Pros Flawless Setup for HDTV and PVR
Cons Flimsy Front Doors
Summary I bought this PC to record over the air HDTV, I do not have cable nor satellite subscription as I have been dissapointed with their set top boxes, extremely poor service and outrageous fees.
My main objective was to combine a new powerful PC for the family and record high definition tv programs without having to buy separate components and I found exactly what I was looking for on this HP system using Windows Media Center.
As you can tell I am thrifty, I try to get the biggest bang for my money and the HP has been an excellent investment, right out of the box.
I also have a wife that just wants to punch a button and enjoy her favorite tv program so I needed to make sure the new system would be easy to use otherwise I would be the one on the other side of the phone line telling her what to do or explaining why the system was not working.
The setup was easy, the HDTV tunner worked on the first try and we recorded our first show right after we connected the DVI cable to my TV. Thre is no difference at all between live tv and recorded tv, we love it!
Pros discreet video card w/256 memory
Cons problems occur after sleep mode
Summary This is a more expensive model than I would have bought but I followed the advice of a writer in the Wall Street Journal.This model met or exceeded his criteria for taking full advantage of Vista.
Shortly after I began using it I discovered things like USB ports and the remote control didn't work after sleep mode.
I contacted HP who were very responsive to my concerns but so far we have not been able to correct the problem.
I checked out the display models in 4 different stores and found out 2 of them also had problems after sleep mode.
Presently I'm working around the problem by shutting down the computer instead of using the sleep mode.
Unless HP comes through with a solution,I probably will return it to them.Updated
I have to give HP an A+ for quickly responding to my concerns.
The HP tech person suggested I should seek guidance from Microsoft about the USB problems.Also,that perhaps I shouldn't use Sleep mode.Which leaves me the always on or shutdown alternatives.I pointed out to him their manual said"for best results with Vista don't shut it down."
When I inquired about the possibility of returning the computer to HP he read me the fine print "hardware failure only allowable reason for return."
I came away with the feeling that any tech person who authorizes a return may find his chances for promotion very limited.Updated
Although the problems have not been solved, I have to give HP an A+ for quickly responding to my concerns about my m9040n.
The HP tech person suggested I should seek guidance from Microsoft about the USB etc problems after Sleep mode.
Also,that perhaps I shouldn't use Sleep mode.Which leaves me the always on or Shutdown alternatives.I pointed out to him HP's manual says"for best results with Vista don't shut it down."
When I inquired about the possibility of returning the computer to HP for diagnosis since my computer trouble-shooting skills are practically non-existent,he read me the fine print "hardware failure only allowable reason for return" and offered to guide me over the phone.
I came away with the feeling that any tech person who authorizes a return may find his chances for promotion very limited.
Updated on Oct 10, 2008Hoping that the the updates I have recieved this past year from Microsoft and HP might have solved the problems I have been having with sleep mode, I ,from time to time, activate sleep mode to see what happens.Yes,I know it's the lazy man's way of repairing computers but at least it won't void the warranty!
The results of my tests now are no different from the first time I activated sleep mode:full screen error messages and other manifestations(as noted in my prior reviews).
I suppose I should try to contact HP or Microsoft tech support but it may less of a hassle for me to just bypass the sleep mode problem with this HP M9040N computer.
I wouldn't buy this model again because of this very evident(if minor)flaw.
Pros Two 320 GB HD 16x HP SuperDrive dual-layer DVD burner w/LightScribe
Cons 300 watt PS
Summary Got a great deal at Circuit City. $1139 including the HP w2207 WS monitor.
If you have a MS mouse and / or keyboard you will want to use the update feature in Windows to install the HID update or your PC will not sleep properly.
Has a NVIDA 8400GS video card with 256 Meg of dedicated memory that can also borrow from the system RAM should it need more.
If you want to upgrade the video card however you will be out of luck unless you also change the power supply since it is only 300 watts.
The system has 3GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM. Which I thought was strange since the model it is replacing had 3GB 1,066MHz DDR2 SDRAM.
