I bought the HP Pavilion a1440n in Summer 2006 to replace my faltering HP Pavilion 716n, which I had bought in 2003. I needed a computer that ran simple typing and Internet applications for school, but I also wanted one that could run computer games I played in my spare time. The features of the a1440n is a Pentium D 820 2.8GHZ CPU, 2GB of RAM (expandable to 4 GB total), 250 GB hard drive, Nvidia 7300LE graphics card, 300 Watt PSU, Lightscribe DVD/CD reader/writer, 9-in-1 memory card reader, and Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 32 bit OS.
There are several positive aspects of the HP Pavilion a1440n. The 9-in-1 media card reader is a useful component that allows a person to transfer their photos from their digital cameras or other devices to the computer quite easily. The 250GB Samsung hard drive can store a fair amount of information with enough room for photos and other important files. The 2GB memory also makes the machine capable of having multiple programs open, so one is able to surf the Internet, type a composition, etc. all at the same time; exploiting the 4GB capability increases the speed of the desktop even further. There is also an expansion bay, which allows the owner to add another DVD drive or similar device.
There are drawbacks to the a1440n, however, especially when compared to the newer machines of today. The Pentium D CPU has been superseded by the Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, and i7 processors. The Core 2 Duo line is regularly seen installed in the majority of current computers and is being steadily replaced by the Core 2 Quad line.
In my experience, the Pentium D has had problems handling complex programs like Adobe Photoshop CS3, a paint/photo program. Although I have 4GB of memory and a graphics card that is decent, I find that the program loads and performs quite slowly compared to a computer with a Core 2 Quad, which leads me to believe the CPU was the limiting variable. Drawing in Photoshop, for example, causes the Pentium D's stock fan to increase speed and the CPU usage in the Windows Task Manager to spike; by comparison, the Core 2 Quad desktop I now use does not see a decrease in performance no matter what I do in Photoshop. In addition, using DVD burning programs takes a few hours, and the CPU is obviously under pressure when it is writing data to disks as demonstrated by the increased fan speed and the length of time needed to transfer information.
In addition, the Nvidia 7300LE, while adequate to view photos and videos, is not powerful enough for graphic intensive applications either. Computer games, such as FPS shooters, generally need a fast video card, which is a concept that changes repeatedly each year as advancements are made. The 7300LE was not particularly noteworthy when I purchased the desktop, so it certainly has trouble with modern games. I replaced it with a BFG Technologies Nvidia 7600GT shortly after purchasing the a1440n to play games like CounterStrike Source (2004) and later used that card to play Left 4 Dead (2008).
In conclusion, the HP Pavilion is a cheap selection for a desktop that can be used as a repository for photos and videos even though I have used mine for over 3 years. It can also be utilized for minor tasks, such as writing documents, using the Internet, playing older computer games, etc. Anyone who requires a product that has high computing power, however, should consider other alternatives. The CPU is a bit old, and the graphics card is not strong enough to handle current, demanding computer games.
Update On Sep 03, 2009: I recently tried to use the DVD/CD drive, and it was being very difficult. I attempted to run an old Diablo 2 CD, and it refused. I tried starting the program through autorun and manually accessing it throught the start menu; each time, the drive could be heard working when I inserted the CD but immediately stopped once I tried to start the program. After 3 attempts, the program finally initialized. I am going to run more tests to make sure it is the DVD/CD drive and not the disc itself. Will update again shortly.