Introducing the Toshiba DX735 All-in-One

So far we've tested HP's TouchSmart 610 all-in-one and Dell's Inspiron One all-in-one, and in both cases we've found things to like along with aspects that left us wanting. Today we have on hand Toshiba's DX735 in its least expensive configuration. Starting at under a grand, the DX735 at least superficially suggests a design that's more focused, more streamlined, and less schizophrenic than the competition. Did Toshiba do right where the others stumbled, or is the DX735 just another case of too many compromises?

A Toshiba computer meant to be used solely on the desktop seems like a rare thing, but once you take a look at the specifications you'll see they went in a completely different direction from HP and Dell. While HP and Dell paired desktop processors with underpowered discrete notebook graphics, Toshiba cut a lot of the fat and just went for pure notebook hardware (excepting the hard drive). Here's what we received for review.

Toshiba DX735-D3201 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i5-2430M
(2x2.4GHz + HTT, 3GHz Turbo, 32nm, 3MB L3, 35W)
Chipset Intel HM65
Memory 2x2GB Samsung DDR3-1333 SODIMM (Max 2x4GB)
Graphics Intel HD 3000
(12 EUs, turbo up to 1.2GHz)
Display 23" LED Glossy 16:9 1080p Touchscreen
TOS508F
Hard Drive(s) Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB 7200-RPM SATA 6Gbps HDD
Optical Drive DVD+/-RW writer (HL-DT-ST GT30N)
Networking Atheros AR8151 PCIe Gigabit Ethernet
Atheros AR9002WB-1NG 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
Audio Realtek ALC269 HD Audio
Stereo speakers
Headphone and mic jacks
Front Side Webcam
Speaker grilles
Power button
Right Side Optical drive
Left Side Input button
Brightness control
Volume control
SD/MMC/XD/MS Pro card reader
Headphone and mic jacks
2x USB 3.0
Back Side Kensington lock
HDMI input
5x USB 2.0 (one taken by wireless mouse and keyboard receiver)
AC adaptor
Ethernet jack
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 25.6" x 7.5" x 17.3" (WxDxH)
Weight 17.6 lbs
Extras Webcam
Wireless keyboard and mouse
Flash reader (MMC, SD/Mini SD, MS/Duo/Pro/Pro Duo)
USB 3.0
Touchscreen
Warranty 1-year basic support
Pricing $849 online (11/21/2011)

This is going to sound strange after my having taken Dell's Inspiron One to task for using a mediocre, halfway point of a processor, but I actually like the Intel Core i5-2430M that Toshiba employs in the base DX735 model which we have on hand. Where the other manufacturers are experimenting with mixed results, from the get-go you can tell Toshiba has basically grafted a notebook on to the back of a 23" touchscreen, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The dual-core i5-2430M has two cores with Hyper-Threading clocked at 2.4GHz, able to jump to 2.7GHz on both or 3GHz on one. That's not overwhelmingly fast and it's certainly no quad-core replacement, but the decent dual-core processor coupled with a lack of dedicated graphics hardware (or even a dedicated graphics option) makes the DX735's target market clear: this is an internet appliance. Users who want a little more oomph can spend up $100 to get a model that sports a quad-core i7-2670QM that should be more or less comparable in performance to the i5-2400S in Dell's all-in-one, but at a substantially lower wattage.

The Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics are standard across the line and are adequate for the purposes of this all-in-one, while the default 4GB RAM is a perfectly reasonable starting point. I do quibble a bit with Toshiba only offering up to 6GB on their "top end" model; RAM is cheap enough that 8GB should be easily doable.

Where Toshiba wisely diverges from notebook hardware in the DX735 is the use of a full-size hard drive. While it may add heat and weight to the system, Toshiba was frugal enough with their thermal budget that they're able to employ the 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12. The drive is reasonably fast (for a hard drive) while being a good citizen, and it runs 10C cooler than Dell's drive does.

Finally, where Toshiba kills the competition is in offering USB 3.0 connectivity. While overall connectivity is pretty basic, having two USB 3.0 ports for high speed data transfer is a godsend. It's still downright perplexing why the other, more expensive models from the other vendors don't offer USB 3.0, but at least it's here.

Application and Futuremark Performance
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  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Get a network TV Tuner like the HD HomeRun Prime and stick all of your Blu-ray rips on a NAS. If you have everything flowing over Ethernet, you don't need Toshiba to add more stuff (and end up making it thicker).

    Out of sight, out of mind! :)
    Reply
  • ksherman - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    I think the iMacs just offer a better value than most of the PC counterparts. Just put Windows on it. Decent GPUs, good CPU options, solid design and a great screen. Sucks ROYALLY in the peripherals department (it needs eSATA and USB3 badly) but it's still a solid machine.

    Or just build a desktop :)
    Reply
  • ksherman - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    And yes, I know it's nearly a $400 up charge, but you gotta ENJOY using your computer. Totally worth it. Reply
  • ananduser - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Only that dismal bootcamp drivers make it a poor choice for a Windows machine. Not to mention the extra you have to pay for a Windows license. Or the mobile GPU option since we are talking about a desktop machine here. Rather order a premium desktop( since we are not talking about DIY in this article) from Velocity, Maingear and the like. And to preserve and match display quality pair it with any brand of IPS display and you're set. Reply
  • Alilsneaky - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - link

    I can't imagine who would buy this thing.
    An 800+ dollar internet pc that isn't modular and wouldn't even let you replace the monitor (obviously)?

    What an abomination, form over function taken to the extreme.

    How on earth does it even cost this much if it has a cheap TN panel?.

    I can understand laptops, I can understand even tablets or oldschool palm pilots, but what on earth is the point of this thing.
    I suppose it's aimed at the BOSE crowd?
    Reply
  • shenma - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - link

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  • GlassLass - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Hard drive failed within 3 months. Servicing took nearly 2 months. When I finally got the computer back the bezel/case around the screen was scratched really badly (looks like someone in the Toshiba service department slid the face of the computer around on a hard surface, embedding several permanent scratches all over it.) And, of course, one of the USB ports on the side is now bent (inside) so that the USB port can't even be used. Looks like the USB port was used as a pry point during repairs.

    Also, when I got it back from Toshiba servicing, I noticed the machine now makes odd sounds at startup similar to a cappuccino machine. Don't know what that means, but it probably means there are more problems.

    All in all- WORST electronic purchase I've ever made in my life.
    Reply
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