Unsurprisingly our regular complaint of pointless software being loaded onto shop bought PCs once again rears its ugly head. While some of it is useful – you get Adobe Reader, Norton Internet Security (with 60 days of updates) and Roxio Media Creator Basic – some of it is frivolous to the point of bewilderment. Who on earth needs little icons in the system tray to tell you when the Num/Caps/Scroll lock buttons are depressed – that’s what the lights on the keyboard are for!
The PC ships with a PS2 keyboard and mouse which are fine for general use, though I would prefer to see them connected by USB. The keyboard has a number of shortcut keys around its edge that enable you to control system volume, send the PC into sleep mode, open your Internet browser, control media player, etc. Its keys are semi-low-profile (a bit like a notebook) so they can take a bit of getting used to but a few hours’ practice soon had me going at full pace.
The mouse uses an optical sensor which is good to see on a budget system as some systems still come with infernal ball mice. It only has the standard three buttons and a scroll wheel but it is enough for most people – I personally can’t live without forward and back buttons on a mouse. It is quite comfortable in the hand but isn’t the smoothest moving it across surfaces.
Standard warranty is one year return to base which covers parts and labour, though John Lewis is currently offering an extra year’s cover and delivery for free.
HP is actually producing a range of products that are styled in the same way as the S3000 and we currently have one of its monitors in our office awaiting review. It’s the HP w2207 22in widescreen LCD and it makes for the perfect match to the system I’m looking at today. The review will be done very soon but for the time being I’ll leave you with this picture.
The HP Pavilion S3000 is a stylish and fast computer that is just right for the small office or living room. There are cheaper deals to be had from the likes of Dell, Evesham, Mesh, and indeed HP but you will get a large boring case that’s mostly filled with air. If you’re into gaming this may be what you want, as you can add in a better graphics card at a later date, but otherwise the S3000 gives you all you need.
When you consider just the case for a small form factor PC like a Shuttle can cost up to £300 the value of a small powerful machine like this becomes very apparent.