too.
BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS:
Compare the HP Pavilion 20-b010z with several other desktops side by side.
More desktop reviews:
??? HP Pavilion 20-b010z
??? HP Envy Phoenix h9-1320t
??? Dell Inspiron One 23
??? Acer Veriton VZ2650G-UG645X
??? Lenovo ThinkStation D30