Large tower CPUs standing tall beside your display is something from the past, and frankly, they have started looking odd for that size. Especially when there are alternatives available now, with comparatively very small size and yet delivering similar performance. Though there are only a few known smaller PC cabinets including the Apple Mac Mini, the Pavilion Mini PC from HP is worthy of a mention.
The HP Pavilion Mini PC is priced at Rs. 26490 in India, and the small and attractive PC is a full replacement to the tower CPUs, while being capable to connect to two monitors at the same time, and allowing full multi-tasking functionality on Windows 8.1.
The Indian variant comes with a Dual-core 1.9GHz 4th gen. Core i3 CPU, and there is 2GB of RAM provided along with a 500GB SATA drive. You know that might not be enough for every kind of user, but this PC isn’t for everyone, and the heavy users who work on editing videos, photoshop usage or graphic designers should consider looking at the normal PCs with possibility of upgrading the hardware anytime. Talking of upgrading, the Pavilion Mini PC is quite limited, but the hardware included is actually decent enough.
Mini PCs, or PCs in that case, aren’t expected to be attractive. But when one is getting something that adds to the beauty of a good workstation, that is just better. The Pavilion Mini PC is 2-inch tall, and is squarish with a cup-like shape, but having curvy corners and having a matte top with grayish shade.
The sides are almost filled, with loads of ports and connectivity slots, including two USB 3.0 ports on the front, two USB 3.0 ports on the rear, Display port, power port, and a 3-in-1 media card reader. The bottom of the PC has vents for the heat to get dissipated, and the company has managed to make even that quite attractive.
After about 11 hours of continuous use, we would find only some heat on both, the top and bottom of the PC. It wasn’t the swiftest in performance all the time, given the RAM limitations not allowing to easily run multiple apps and switch between them. But when some docs were worked on, and a few tabs running always in the browser, along with a couple other softwares always active in the background, it was all good and never broke a sweat.
Allowing connection to two displays at the same time helps a lot, where a secondary display for my personal use was for social network channels to show during the entire day. Given that this has an HDMI port, the content in the PC can be streamed on a large TV (although we haven’t given this a try, it is a feature we are aware of).
Windows 8.1 in the HP Pavilion Mini PC runs smoothly, and has all the features without a compromise, with some apps pre-loaded, including McAfee Central & McAfee LiveSafe (30-day subscription), HP SimplePass, HP Support Assistant, 7-zip, Evernote, HP Connected Photo, Skype, HP ePrint Driver, and Cyberlink Power Media Player.
Weighing way lesser than a kg (630gm), the PC is quite comfortable to carry, or lift from its place if you choose to shift your desk. The unit in the U.S. comes with a keyboard and mouse in the set, but the Indian one is only the PC, so you might need to consider getting them separately.
Overall, the PC is worth a buy if you give importance to aesthetics, and are sticking to PCs for a reason. There are limited alternatives at this price, except the All-in-one PCs, where the back of the display comes with internal hardware, making it non-portable.