Conclusion: Start Over From Scratch

Dell's notebook team has been outdoing themselves over and over again lately. Whoever's running the show there has their head on straight, and the all-in-one team could stand to benefit a bit from their wisdom, because the Inspiron One 2320 has some very serious problems.

Amusingly enough, the one place where Dell succeeds over the competition is the software. Just by increasing the font scale and including an inobtrusive set of shortcuts with the Inspiron One, they've substantially improved the usability of the Inspiron One 2320 compared to HP's TouchSmart 610. It's true that you can manually increase the scale on the HP, but Dell thought to increase it from the factory. The MediaStage software is also much more my speed than HP's bloated TouchSmart interface. I don't want to have to swipe my fingertip across a 23-inch touchscreen; the real estate is there, let me just push the button.

I can also see where Dell was going with the variety of inputs on the back of the 2320, and the speakers are good enough that at least initially it seems like the unit could succeed at its intended purpose: being an all-in-one for everyone. There's a lot of flexibility and potential here.

The problem is that the rest of the Inspiron One 2320 is a mess. The screen sucks out loud, and that's an issue that's made worse by the knowledge that Dell's desktop screens are oftentimes excellent values. Dell pushed the prices of eIPS screens south and was one of the first out of the gate with them, so why can't we have one here? A TN panel does not a good television make.

And while there isn't anything fundamentally wrong with the Intel Core i5-2400S's performance, it feels like an odd decision for this machine; it's slow enough that I'd consider just going for an entry level mobile quad-core instead. That would at least free up some thermal headroom to put in a better GPU and balance the system out more. I almost wonder if Dell wouldn't have been better served by a desktop Llano, and that's made especially apparent when you look at how poorly the cooling system seems to be designed. It's noisy and inefficient and worse, it lets the hard drive pretty much bake inside the enclosure. CPU performance isn't the Inspiron One's strong suit, the GPU is too slow for the resolution, and there's no USB 3.0 connectivity. So yes, I'd rather have a Llano.

Ultimately I feel like while the software side is fine, the hardware probably needs to be redesigned from scratch. The cooling system needs to be made more efficient, and the hardware configuration should benefit from it. 50C is way too hot for a hard drive in any kind of desktop system to be running. The panel Dell chose for the Inspiron One 2320 is just dreadful; I've never liked large desktop TN panels and this one has been another example of why. If you're in the market for a touchscreen all-in-one, I'd be looking at HP's TouchSmart 610 line first. The 610 we reviewed may be $150 more than this Inspiron, but it's faster in almost every way but the hard drive, has a vastly superior screen, and is quieter and cooler running to boot.

User Experience, Heat, and Power Consumption
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  • JarredWalton - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Just to help avoid confusion, I've added a bit to the offending paragraph. Here's the updated version, so if you still have complaints with this wording please let me know what you disagree with and why:

    "When I spoke to HP's representative about the meager graphics hardware in the TouchSmart, she suggested that it was really meant to be more of a family computer and thus didn't need particularly aggressive graphics hardware. That may be the case, but it undermines the necessity of a dedicated GPU to begin with. If the integrated HD 2000/3000 graphics are inadequate, you probably plan on doing at least some gaming, so you'll want more. The fact is that these mobile graphics chips were designed for notebooks with 768p screens, and at that resolution they're fine. On an all-in-one, though, they're much harder to justify and really speak to a fundamental problem with the all-in-one ecosystem: we need an in-between point for graphics hardware. What we really need for "upscale" 1080p AIO systems is at least GT 555M or (preferably) GTX 560M level hardware; we've seen such chips in 14" and 15" notebooks; would it really be that hard to stuff something faster into a significantly larger AIO system? The GT 525M upgrade from the base model Inspiron One 2320 ends up costing over $200, and for that price it just doesn't add enough performance."
    Reply
  • tzhu07 - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    This looks like the retarded younger brother of the iMac. Steve Jobs is fundamentally correct when he said that Dell makes boring beige boxes. Dell hasn't really done anything to prove him wrong.

    And God damnit those fucking stickers (lower right corner) keep appearing on Windows based machines. Stop, just stop already. I can't roll my eyes far back enough at this practice.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    NOTE: Sigmatu, personal attacks on people is not something we like to see in our comments, and they have been deleted. tzhu07 has expressed an opinion that this looks like a crappy knock-off of the iMac, and that's certainly a valid opinion. Complaining about the stickers on systems is also valid. Your attacks suggesting he... whatever... are uncalled for. Any more of that and I'll pull out the banhammer. Reply
  • sigmatau - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    I guess when I was told to "stfu" when I was talking about my horrible 3gs in another one of your articles, that was ok because I was talking the truth about Apple? gotcha. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    I don't read through every comment on every thread, but your attacks were personal and I saw them. If someone makes unwarranted attacks on you, feel free to drop me an email. If it's in the forums, though, don't talk to me -- talk to one of the forum moderators. The bottom line is your comments here were out of line and I saw them. Instead of pointing the finger at a vague "other post", accept that your posts were inflammatory and personal attacks that contributed nothing, and move on with better posts. It's what helps separate the AT readership from, say, the DT readership (though there's obviously overlap); we like to hold our comments to a higher standard. :-) Reply
  • sigmatau - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Fine, next time I will just say how fucking stupid Macs are and go on a diatribe about that since that seems to be fine by you. Fuck Macs! I guess that's the higher standard you are looking for?

    In all honesty, both of our comments should have been deleted. By you posting about this instead of a personal message, then you should not be surprised by a response.

    Anyways, I got it. I will not call people names, but apparently I can throw up all the profanity about products and that is fine. Sounds fairly hypocritical to me but whatever man.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Or you could just behave yourself in the first place.

    That is also an option.
    Reply
  • sigmatau - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Fuck Macs. Reply
  • sigmatau - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Macs are fucking grossly overpriced.

    I am expressing my opinion and "that's certainly a valid opinion".
    Reply
  • niva - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Right on about the stickers, they're so hard to remove... I wish companies would stop doing that. Their main logo is obtrusive enough.

    Same about bloatware sold with the machines. I want a clean windows install on it.

    Agreed with the sentiment that this is a VERY cheap iMac. Hate Apple but props must be given in terms of design. Dell failed in execution of this AIO.
    Reply

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