I still remember my first experience with an HP touchscreen AIO PC. Instead of the now-standard capacitive touchscreens found on mobile devices, that AIO used optical-based technology which resulted in a thick, raised bezel and supported only two-point touch.
Integrated in its base was a slim rectangular chassis which resembled a DVD player and which held the computing hardware (yes, a DVD drive). It looked a bit like a kiosk.
Fast forward to HP's new Pavilion 23 - a sleek machine which looks like a monitor, but with a slight bulge at the back. It still has a DVD drive but, like the rest of its computing innards, it is now embedded behind the display.
The Pavilion 23's screen is bright, has wide viewing angles and uses the same in-plane switching technology found in mobile devices. The 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screen resolution is typical for its 23-inch size. Colours look natural and are not overly saturated.
Conveniently located at the left edge are two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and audio jacks. There are four more USB 2.0 ports at the back, together with an Ethernet port. There is no HDMI input port, so it cannot be used as a stand-alone monitor.
The speaker vents at the bottom of the screen produce decent audio for movies and music but, lacking a subwoofer, produces inadequate bass.
A wireless mouse and keyboard are included. I would recommend using another mouse, but the keyboard is decent, with good key travel and multimedia controls.
The Pavilion 23 comes with an Nvidia graphics chip. This is an entry-level model that is not going to run the latest PC games without compromises. For instance, BioShock Infinite, which is not new nor a title that demands a lot of graphic processing power, ran at a less-than-ideal 18 frames per second at the game's Low setting.
Targeted at the mainstream audience, this AIO uses an Intel Core i5 processor, a quad-core chip that should comfortably handle most computing tasks. But HP is stingy with RAM and includes only 4GB onboard.
Storage is not an issue with a 1TB hard drive. But a solid-state or hybrid drive would have given it a significant performance boost. If you need better performance, HP offers an Intel Core i7 version with 8GB of RAM for $1,699. Other hardware components remain unchanged. A more expensive option is HP's Recline series of AIO PCs, which offers a more premium design, better hardware and a 27-inch version.
This mid-range AIO performs solidly for basic computing tasks such as video playback and Web browsing. It looks polished, but is nondescript.
Processor: Intel Core i5-4590T (2GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 810A 2GB DDR3
RAM: 4GB DDR3
Display: 23 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Connectivity: 2 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0, SD card reader, Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks
Value for money: 3
This article was first published on July 09, 2014.
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