If a high-resolution screen and all-in-one convenience matter more to you than stunning performance, the HP Pavilion 23 is a good choice that won't bust the budget.
Bright screen, muted performance. The HP Pavilion 23's standout attraction is a vibrant, high-resolution 1,920-by-1,080-pixel screen, with excellent viewing angles, superior to many in pricier all-in-ones. A DVD burner is standard in most retail configurations, but that can be upgraded to a combo DVD/Blu-Ray player if you customize the computer at HPs web site. The built-in speakers are "surprisingly good", says Troy Dreier of ComputerShopper.com. You almost have a complete family home entertainment center. Not quite. There's no TV tuner card or HDMI input.
With an AMD Trinity processor, 4 GB of memory and 500 GB hard drive, you won't have a problem surfing the web, emailing or using basic computer programs. But reviewers say performance is sluggish in heavy-duty applications and multitasking. Numerous upgrades (power, storage, memory) are available for the base model. A step-up configuration (*Est. $700 and up) with an Intel i3 Ivy Bridge processor (upgradeable to i5) and a minimum 6 GB of memory offers sturdier performance and graphics to handle light 3D gaming. This all-in-one lacks a touch screen so it doesn't support Windows 8 touch screen features.
Easel style is easy on the eyes. The HP Pavilion 23's minimalist easel-style design is unobtrusive and offers an adjustable screen angle.
It also provides a good collection of connectivity options. There are two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, wired (Gigabit Ethernet) and wireless (802.11b/g/n) networking, an audio output, an SD Card reader, a built-in webcam, and headphone and microphone jacks.
Moderate but adequate. The HP Pavilion 23 is covered by a basic one-year warranty and around the clock phone support in English and Spanish. On-site services are provided only if an issue can't be corrected remotely. In user satisfaction surveys conducted by PC World and others in 2012, HP ranked slightly above average in support and reliability in the eyes of home users. Extended service contracts are available for a fee.
Good value for light computing. The low price is somewhat compromised by the low performance of the HP Pavilion 23. Still, the high-resolution screen, all-in-one convenience and decent connectivity makes this all-in-one a worthwhile option for buyers who aren't power users.
Review Credibility: Excellent The HP Pavilion 23 garners 3.5 stars for its high-resolution display. Testing an older base configuration running Windows 7, Rich Brown notes it lags behind in benchmarks. However, he adds, "the HP is so inexpensive that it's difficult to find suitable comparison systems to use in our performance charts."
Review: HP Pavilion 23-1000z review, Rich Brown, Sept. 14, 2012
2. Computer Shopper
Review Credibility: Excellent Offering kudos for the "big, bright" screen and "elegant" design, Troy Dreier awards 3 stars to the HP Pavilion 23. He says it's "designed for lighter use in a family setting and is "meant to be a beautiful bargain, and by that measure it succeeds". He, too, tests an older configuration running Windows 7, but adds that the newer processors -- be they AMD or Intel -- should only account for "moderate performance differences."
Review: HP Pavilion 23 Review and Ratings, Troy Dreier, Nov. 8, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good The HP Pavilion 23 is thoroughly tested in ConsumerReport.org's evaluations of desktops. The expert review is informative but not as detailed or extended as several other sources. Only subscribers can access the full report.
Review: HP Pavilion 23-b034, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good This is one of several configurations of HP Pavilion 23 available at Amazon.com. It earns 4 out of 5 stars following reviews from a handful of Amazon.com users. More than half award a full 5 stars, praising the display and offering no criticism of performance. Elsewhere on Amazon, some users who bought an earlier model do complain that it freezes up.
Review: HP Pavilion 23-b030 All-in-One Desktop, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2013
Review Credibility: Good More than half of the 50-odd contributors at BestBuy.com are highly satisfied with the HP Pavilion 23, and around 80 percent of reviewers would recommend this all-in-one computer to a friend. Many mention it's easy to set up and navigate, and they feel it's an excellent value.
Review: HP - Pavilion 23" All-In-One Computer - 6GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of April 2013