Pros: Multi-use, everything at your fingertips
Cons: HP Tech Support
The HP 230N is a decent home computer. It comes equipped with almost all of the goodies you need. I have now had my computer for 7 months, so I feel that I am now capable of giving a fair assessment of it.
120GB HD, 512MB Ram, 2.08 Athlon Processor, CD-Rom, CDRW/DVDRW, 6-in-1 card reader, 5 USB ports, parallel port, serial port, windows XP
(I think there are 5 USB port I have only used 4 at a time)
I was actually going after a Pentium when I purchased this system. I had not heard much about the Athlon other than it is comparable and costs less. For the most part, I would agree with that. I dont think this computer has had any type of performance issue that has made me blame the processor. I use a really nice HP Vectra at work with a Pentium in it and the performance seems to be about the same.
The system comes with a lot of great software built-in. It has Record Now software where you can of course burn your own music and data, but what I really like is that you can create a CD for your DVD Player (provided that your DVD player can read this type of media) with virtually anything on it.
Basically, it will let you record one song, a music selection or something of the similar from your computer or a CD in addition to opening text and a group of photographs. I like to use this to make videos of vacation photos. Example: I have an opening that says, Our 2002 Christmas Vacation with Mickey, it then rolls to show each picture for the amount of time I indicate with Its a Small World playing through the entire video. It is a great piece of software.
Another piece of software included is Photo Impression, where you can manipulate a picture in almost any way you can imagine. When you have completed cropping, adding text, shading, adjusting the contrast, stretching, blending, etc you can then get creative with the Funhouse software and add crazy backgrounds, add the face inside a mermaid or muscle man body or just create your own trading cards with your childs sport picture on it.
The only piece of software that I was not happy with is Word Perfect. I own a copy of Office, so I downloaded that on my computer and removed Word Perfect. I have not used the Quicken, Quattro or Intervideo software. I
Software basics: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Word Perfect 10.0, Quattro 10.0, Quicken 2003, Intervideo WinDVD, Record Now. PhotoImpression, HP Print Creator, Funhouse and more.
I do feel that I have utilized most of the hardware within my system. I use the CDRW/DVDRW as well as the CD-R all of the time. They always work fine and records quite quickly. Even when recording the videos, the process seems to run quickly and smoothly. Knock on wood, I have never had any issues with the media I have recorded. I have not used each of the card readers, but I do use the flash card reader almost daily. It is great option for the PC if you use a digital camera, USB date drives (i.e. flash drive, jump drive, etc.) or any type of removable and downloadable media. It is so simple that even a person who is new to computers can use it. You just pull the flash card from the camera, pop it into the front of the PC (the right slot of course), a window pops up asking you what you want to do with the data and you are there. This is one of my favorite features about the PC.
The PC works well with several items connected to it. I have an HP PSC and HP laser printer attached to it and have not really had any issues with the operation of them. Well, no more than user error that is.
The only part of the PC I have had an issue with is the hard drive. I purchased the PC in September and had to reformat the lost hard drive in November. I had to reformat about once every 5 days. I then had a repair tech come out to my house and replace the hard drive in December. About one week after the hard drive was replaced; I began having issues with it again. I have a 3-year warranty uplift with Best Buy and they came out to replace the hard drive; they were great. When the drive began failing again, I called HP direct and their tech support was awful, took forever for the individuals who answer the support line to locate information, they would ask the same questions over and over and over again; in my frustration, I just hung up with them, reformatted again and so far so good. Before the hard drive was replaced, I had to reformat about 20 times, no, I am not kidding. It also took HP about 1 month to have the hard drive available to me. I am not a fan of their support.
The system does come with recovery software. If you make changes to your PC and have performance issues, you can recover your PC back to a particular date and time. Great feature. The hard drive is also partitioned when you receive the PC with a backup of the recovery data on the D partition. Obviously, I have utilized the heck out of this.
Overall, it is a great computer. I was not real happy with all of the hard drive issues and lack of support from HP, but the computer has been good to me otherwise. If you purchase your PC somewhere that offers you a warranty uplift through their support team, I would suggest you take advantage of it. You will be glad you did.