March 12, 2012
- Affordable price
- Attractive design
- Large, high-quality display
- Limited video outputs
- No touch screen
- Only average performance
The HP Omni 27 Quad offers a huge 27-inch 1080p HD display that makes it the largest Windows-based all-in-one available. The display looks really great as well as the design, but with Windows 8 on the horizon, you might want to wait on purchasing a computer like this one.
The design of the HP Omni 27 Quad is quite stunning visually. It has a black body with a silver stand that is designed in a way that makes it seem like it is floating. There's a thin black bezel that surrounds the massive 27-inch display and makes it look polished. It measures 8.4 x 25.6 x 19.8-inches, so despite having a huge display, it doesn't take up much desk size.
The Omni 27's large 27-inch display has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080-pixels, but the iMac offers a resolution that is higher at 2560 x 1440-pixels just for comparison. But don't get us wrong, this display looks fantastic, especially for watching HD movies. Professional users, however, will most likely want to stick with the Apple iMac because of the larger resolution for more screen real estate.
However, while we really like the display, we frown on HP for not including a touch-enabled display on this model, which in our minds, limits the use and application of this computer. This is especially true since Microsoft's touch-friendly Windows 8 is due out later this year. It would be a shame to not have a touch screen to use all of the new Windows 8 touch features. That said, if you aren't a big fan of touch screens (and we know you're out there...) then this computer is a good buy for you.
Strangely enough, HP does include their Magic Canvas software that comes with their TouchSmart line of all-in-ones that do have a built-in touch screen. While not as useful and as smooth while using a mouse, the software still works fine and can be disabled if you wish.
In terms of ports, HP includes two USB 3.0 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, the usual audio ports, Ethernet and a 6-in-1 memory card reader. There are no other video outputs aside from HDMI, which is useful in itself, especially for using the Omni 27 as a display for a video game console, for example. There is no TV tuner in the standard configuration, which would have also been a welcome addition but it is available as an upgrade. There is also a SuperMulti DVD burner disc drive (with an option to upgrade to a Blu-ray player/writer) and integrated 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth wireless.
The internal components of the HP Omni 27 Quad include an Intel Core i5-2400S (2.5GHz) CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive and Nvidia GeForce 520M graphics with 1GB of dedicated video memory. HP offers many upgrades in this department, including an Intel Core i7 CPU and up to 3TB of storage or a 256GB SSD drive. The graphics can also be upgraded as high as Nvidia GeForce GT 540M graphics with 2GB of dedicated memory.
When compared to other all-in-ones, including HP TouchSmart PCs, the performance of the Omni 27 Quad that we tested was only average. It fell behind many other all-in-ones, particularly ones from Lenovo and other HPs. The Apple iMac also has slightly better performance overall. The abilities of the Omni 27 Quad are certainly strong enough to perform your typical computing tasks as well as play HD streaming video without any problems.