When we reviewed the HP TouchSmart 610-1030a all-in-one last year, we questioned just how useful most users would find the touch interface on a desktop PC. Thankfully HP has provided a non-touch alternative for those not likely to find much benefit from (and aren’t willing to pay extra for) a touchscreen-packing desktop unit. The Omni 27 Quad is also the company’s first 27-inch all-in-one model ... read on for our hands-on review.
This is a step or two up from the standard configuration, which features an Intel Core i5-2400S CPU running at 2.5 GHz with integrated Intel H61 graphics, 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD and SuperMulti DVD burner. An RF wireless keyboard and mouse also come as standard.
There’s a coax aerial input for digital TV on the rear alongside the port for the IR blaster, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 3.5 mm stereo audio-out, subwoofer out and four USB 2.0 ports. Two additional USB ports can be found on the left side of the unit, this time of the USB 3.0 variety, along with a 6-in-1 card reader and mic and headphone ports. Neither the USB 3.0 ports or 6-in-1 card reader come as standard. On the right side are the optical drive slot, volume and input buttons, and an HDMI input – also not standard.
It’s also worth noting that the rear of the unit can be removed without too much trouble, allowing for user upgrades of various components – something that isn’t always easy with all-in-one models. The unit feels well built and the included stand is sturdy and stable.
Once set up and switched on though, the 1920 x 1080p display quickly proves its worth for TV/movie duties – although might need to draw the curtains during the day to avoid reflections on the glass display. Video is sharp and bright and the front speakers provide good audio performance. The ability to easily add a subwoofer only sweetens the deal.
However, the lack of any swivel on the included stand – coupled with the weight of the unit – could make switching from the desk chair to the lounge/bed a hassle. The stand also tilts back from vertical up to 25 degrees, which is fine if you’re looking at the screen from straight on or above, but a slight tilt forward might have been nice for those looking to watch a movie while chilling out in a bean bag or low slung chair. We should note that a VESA mount can be purchased separately though.
With Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) not included with Windows 7 Home Premium, the inclusion of HP’s LinkUp application that lets users access and edit content from a notebook HP Windows PC on the Omni 27’s big screen is a plus.
The HP Omni 27 starts at US$1,149.99.
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