Desktop doesn’t need to be big or take up a lot of space. It is evident in HP Pavilion 300-030 Mini, sporting a tiny grey-silver unit that’s entirely different than PC towers you’ve seen in homes and offices. Performance is brought by a Core i3 processor and 4GB memory, the operating system being Windows 8.1 (64-bit). Let’s find out if such a mini desktop is valuable or just an over-priced fad.
The Intel Core i3-4025U processor runs on two cores and a 1.9GHz clock speed. It has no turbo frequency to boost the speed, although it gets fairly healthy 2900 points in the popular CPU Passmark benchmark. This is many times better than cheap Celerons’ around 1000 points grade. If you’re planning to get the HP for all-purpose or media PC, the default Core i3 processor is all you need.
HP Pavilion 300-030 Mini contains 4GB DDR3L memory. Some people deem it insufficient for a 2015 desktop, although I’d say it’s enough if you don’t have heavy programs in your repertoire. If more RAM is required there’s an unoccupied memory slot on the mainboard, with the system being able to hold 16GB RAM in total.
A full terabyte hard drive space is offered, which is in line with tower desktops of same price. So if you want to put movies and other entertainment files on your computer, you can do that in large quantities here – over 200 DVDs for example. That said, you’ll probably be streaming most of the data off Internet so not much space would be required anyway. In fact, these days it’s drive performance that usually matters the most – a quick solid-state drive in this model would’ve been ace, although it would’ve also meant much higher price. The current hard drive is however replaceable if you want to install SSD in yourself.
Briefly on gaming
HP Pavilion Mini 300-030 can work for gaming like any other desktop. It’s just the matter of games selection. The Intel HD 4400 engine integrated to the i3-4025U CPU can run some heavier first-person shooters, such as Battlefield 4, with around 20 FPS on low details. Not ideal, but playable. Titles that require only little system performance – such as Dota 2, sports games and Minecraft – will render smoothly on higher settings.
There seems to be four USB ports in HP Pavilion 300-030 Mini, despite Amazon claiming an amount of six. All of the four are USB 3.0, guaranteeing top speeds between peripherals and the desktop. In the spirit of a media PC, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs are provided for TVs and monitors.
A Gigabit Ethernet adapter and 802.11b/g/n WiFi allow wired and wireless networking. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported in this HP Mini.
Optical drive is not included – it never is in this small desktops – but there are ways to go around that. You can use an external drive or the built-in SD card slot if you happen to have memory cards. Moreover, Internet has probably everything you need, and downloading programs is indeed more convenient than installing them from old-fashioned discs.
Other things to keep in mind?
HP Pavilion 300-030 Mini is small. It weighs 1.46 pounds, a lot less than a laptop – although you must also take the external display weight into consideration. Dimensions are 5.7 x 2.1 x 5.7 (W x H x D inches). The desktop has an external power supply like a notebook, although there’s no battery in this HP. You must keep the unit plugged in any time you want to use it.
Black wireless keyboard and mouse are included, they eat up one USB port with a receiver. Display you must get separately.
Summing it up
HP Pavilion 300-030 Mini is a good desktop for lightweight things. One of its intended uses is streaming video, although if that’s all you do, cheaper and simpler computers are available. However, if you want to throw in, say, bunch of games or office work, paying the “extra” for this kind of PC is justified. If for some reason you’re not happy with the performance, you can always add more RAM or swap the hard drive for an SSD. And the unit is indeed small and stylish, so finding space for this HP Mini should be piece of cake in households and offices.