- Review Date: 12/29/2011
- Bottom line:
The Dell Inspiron One 2320 all-in-one PC earns a spot in your living room by pairing an Intel Core i5 processor and discrete Nvidia graphics with a full complement of entertainment options, including a TV tuner, multiple video inputs, and a handy remote control.
Hardware has strong multimedia focus. Screen supports multitouch. Includes spacious hard drive, 15 free months of McAfee Security Center.
No HDMI-out, USB 3.0 ports. Uses external power brick.
PCs have been making their way into living rooms for some time now, but the Dell Inspiron One 2320 ($1,249.99 direct) is one of the few designed to replace your TV—and it's more than just a well-equipped all-in-one desktop. The included Intel Core i5 processor and Nvidia GPU provide potent horsepower and multimedia capabilities for any day-to-day task. And an impressive number of media-centric options, like a TV tuner, inputs for HDMI, VGA, and composite video, and a good-old-fashioned remote control, will make this system a part of your entertainment setup for years to come.
The Dell Inspiron One 2320 has an adjustable easel back stand and two metal legs, providing a sturdy surface that will withstand taps and touches without a wobble. There's plenty of room between those two legs to slip the included wireless keyboard out of the way. The legs and easel back stand can be removed and replaced with an optional wall mount ($49.99). And thanks to a broad selection of media inputs (see "Features" below), the 23-inch, 1,920-by-1,080-resolution screen, which produced crystal-clear images whether streaming 1080p YouTube clips or watching Blu-ray video, can remain useful long after the internal components have aged.
As with Dell's past all-in-ones, the Inspiron One 2320's components are all located behind the screen; but the combined PC and monitor only measures 2.67 inches thick, only a little beefier than a regular 23-inch television. Only two things might cramp the system's style as a TV. The built-in speakers don't have the THX sound of the older Dell Inspiron One IO2305-4429MSL ($849.99 list, 4 stars), but the SRS Premium sound they offer is clear (if light on bass) at all but the highest volumes; to get the most out this as an entertainment system, you'll definitely want to add a decent subwoofer. The Inspiron One 2320 also uses a large power brick, which distinguishes it from other all-in-ones that require only a power cord.
The touchscreen lets you navigate through programs with a tap of the finger, and supports multitouch gestures for resizing and rotating as needed. Dell's proprietary Stage interface aims to make the Inspiron One 2320 even more finger-friendly, bringing a tile-based user interface to the desktop and Web browser. Unfortunately, it's weighted pretty heavily in favor of media, with icons for MusicStage, PhotoStage, VideoStage, and SyncUP powered by Nero; for other tasks, you might want to stick to regular Windows. The wireless keyboard and mouse share a single 2.4GHz wireless USB adapter that lets you type and click from up to 33 feet away. The compact keyboard is even spill resistant, so there's no reason not to use it while chilling on the couch. While you're there, the included TV-style remote has all of the standard media buttons, as well as controls for navigating between Web pages or TV channels when watching over-the-air programming through the integrated TV tuner.
The Dell Inspiron One 2320 is decked out with all the features you could want in a desktop, plus a collection of entertainment inputs that will keep this all-in-one useful even when the components have been surpassed by newer models. On the right of the system, you'll find a tray-loading Blu-ray combo drive (BD-R, DVD±RW), the power button, and a button for toggling between the available video inputs. On the left, there is a multiformat card reader (SD, SDXC, SDHC, MMC, MS/Pro, xD), two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, and buttons for adjusting the audio volume and display brightness.
It's on the back of the system that things get interesting. There you'll find a large panel stretching across the length of the chassis that's covered with ports and connectors. On one side of it are four USB 2.0 ports, audio output, Gigabit Ethernet, a power connector, VGA output, and a coaxial connection for hooking up an antenna or cable box. On the other end of the rear panel you'll find the aforementioned HDMI-in, VGA, and composite video inputs, as well as an S/PDIF connection and a case lock slot. But if you're looking for faster USB 3.0 ports or an HDMI-out port for connecting to an HDTV or other external display, you're out of luck.
