Our DVD movie and CD audio tests revealed weak sound. The two Polk Audio Model E speakers, which can be mounted on the sides of the monitor, couldn’t crank out much volume on our two vocal tracks; even when we played a funky electronic composition by Herbie Hancock it sounded like we were trying to avoid disturbing coworkers.
It’s a good thing this system is already well stocked, because it’s nearly impossible to get inside to add other components. The side panel does slide off easily after you remove two thumbscrews, but doing so reveals a packed-solid interior, with barely any room to fit your fingers. We’ve seen other systems with small cases, such as the
Gaming performance was a mixed bag: Our judges gave high marks to image quality in both Quake III and Unreal Tournament, but games ran a bit slowly.
HP’s solidly constructed keyboard is loaded with buttons, including seven Internet shortcut keys and seven buttons to control CD and DVD play. It also provides a nice volume control knob and two USB ports. The standard QWERTY keys felt cheap and light under our fingers, however.
HP’s documentation is less extensive than it first appears to be. The manuals are thick, but that’s because they’re made up of sections in three languages: English, French, and Spanish. The setup poster is specific to this system, though its basic animations don’t provide much information, and the poster doesn’t include any text. A separate Quick Start Guide fills in the details missing from the poster and provides a brief troubleshooting section. Our system also included a card with information on reaching tech support and a booklet entitled “Upgrading and servicing the PC” that provides information on the case and components. The software bundle includes Microsoft Works, Pinnacle Studio DV, and McAfee Security Suite.