Still this machine is very fast, and quite.
I have had no problems with it except for the sleep problems which were fixed when I installed the Microsoft HID Non User Input Data Filter.
You may want to uninstall the junk software that HP puts on it. I got a great deal on Windows OneCare on it and it has run perfect.
The mouse and keyboard that comes with it is adequate, but I just didn’t like the feel and there was no forward or back button on the mouse, so I purchased a MS combo KB & Mouse.
There is a nice rubberized pad on top of the box so if you put your iPod, phone, etc on it they won’t slide off. It has all many different media readers on it, and easy access to two USB ports, one Fire wire, an S-Video, and RCA jacks as well as headphones and a mic. It does have one expansion bay but if you add a second DVD or HDDVD drive you will need to be sure it is SATA. There are two bays accessible for removable media but they both require HP only hardware. I don’t plan on using this so this seems to b e a waste of space. HP would have been better off only have one driver.
Bottom line: Great PC, needs a bigger power supply. I love it.
Pros Quad Core, Bluray/HDDVD option, TV tuner, plenty of front access ports
Cons mediocre graphics, small PSU, unnecessary external expansion
Summary Before you decide to buy any brand of computer, especially from HP, you ought to have a look at the deal sites. They list any and all coupons, specials, and deals that stores are having. HP constantly has coupon codes available, and I purchased this computer for $650, via a $450 discount. Secondly, while configuring your system, please have a look at component sites such as newegg for price comparisons. 2 GB of memory costs ~$40, not the HP price of $100 or more. That being said, this machine is pretty great out of the box. If you are looking to upgrade it, I would focus on the graphics card. If you want to use this as a fairly gaming-intense computer look into a Geforce 8800GT or ATI 3850/3870 card (8800GT is the better choice imho). The problem with upgrading the graphics is that you will need to get a better PSU. On one of the many component sites, make sure you get one that fits the machine and has at least 450W (prob more like 550). I haven't yet checked to see how much clearance is available for the longer cards, but I believe there is enough room for it.
I have been reading comments about BSODs and such, and how people have called support for those issues. There are still a lot of problems with Vista (have been testing it for quite some time) and Microsoft has been issuing hotfixes for these issues. The only issues which HP can deal with are driver issues. If you really do not like Vista, I recommend dual booting XP (if you have a copy from your old computer) or go the free route with Linux (Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS are your best choices for average consumer). The Linux route is free, and the dual booting installation is fairly simple. The Linux community (esp Ubuntu) is very helpful via their forums and either of those mentioned options work very well (though I would say PCLinuxOS is the simplest).
This computer, at the right price, is well worth it. I tried building a computer for less and succeeded only by $40 after I took into account the need for a PSU and video card for the HP (they ought to have better graphics upgrade ability). I hope this will lead you to a better purchase, though I did not provide much with a review, I want you to be able to make a less expensive purchase.
Pros Very fast and lot of options
Cons No Windows CD provided, LOT of crap preinstalled
Summary My model is the m90000t, its the like the same but it don't came with wireless keyboard or mouse, thing that I prefer. The mouse though was like the old ones with a ball. I couldn't but laugh when I saw it, buying a very expensive and modern computer and find that kind of mouse, I thought that my mouse was laying an egg.
The Windows was full with crap programs and demos. I look for a clean Windows Cd but I was again sourpriced that non came in the package. I called to HP to order a CD of the OS and a Indian, whit heavy accent wont to sell me a CD and told me to make a recovery CD using the computer, whish is a image of the system saved in a secodary partition.
After having several problems with other programs, I guess compativility with Vista, I want to reinstall Windows. Ill have to call HP and tell that I lost the recovery CDs, to see if this time they sells me those. I hope they don't send me an image.
To play games is very smooth. The TV things I hand't use as I don't need them.
The case came with two Placeholders to conect some external USB drives. They use about 25% of the front pannel.
The sound card uses a program that I have to configure each time I connect a microphone, and after that I have to restart Skype if I want to talk.
Did I sayd that have a lot of crap preinstalled?