HP Pavilion p6367c-b Review
HP aims to fuse performance and value in the HP Pavilion p6367c-b by pairing a quad-core Intel processor with 8GB of RAM. That’s a nice start but the p6367, available for $999.99 at Costco, HP would have done well to include an inexpensive discrete graphics card, as it did with the HP Pavilion p6267c-b ($999 list at Costco, ). While the p6367c-b is a capable performer in most categories, it is hobbled by weak integrated graphics. And that’s particularly disappointing considering the included 25-inch widescreen LCD, which deftly handles full 1080p high definition video and offers what could have been a great platform for gaming. While it’s possible to play 3D shooters on this machine, it will disappoint the hardcore.
If the p6367c-b looks familiar, that’s because it follows HP’s standard design scheme. The matte-black mid-tower is fronted by a glossy black panel outlined in chrome trim. The grille’s rounded edges are echoed in the 25-inch monitor, which has a glossy black bezel trimmed in silver, and the design of the keyboard. The overall design is handsome and consistent. It’s not the snazziest we’ve seen but it’s attractive for a budget system.
A 15-format memory card reader sits at the top of the front panel. Directly below is the DVD ±RW drive, which has a button at the side to open and close the drawer. An enclosure for a second optical drive is underneath. At the middle of the panel you’ll find a door that slides down to reveal two USB ports and mic and headphone jacks. The jacks fall halfway down the face of the machine, which could be a stretch for some USB cords.
The most noteworthy component of the bundle is the HP 2509m monitor, a 25-inch widescreen LCD with a native resolution of 1,920 by 1,080. The display’s resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio makes it great for screening HD video. The monitor, which sells for $349.99 on HP’s Website, also provides an excellent venue for multitasking, since its size enables you to view multiple documents and applications at once. The 2509m has VGA, DVI, and HDMI input connectors that enable you to connect several different devices at once. It’s a shame that HP doesn’t include an HDMI port on the p6367c-b, however.
The monitor has built-in 2-watt stereo speakers that deliver satisfying sound with a fair amount of volume. Anyone who listens to music, plays games or watches a lot of video will probably want to add stand-alone speakers. The monitor tilts 25 degrees up and 5 degrees down, and its construction feels sturdy as you adjust it.
The p6367c-b also includes a USB keyboard with a matching design and a USB mouse. Both work fine, although they feel a bit flimsy. The keyboard has a dedicated numeric pad and hardware buttons for mute and volume up and volume down.
The p6367, which runs Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit), employs a capable Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor running at 2.5GHz and a whopping 8GB of memory. HP doesn’t follow through with graphics, however, opting for an Intel GMA X4500 (32MB) integrated solution. Previous models we’ve testing, including the Editors’ Choice-winning HP p6267c-b, used an entry-level discrete graphics card to boost video performance. While the p6367 can quite capably handle tasks like word processing, Web browsing, and photo editing, its integrated graphics will choke on demanding 3D games. On the upside, it offers a generous 1TB of storage space on its hard drive.
At the rear of the machine you’ll find a decent array of connectors. HP includes four USB 2.0 ports and the standard Ethernet jack (dial-up users should note that this model doesn’t include a modem). The p6367 offers VGA and DVI ports for connecting a monitor but no HDMI port. The system supports up to 7.1 surround sound audio and includes a digital audio out port for Dolby Digital.
HP makes it easy to access the interior components: Simply turn a screw and slide off the side panel. Inside you’ll find room to add another hard drive, a second optical drive, and a 3.5-inch device. All four DIMM slots are populated, but with an ample 8GB of RAM you probably won’t need to add memory. An open PCI Express x16 slot enables you to add a discrete graphics card (but mind the limitations of the 300-watt power supply), and three available PCI Express x1 slots can accommodate cards for audio, TV tuner, and FireWire adapter.
As for software, HP bundles a few useful titles that include Microsoft Works 9.0, HP MediaSmart Software Suite for working with photos, videos, and music, and CyberLink’s DVD Suite for burning CDs and DVDs. Where there is a desktop, you’ll also find bloatware and the p6367c-b is no exception. HP loads the machine with eBay, a 60-day trial for Norton Internet Security and a 60-day trial (uninstalled) for Microsoft Office, as well as pointers to Snapfish, Hulu, HP games, and more.
Costco offers a two-year limited warranty on the PC hardware, which is nice but the monitor comes with only a one-year warranty. The system also comes with Costco’s Concierge Services, a free service to Costco members who purchase electronics at the store. The service gives you access to technicians to walk you system setup, product use, and for troubleshooting. Lastly, the store accepts returns within 90 days.
The p6367c-b performed well in most of our performance testing, although its integrated graphics yielded low scores for 3D gaming. The p6367′s PCMark Vantage score of 5,366 falls 1,134 points behind the HP p6267c-b, which also employs a 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor, but beats the similarly priced Dell Inspiron 546 (i546-4354nbk) ($600 list, ) and Gateway SX2800-01 ($499 list, ). The HP p6367c-b could not run the 3DMark Vantage test, owing to its integrated graphics. It also failed to load our Crysis 3D test but managed to eke out a result of a still unplayable 8 frames per second in our World in Conflict test.
In other benchmark tests, however, the p6367c-b did very well. It completed our Windows Media Encoder test in a swift 41 seconds, only 1 second slower than the HP p6267c-b. The p6367c-b completed the Photoshop CS4 test in 1:36, again just 1 second behind the HP p6267 and considerably faster than the Dell Inspiron 546 (2:50) and HP Pavilion p6247c-b ($800 list, ) (2:09). The p6367c-b topped its competitors in the CineBench R10 test with a score of 10,780, 140 points higher than the Editors’ Choice HP p6267c-b. It was at the top of the charts in the Windows Media Encoder test with a score of 41 seconds, again trailing the HP Pavilion p6267c-b by a single second.
The 25-inch monitor displayed crisp, smooth 1080p video with correct and pleasing color. At one point during testing, however, the monitor could not detect the DVI connection. We repeatedly reconnected the monitor but it wouldn’t recognize the connection until we rebooted both the monitor and the PC.
If you’re looking for a home system that can handle multimedia chores and everyday tasks like Web browsing, e-mail, and word processing, the HP Pavilion p6367c-b is worth considering. Its 15-inch monitor provides an outstanding platform for multitasking and watching video, although the omission of an HDMI port on the PC is regrettable. The p6367c-b also offers an ample 8GB of memory and a roomy 1TB hard drive. In any case, the p6367c-b does have much to recommend it. The system is very similar to the Editors’ Choice-winning HP Pavilion p6267c-b, and even offers a larger hard drive. The p6267c-b has a discrete graphics card, however, and that enabled it to turn in better graphics performance than the p6367c-b.