The Good Superior design; Blu-ray and HDMI input make it a complete digital media hub; discrete graphics card lends gaming capability.
The Bad Not as fast as other all-in-ones in its price range; maddening Dell DataSafe pop-ups.
The Bottom Line Dell's higher-end Inspiron One 2305 has everything we'd look for in a home entertainment PC. It's not the fastest computer out there, but it's capable where it counts, and even plays some games. Forgive Dell's intrusive bundled backup software and you'll walk away with one of the better Windows-based all-in-ones available.
Dell Inspiron One 2305
Dell's second major attempt at an all-in-one desktop, the Inspiron One 2305, impressed us for a number of reasons. First, its clean design makes it perhaps the best-looking Windows-based all-in-one. Second, our $1,149 review configuration offers that strangely elusive combination of both a Blu-ray drive and an HDMI input. And thirdly, it also features simple, relatively effective touch software. We can't recommend it for anything beyond basic productivity due to its comparatively slow performance, and we also wish Dell had left off the annoying DataSafe pop-up software. Overall, Dell's new all-in-one is a far savvier contender than its XPS One effort of a few years back. We recommend this new model to anyone looking for a standalone home entertainment PC.
Apple's iMac retains the design crown among all-in-ones, but the Inspiron One is a close second. In contrast to the stark, aluminum-and-glass iMac, the Inspiron One has a sturdy, friendly-looking plastic shell that looks more like an AV device than a computer. It achieves this effect by minimizing the exterior ornamentation and by the near edge-to-edge design of the below-screen speaker. The result is a system that advertises its audio and video capabilities through its very appearance. The only thing we don't like about this system's design are the two stubby plastic feet underneath the screen.
As Sony originated a couple of years ago, the Inspiron One 2305 comes with, among other AV connections, an HDMI input. You also get VGA and composite video ins, which together comprise this system's AV-input option. We love video inputs on all-in-ones, because they let you easily extend the large display to cable boxes, game consoles, laptops, and other devices. It also means you don't have to purchase a second display, which is a major benefit for those looking to install a media hub in a den, a dorm, a kitchen, a bedroom, or some other space-constrained location. Other all-in-ones have this functionality, but not all of them (even at the $1,000-and-up price range).