- Review Date: 02/23/2012
- Bottom line:
The HP Compaq 8200 Elite All-in-one PC is a nice performer with a restrained, yet intelligent design. However, it's a smidge too expensive for what you get in this configuration.
Compact all-in-one form factor. Storage area for keyboard. Quad-core processor. Wireless mouse and keyboard. 802.11a/b/g/n dual channel Wi-Fi. Lots of options. 3 year warranty.
No USB 3.0, eSATA, nor HDMI in. External power brick. A few pieces of bloatware.
The HP Compaq 8200 Elite All-in-one PC ($1,859 direct) is a quad-core powered, large screen business desktop PC. It has an intelligent yet sedate design, good performance numbers, and would be a good fit for your space-constrained line workers who need just a bit more performance and screen room. It's a little pricey, especially considering that you can get systems with a few more bells an whistles for less money. Ultimately is the 8200 Elite is a decent choice if your business already has a buy contract for HP Compaq 8200 Elite PCs, but consider a lower-clocked processor to lock in a better price.
Design and Features
The 8200 Elite has the same design ID as previous business all-in-one desktops, similar to but distinct from HP systems like the Editor's Choice winning HP Omni 220-1080qd ($999.99 direct, 4.5 stars). The 8200 Elite has a basic black motif, with glossy and matte finish panels all over. It's built into an easel-style chassis, with a simple stand and a single hinge attached to the back panel so you can tilt the screen to your liking. The system's speakers are built below the screen, perfectly placed for kiosk or reception desk use. The screen chassis floats above the system's stand, similar to the HP Omni and Apple iMac systems, so there's a handy spot below the screen to stow your keyboard. The desktop includes a 1.3MP webcam for video conferencing. The only other notable feature on the front panel is the power button.
The left hand side of the 8200 Elite is where you'll find two USB 2.0 ports, audio, and a 6-in-1 card reader (mainly variants of SD and Memory Stick). The right side has the system's tray-loading DVD drive, drive activity light, and brightness controls. The back is relatively Spartan, with four more USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, audio, and the power connector for the external power brick. The back panel can be removed relatively easily to swap out the drives and get to the memory DIMM slots (two total). There are a few ports we'd like to see in every business PC that this system lacks: eSATA and USB 3.0 for connecting speedier hard drives, HDMI-in or DisplayPort-in for connecting laptops or newer desktops, and HDMI-out or DisplayPort-out for multiple monitor support. HDMI-in or DisplayPort-in really come into play when the Core i7-2600S processor becomes too slow: you can hook up a laptop or newer desktop PC in the future to extend the monitor's life.
The desktop comes with plenty of pre-installed software, including a package that can take the sting out of the HDMI port's absence. The system includes HP's LinkUp software, which lets you remote control and mirror the screen on any Windows 7 laptop or desktop on your LAN. This way you can work on any PC in your local network, using the 8200 Elite's large screen. Other pre-installed software may (or may not) have a use in your organization. The extra software includes Uola (website creation and hosting), Huddle (collaboration, workflow, and virtual work spaces), Office 2010 Starter, Norton Internet Security (a paltry 60-day subscription), HP MyRoom (video conferencing), HP Virtual Rooms (multi-user virtual meetings), MSN, YouCam, HP Protect Tools, HP CA Management agent (asset management), and Xobini (address book). Most of this stuff is benign, but your IT folks may need to spend some time uninstalling unwanted programs or cleaning up this system before dropping it on users' desks.
The 8200 Elite's Intel Core i7-2600S processor made quick work of our standard multimedia tests. It completed the PhotoShop CS5 test in a class leading 3 minutes 2 seconds and the Handbrake video encoder test a couple seconds off the leader at 1:18. For comparison, the HP TouchSmart 9300 Elite ($1,564 direct, 4 stars) (1:16 Handbrake, 3:14 CS5) and the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 91z ($1,386 direct, 3.5 stars) (1:20 Handbrake, 3:03 CS5) were in the same ballpark, thanks to their similar Core i7 processors. The ThinkCentre has quite a bit more 3D prowess thanks to its AMD Radeon HD 6650A GPU, but the Intel HD Graphics 2000 in the HP is more than sufficient for business use.
The HP Compaq 8200 Elite is a decent system with a large 23-inch screen, but there are other choices that may make more sense. The HP 9300 is actually a better buy, since it is more ergonomic, and comes with slightly better performance, more memory, a larger hard drive, and a touch screen for about $300 less. The 8200 Elite does have a less expensive ($1,149) Core i5 model that's got a better bang for the buck, but the Core i7 model here is a bit pricey overall. The 8200 Elite is likely to fit better in your corporate structure than the HP 9300 Elite, thanks to 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 5GHz support and its three-year warranty. The Edge 91z is a smaller machine with a 21-inch screen and commensurate lower price tag ($1,286), but it's still competitive with the other systems on the benchmark tests. Ultimately the HP Compaq 8200 Elite All in One is a good choice if you've already rolled out other HP Compaq 8200 Elite desktops in your business, but ultimately there are other choices out there than this particular configuration.