Big tower systems are great when you're looking to expand on their functionality later, but if your PC needs are more basic then the HP Pavilion Slimline s3140.uk could be a much better choice.
Its black and silver case is stylish enough to blend in anywhere, a compact 11cm wide to take up the minimum of space, and extremely quiet so using it won't annoy anyone else.
You'll need to be very sure you're happy with the 320GB hard drive, though: it's a fair amount of storage but with only one drive bay there's no room to add another. Both RAM slots are full and with only a half-height PCI slot available you won't be adding any speedy graphics cards, either.
There's a FireWire and five USB ports, though, which should be enough for most purposes.
Perhaps our favourite component of this system is its monitor - the 22-inch hp w2207. It features a gorgeous glossy black design, a wonderful stand that makes it possible to tilt and rotate the screen as required, and excellent picture quality overall (there's a little ghosting, but not enough to cause us any concern).
You won't be using the display for gaming, unfortunately, as the built-in GeForce 7500 LE delivered a lethargic 744 in 3DMark 2006 (which means that you'll struggle to reach 20fps in any fast 3D game, at the lowest quality settings).
The PCMark Vantage score of 2,760 was also very low. This PC is considerably cheap, though. It's fine for browsing, email, Microsoft Office and so on, and if that's all you need then the HP Pavilion Slimline s3140.uk is still a good family choice.