Internally, the Inspiron One 2320 has a built-in TV tuner, as well as 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) 2.0, a wireless HDMI replacement that also requires a $99 Netgear Push2TV HD adapter. The 2TB hard drive is spacious—larger than the 1TB drive found in the Editors' Choice Sony VAIO VPC-L231FX/W ($999.99 list, 4.5 stars)—and spins at a respectable 7,200rpm. Dell has preinstalled on it the Windows 7 Touch Pack and Microsoft Office Starter 2010, which offers basic word processing and spreadsheet functions, but no PowerPoint or Outlook. A one-year trial of DataSafe 2.0 provides 2GB of online backup for a year, and even more generous is the 15-month trial of McAfee Security Center. Given how many manufacturers provide the same one- or two-month trials that can be found for free online, a trial this lengthy is a welcome addition. Dell also covers the Inspiron One 2320 with its basic one-year warranty, which includes parts and labor, 24/7 phone support, and in-home service for hardware.
Dell has equipped the Inspiron One 2320 with a 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-2400S processor—a step up from the Core i3 found in the Sony VAIO VPC-L231FX/W and the same processor found in the Apple iMac 21.5-inch (Thunderbolt) ($1,199 list, 4.5 stars)—and 8GB of RAM, which proves a good combination for everyday computer work. In our CineBench R11.5 rendering test, which serves as our processor speed benchmark, the Inspiron scored 3.35, ahead of the 2.69 of the Toshiba DX735-D3201, but behind the 4.47 of the HP TouchSmart 610-1150y ($1,199.99 list, 4.5 stars) and the 4.13 of the iMac. In our PCMark 7 general-use test the Inspiron scored a category-leading 2,718, compared with the 2,690 of the Toshiba DX735-D3201 ($899.99 list, 3.5 stars) and the 2,167 of the VAIO VPC-L231FX/W.
The Inspiron also performed well in multimedia tests. In Handbrake, the Inspiron encoded our test video in 1 minute 29 seconds, tying with the TouchSmart 610-1150y and beating out such competitors as the Sony VAIO VPC-L231FX/W, which took 2 minutes 22 seconds and Samsung Series 7 (DP700A38-01) ($999.99 list, 4 stars), which took 2 minutes 5 seconds. We saw similarly good results in Photoshop CS5, which the Inspiron ran through in 3:38, ahead of every competitor except the Apple iMac (3:29). Whether you dabble in digital photography or think yourself the indie director of tomorrow, the Inspiron One 2320 will be a powerful and useful multimedia tool.
Thanks to its discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 525M video card, the Inspiron One 2320 delivers some of the best graphics and gaming performance available in an all-in-one. In 3DMark 11, the Inspiron One 2320 scored 1,581 on the Entry preset and 293 points on Extreme. Competing systems utilizing integrated graphics were unable to run the test at all. Many comparable systems are unable to even run our DirectX 11 Lost Planet 2 gaming test, but the Inspiron One 2320 pumped out a respectable 23 frames per second (30fps is considered playable). The Inspiron One 2320 also produced playable frame rates of 42fps in Crysis when running at low resolution and detail settings, opening the door for plenty of midrange games. The only all-in-one better at gaming was the Apple iMac (70fps in Crysis, 32fps in Lost Planet 2), but it offers a smaller screen and no touch capabilities.
The Dell Inspiron One 2320 wins us over with its combination of category-leading performance right now and entertainment features that will keep the all-in-one in use for years. A few omissions, like the lack of HDMI output and USB 3.0, might be a deal breaker for some, but most will be able to overlook it. Even with these flaws the Inspiron Omni 2320 is a fine system that should satisfy most computer shoppers, and it surpasses our previous Editors' Choice Sony VAIO VPC-L231FX/W.