Matt Coles returned career-best match figures of 10-154 as Hampshire crushed Essex by an innings and 31 runs at the Ageas Bowl with more than a day to spare.
Pace bowler Coles, on loan from Kent and now a free agent, took 4-83 in the second innings as Essex, without several key players, lost all their batsmen in fewer than 43 overs.
The batting strip sparked to life in the overcast conditions and left-arm pace bowler James Tomlinson proved similarly destructive to Coles, taking 4-63 as Essex revealed little determination to make Hampshire bat a second time.
Following on 249 behind, the visitors were all out for 218 - and would have suffered a heavy defeat but for a typical big-hitting cameo from Graham Napier, whose 60-ball 53 included two sixes off Coles before the inevitable conclusion.
Essex went into the match without David Masters, Ravi Bopara, Reece Topley, Owais Shah and Ryan ten Doeschate, the latter playing in the Champions League T20. In addition, captain James Foster allowed Ben Foakes to replace him behind the stumps.
Resuming the third day on 44 without loss, Essex still needed another 205 to avoid being beaten by an innings but wickets tumbled at regular intervals in the morning session so that a big Hampshire win - only their second at home - came within an hour after lunch.
Coles had Jake Middleburgh lbw eleven balls into the day's play and Gautam Gambhir edged Tomlinson to Liam Dawson at first slip in the next over to leave Essex 49 for two.
Tom Westley became the first of five catches for wicketkeeper Michael Bates at 69 and Greg Smith went the same way, a second victim for Tomlinson, as Essex quickly subsided.
Ben Foakes and Napier applied some resistance in a stand of 39 for the seventh wicket, but it was too little and far too late to alter the course of a one-sided match.
Hampshire’s frontline pacemen returned to wipe out the Essex tail, Tomlinson removing Napier and Sajid Mahmood before Coles finished things off by dismissing Foakes for 27 and last man Monty Panesar in the 58th over.
Coles's five-match spell with Hampshire gleaned him a total of 21 wickets and his temporary club claimed maximum points for this win.