I typically select a well-built, mid-level computer that I can keep for a number of years, as I have done with my other HP computers. As operating systems and applications expand to correct security issues and add new features, the amount of memory and processing demands that the software places on the computer increase to the point where the computer may no longer function productively.
This computer replaces a 6-year old HP running Windows XP with only 1GB of memory. That machine bogged down as the result of lack of memory when running applications such as Turbo Tax and Quicken. It got to the point that various windows "oscillated/flickered" because the system was "thrashing" trying to task switch from one application to another. Hence, adequate memory is a critical aspect for system performance, probably more so than processor speed.
To combat those issues, I selected this HP computer with 8 GB of memory and an i5-2500 processor @3.3 GHz to provide adequate memory and processing resources for future growth/demands of software. Also, to ensure that I had plenty of disk storage for audio, video and pictures, I selected a 1TB drive.
The computer starts up fast and shuts down quickly. Web surfing and download speed is great, and applications also start up quickly and perform well. HP provides a support assistance software package that allows the user to maintain, troubleshoot, learn and get assistance. I have primarily used HP computers in the past and have great success with them and appreciate the type of support tools and hardware reliability that may not be available with no-name PCs.
One recommendation would be to add a second DVD or CD drive to make copies quicker without using the same drive to first read a disk then use it to write to the blank disk. I didn't add that second drive, but it does have a spare slot to add one in the future.
The computer looks good with sleek styling with a black case and illuminated blue bar at the top of the front to indicate power status. The illumination bar turns yellow when the computer goes to sleep. Just below that are memory slots for xD/Smart Media, SD/MMC, Compact Flash and a Memory Stick. There is a front slide panel that provides access to USB ports (I added 2 additional for a total of 4), a microphone port and a headphone port.
To summarize, this is a great PC and I certainly would order this again without hesitation.