More than two years after Apple introduced its 27-inch iMac, HP will offer the first large-screen Windows-based competitor with its new Omni 27 all-in-one.
Available in the U.S. on January 8, the Omni 27 will start at $1,200. Configuration options will include Intel CPUs ranging from the Core i3 to the Core i7 series, with 4GB and 8GB memory variants discrete graphics chip options from both AMD and Nvidia, and up to 3TB of hard-drive capacity.
Respectable specs aside, the 27-inch display is the main attraction. HP is not using the same high-resolution, 2,560x1,440-pixel display as Apple. Instead, the Omni 27 will only hit 1,920x1,080 pixels. That lower resolution will put off design professionals, but the large display will make the Omni 27 enticing for those interested in a PC for home entertainment.
As a member of HP's Omni product line, the Omni 27 does not have a touch screen. That hasn't prevented HP from including the Magic Canvas desktop background that comes with HP's TouchSmart all-in-ones.
Magic Canvas acts as a kind of extended desktop workspace to which you can pin icons and shortcuts, and it borders on redundant to the standard Windows desktop on a nontouch PC. Far more useful is the included HDMI input, which lets you connect HDMI-based video source components directly to the Omni 27. That effectively turns the system into a standalone display for a cable box or a game console.