When you think of HP you are probably like the rest of the masses. Laptops is the first thought that comes to mind. However, the company has been beefing up its PC lineup. The latest in this experiment is the Omni 27 all-in-one PC. The 27-inch LED-backlit 1080p display is decked out across its entire face with glass. The design is a direct transfer of that utilized for the TouchSmart all-in-one. The most surprising deficiency is the missing touchscreen, even with a base system cost of $1,199.99.
The internals are not so impressive, with a 2.5GHz CPU (Sandy Bridge Core i5-2400S), Beats Audio, integrated video, 6G RAM, and two USB’s, plus HDMI. HP has tried to make the system more attractive with options, but options always feel like apologies for not making the base system good enough. You can add a TV tuner and a Blu-ray drive, but then which computer cannot have these options added?
The real test is hands on and the display does not live up to the expectations of the system. It is a low resolution for the size. Even the low price does not justify the poor quality monitor.
Even though this is a non-touch machine, it still incorporates Magic Canvas software. Just as on the TouchSmart PC’s, the Omni has the giant icons on the panels that are customizable, in the vein of Linux desktop software. HP did not even try to integrate the webOS into the system and this leaves a baffling impression.
The Omni will hit the US market on January 8th. Besides the Omin all-in-one, HP is releasing a new Pavilion, the HPE h9 Phoenix desktop. It is a gaming machine targeting the prosumer market. It is due the same date as the Omni in the States. The base price is $1,149.99, but the internals are a bit stronger than the Omni.
Inside the Pavilion is the AMD FX-8100 8-core CPU, backup up by 8GB RAM, an SSD at 160GB, but even more than all that, a 1GB VRAM Radeon 7670 GPU. You can add secondary drives and liquid cooling to the system if you wish. In addition, there is flexibility to avoid the AMD board if you dislike AMD. Your alternative would be the X79 mainboard, with a more expensive Intel Core -7-3960X. The case is designed for the gaming attitude, with many red lights and a peek-inside window.
On the business side of HP, you will find three new monitors designed for the more serious PC user. The only disappointment is that HP is still using the Compaq name, which cheapens the feel. Consider the Compaq L2311c 23-inch, mounted with a port replicator. Attach it via USB to any notebook.
The built-in webcam is a plus as well. If you prefer the old-fashioned VGA cable, it is available as well. The power cord even works to recharge your laptop, but only HP laptops. This monitor hits the shelves in February for $319. The other two monitors are the LV1911 and LV 2011, both LED-backlit. They are due out in March, at $125 and $135.