We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Budget PCs Reviews
15,669 Reviews

HP Pavilion MS214 review

£518 inc VAT

Manufacturer: HP

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The HP Pavilion MS214 is an entry-level all-in-one desktop PC launched by HP late last year. It comes with a 19-inch form factor, has a good screen, well built, and offers very good value for money.

The HP Pavilion MS214 is an entry-level all-in-one desktop PC launched by HP late last year. It comes with a 19-inch form factor, has a good screen, well built, and offers very good value for money.

The HP Pavilion MS214 is very well built. Its screen (encased in black plastic) is ably supported by a nice and sturdy Apple iMac-like stand, which lets the screen tilt back and forth, and it's definitely one of the best we've seen.

The back panel is compartmentalized and allows for easy access to the system RAM and hard drive, should you feel the need, and HP does a good job of spelling it out in its help documents. There are connectivity ports on the left edge and back panel of the screen, while a DVD writer is placed on the right edge.

The HP Pavilion MS214's 18.5-inch widescreen display is non-glossy in nature. It sports a 16:9 aspect ratio and a maximum screen resolution of 1366x768, well-equipped for watching high-definition content. The screen is nice and bright, and evenly lit, offering very good viewing angles, contrast levels and colour saturation. Watching movies and reading text went very well on the Pavilion MS214's screen. However, unlike the MSI Wind Top AE1900 and Asus Eee Top ET1602, the HP Pavilion MS214's screen doesn't support a gimmicky touch input feature.

Similar to the Benq nScreen i91, and unlike most entry-level all-in-one PCs that are based on Intel's Atom processor, the HP Pavilion MS214 is based on an AMD processor. It has a 1.5-GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core chip, which is considerably faster than Intel's rival Atom processor. Like the Lenovo IdeaCentre C300, the Pavilion MS214 also comes with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, where we've seen most budget all-in-one PCs standardize on a measly 1GB RAM and a 160GB hard drive.

The HP Pavilion MS214 doesn't come with faster connectivity standards like Gigabit Ethernet or Wi-Fi 802.11n, instead having to make do with slower 100Mbit LAN and 802.11 b/g standards. However, it does come with an ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics - not for gaming but good enough to handle HD content. All the other standard input-output ports are well looked after - USB, card reader, audio jacks, etc.; but it doesn't come with an HDMI, eSATA or FireWire port. We can't really fault the Pavilion MS214 for that as it's a budget all-in-one desktop PC, and we haven't seen these features in any other competing contender.

The HP Pavilion MS214 also comes with Windows 7 Home Basic, not seen on any other all-in-one PC yet. The PC also comes with a slew of preinstalled HP software, and it isn't just mindless bloatware - it's actually useful. For example, the software dashboard (on the desktop) is great for inexperienced users to get a basic idea on what's happening in their PC in terms of storage, security features, and other important analysis. For viewing movies and photos there are a number of MediaSmart programs. Spend time exploring these apps and you're bound to find them useful.

In terms of performance, the HP Pavilion MS214 is one of the fastest budget all-in-one PCs we've reviewed thus far. It stacked up a WorldBench score of over 50, posting healthy numbers in PC Mark 05 and 3D Mark 06 tests. It's very similar to the IdeaCentre C300, in fact. If anything, the Pavilion MS214's graphics slacks in front of the IdeaCentre C300's superior ATI Radeon HD 4530 graphics. But it still plays 720p HD videos without a hitch. You can multitask with ease. The bundled wired keyboard and mouse with the Pavilion MS214 are as good as we've seen in entry level PCs, no complaints here. The onboard audio is also pretty good, whether you're watching movies or listening to music. All in all, the Pavilion MS214 is a well-balanced desktop PC.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

PCWorld.in

HP Pavilion MS214 Expert Verdict »

AMD Athlon X2 3250e 1.5GHz. 1MB L2 cache
AMD M780G chipset
2GB DDR2 SDRAM
6-in-1 card reader, Memory Stick PRO
320GB SATA 7,200rpm hard drive
DL DVD-RAM/±R/±RW Lightscribe drive
18.5in Active Matrix TFT Color LCD
256MB Radeon HD 3200 graphics controller
ethernet, IEEE 802.11b/g
6x USB 2.0
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The HP Pavilion MS214 offers Windows 7, host of useful software, great screen quality, and good overall performance. If you're looking for a nice balance between budget and speed, the HP Pavilion MS214 is the all-in-one PC for you.

  • HP Pavilion dm1 review

    HP Pavilion dm1

    The HP Pavilion dm1 is a stylish thin and light, 11.6in ultraportable laptop with a slightly larger form factor than most regular 10in netbooks.

  • Asus Eee Top ET2002 review

    Asus Eee Top ET2002

    Asus helped kick off the whole all-in-one PC resurgence with its 15.6in Eee Top ET1602; the Asus Eee Top ET2002 is the first nVidia ION graphics version.

  • Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 review

    Lenovo IdeaCentre A300

    HP's All-in-One 200 is a strong competitor in the similar price bracket, but the Lenovo IdeaCentre A300 is both capable and attractive. If you don't need a workhorse, and you want a stylish, wireless machine to fit into a tight space, add Lenovo's A300 to your short list.

  • Lenovo IdeaCentre B520 review

    Lenovo IdeaCentre B520

    The Lenovo IdeaCentre B520 is an all-in-one PC with touchscreen.

  • Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 review

    Lenovo IdeaCentre A600

    The Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 is Lenovo's premium all-in-one desktop PC, and some of its highlights include a 21.5in full-HD monitor, multifunctional remote controller, and a nifty wireless keyboard with touchpad.


IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals: Get bargains on smartphones, tablets, laptops and more

IDG UK Sites

What the Internet of Things will look like in 2015: homes will get smarter, people might get fitter

IDG UK Sites

Artist creates a geometric rave in a chapel for The House of St Barnabus

IDG UK Sites

Mac mini (Late 2014) 1.4 GHz review: Mac mini is sort of upgradable, but is it any good as it is?