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There are some valid reasons why someone might want a desktop in this mobile era. First, if you’re looking for better performance than a laptop (not even mentioning tablet) of same price would offer, desktop is a logical choice. Desktops would also be your pick if you’re into upgrading: desktop allows more room for expandability. And as it is, one of the world’s largest computer manufacturers has lately released new interesting set of desktops for the budget market. In this review, we’ll tell you if HP 110-420 would offer you the performance you’re after!
The main things
HP 110-420 is a budget desktop (clearly under 500 bucks), but starting with processor, doesn’t do so bad in terms of performance. The Intel Core i3-3240T is an older Ivy Bridge CPU yet it still does well in benchmarks. The 2.9GHz clock speed especially with quad-core setup will take care of any programs big or small, and will permit limited gaming.
The biggest culprit for poor games support would be the integrated Intel HD Graphics 2500 chip. By professional reviews, it’s dubbed as “Weak gaming performance” chip. Titles like WoW and Fifa 13 should have well over 50FPS when played at low settings and resolution, but with heavier games such as Crysis 3 the FPS will probably drop well below 20 even with eye candy turned off.
The system memory of HP 110-420 is 4 gigabytes. As for expandability, you can add up to 16GB RAM with one DDR3 DIMM socket being free for instant upgrade. Starting with the default 4GB is good idea in my opinion, and only if you feel the system being too sluggish then add more memory. There’s no need to install more right away.
Like with the cheaper same series HP also this one sports a 500GB hard drive. It’s not great amount for a desktop, although for a budget computer it may work depending on your requirements. If you don’t hoard big files on your computer but rather use it for basic home or small office stuff, the 500GB probably suffices. There is no additional 3.5″ bay available though, so if you wanted to install bigger drive or faster SSD you would have to remove the old drive first.
HP 110-420 has a true budget desktop connectivity. With USBs, the quality is replaced with quantity. There are six USB 2.0 ports but the system is lacking USB 3.0 altogether. If you have many new USB peripherals, this is an obvious disadvantage for you.
Another quirk is the absence of HDMI. There are still DVI-D and VGA ports which you can use. If you want, you can always connect this desktop to a HDTV, but you must use either adapters or special cables for that. Most likely, there also has to be a separate audio cable for the HDTV connection.
Networking is handled by single-band, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and 10/100Mbps Ethernet. Bluetooth is not supported by default.
There is an optical drive installed in HP 110-420. It can burn CDs and DVDs up to 16x speed (DVD). However, more 5.25″ drives can’t be installed because there’s only one bay for them which is obviously taken by the installed optical drive.
The front panel also features a 7-in-1 multimedia card reader.
Something else to keep in mind?
The operating system of HP 110-420 is Windows 8.1, the 64-bit edition. There are also trials for McAfee LiveSafe and MS Office installed.
The computer is quite small, dimensions are 14.3″ H x 6.5″ W x 15.1″ D. This also translates to suboptimal expandability. The motherboard has smaller microATX form factor and has only one half-length mini card PCI-E slot free. Also keeping in mind the wattage of power supply (90W), you can say goodbye to fancy graphics cards if you wanted a big boost in gaming performance.
Like they pitch on the product page, “HP 110-420 PC sticks to the basics”. It is enough for everyday computing, be it at home, office or school. The quick Core i3 processor also lets some heavier programs and older games run without lagging, although especially the gaming performance is severely limited by the integrated graphics chip. And since RAM is the only thing you can easily upgrade, this HP doesn’t suit for serious gaming at all. Other thing to whine about would be the lack of USB 3.0 ports – a drawback for those with faster USB peripherals.
To sum it up, HP 110-420 isn’t bad computer. It’s just very basic desktop, and if you get it, you have to keep the realities in mind: it will not work for gaming, but for any kind of home & home office use the HP would suffice very well.