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-- by James E. Powell
Hewlett-Packard didn't know where to stop with its latest line of Pavilion PCs. The Pavilion 7285 is a $2,399 multimedia PC loaded with a 200MHz Pentium, 32MB of EDO RAM and 256KB of pipeline-burst level 2 cache. A Quantum Fireball 3.1GB hard drive, 3.5-inch floppy drive and Goldstar 8X CD-ROM drive are also part of the package.
The accelerated 3-D 64-bit PCI local-bus video uses the S3 ViRGE chip that has 2MB of video RAM. On the motherboard you'll find 16-bit 3-D wavetable sound using the Yamaha OPL3-SA Sound System. HP includes a decent pair of Altec Lansing speakers. If you connect the system to an optional HP Multimedia monitor, you can use the monitor's built-in microphone and HP FAXPhone software with the generic 28.8Kbps fax modem as a telephone answering system. The modem supports VoiceView; the included TalkShop software lets you combine voice and data in a single call.
Inside the mini-tower are five ISA slots (one taken by the modem) and two empty PCI slots. All are unobstructed full-length slots. The system has two internal 3.5-inch bays (one taken by the hard disk), two externally accessible 3.5-inch bays (one empty), two externally accessible 5.25-inch bays (one free) and one internal 5.25-inch bay. Though power plugs are available, the IDE cables have only a single connection, unlike most cables, which can have two.
On the back of the system you'll find two serial ports, a parallel port, PS/2 ports for the HP two-button mouse (a Logitech mouse in disguise) and a 104-key keyboard (with Windows 95 keys and good tactile response), a monitor connection and standard sound card jacks. The shipping product should have ports color-coded to the peripherals' plugs.
The HP Pavilion 7285 has plenty of power, completing our Word macro in an average of 14.33 seconds, and speeding through our Excel macro in just 12 seconds. Our Wintune tests benchmarked the system's CPU at 361MIPS. It achieved an average 4.70MB-per-second throughput in the uncached disk test.
The system includes more than 915MB of preinstalled software. Besides Windows 95 and HP's own front-end, Personal Page, you'll find Quicken SE and Microsoft Money and a host of games and home-and-family-oriented software. You also get the First Aid Recovery Kit, a CD-ROM to restore factory settings.
Designed for expansion, the HP Pavilion 7285 offers Pentium 200 performance and high-end features in an attractive case.
Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.