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Dell Inspiron One 2320 review: Dell Inspiron One 2320

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The Good Dell's attractive Inspiron One 2320 offers well-rounded performance and more media connection options than any other all-in-one in its price range.

The Bad An HDMI output to go along with the HDMI-in would be helpful, and a competing Lenovo all-in-one gives this Dell a strong performance challenge.

The Bottom Line You can find a faster all-in-one from Lenovo for just a few more dollars, but as a general-purpose system with a strong home entertainment bend, the Dell Inspiron One 2320 is hard to beat.

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7.7 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Performance 6
  • Support 7

Dell's goal is for this $1,250 Inspiron One 2320 to become your digital media command center. At least that's what I assume based on the assortment of video inputs and other multimedia features festooning this all-in-one. Dell would have been wiser to balance those features with more-powerful computing components, and an aggressively priced Lenovo all-in-one gives the Dell a value challenge, but overall I can recommend this desktop if you're looking for a Windows PC to anchor your digital entertainment consumption.

The design of the Inspiron One 2320 is almost identical to that of the Inspiron One 2305 we reviewed this time last year. Along with HP's TouchSmart 600-series, the Inspiron One has one of the more-polished all-in-one designs out there. Dell says this new model is thinner than the previous version, coming in at 68mm/2.68 inches with the touch-screen option. The unit doesn't feel particularly thin in the grand scheme of all-in-ones, though, particularly next to the Samsung Series 7 all-in-one's razor-edge bezel.

Dell Inspiron One 2320 Samsung Series 7 Lenovo IdeaCentre B520
Price $1,249 $1,099 $1,299
Display size/resolution 23-inch, 1,920x1,080 23-inch, 1,920x1,080 23-inch, 1,920x1,080
CPU 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 2400 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 2390T 3.4GHz Intel Core i7 2600
Memory 8GB 1,33MHz DDR3 SDRAM 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM 8GB 1,333MHZ DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics 1GB Nvidia GeForce 525M 64MB Intel HD Graphics 1000 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 555M
Hard drives 2TB, 7,200rpm 1TB, 7,200 rpm 2TB, 7,200rpm
Optical drive Blu-ray RW burner dual-layer DVD burner Blu-ray/DVD burner combo drive
Networking Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

From a specification standpoint, the Dell Inspiron One 2320 is well-equipped compared with other all-in-ones in its price range, although the exceptional Lenovo IdeaCentre B520 continues to throw off the comparison. In light of that Lenovo unit, we can't recommend the Dell outright if you're after traditional computing performance since it lags in both its CPU and its graphics card.

The Dell does make sense, though, if you're in the market for an all-in-one desktop with the ability to connect to all manner of home entertainment devices. The Lenovo has an HDMI input, an HDMI output, composite video input, and a TV tuner. In comparison, the Dell has an HDMI input, composite and VGA video inputs, a VGA output, a TV tuner, and an S/PDIF optical digital audio out. We wish the Dell had HDMI-out, but otherwise, it's equipped to work with almost any home audio or video component, and it can also field a second monitor. No other all-in-one we've recently reviewed offers as many options in its device interoperability.

What all those inputs mean in practical terms is that you can connect a cable box, a separate laptop or a desktop, a game console, an HDTV camera, and even older analog devices or CRT displays to the Inspiron One to use as a standalone monitor. The optical audio output means you can connect the Inspiron One to a digital audio receiver and to route sound from the system to a more robust speaker set. And although distinct DVI or HDMI outputs would make it easier to connect a second monitor for expanded screen real estate, you can still make any additional computer display work with the VGA output and the appropriate adapter.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  

Although the Inspiron 2320 is not as fast as the IdeaCentre B520, the Dell system still performs with appropriate speed for its price. I'm surprised its Photoshop CS5 performance isn't faster, since the Dell's discrete Nvidia graphics card can boost certain aspects of that test, but on the whole this system will provide respectable performance for mainstream tasks at home.

Given the Dell's discrete graphics card, as well as its 8GB of RAM, I also looked into this system's gaming capabilities. I used Bethesda and id Software's relatively demanding new 3D shooter, Rage. In the Dell's native, 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution, with 2x anti-aliasing and all other details set to maximum, the game ran like a dream. I'd expect that an even more challenging game like Battlefield 3 might give this system some hiccups if you pushed the graphics settings to their highest, but at least for current titles, this Inspiron One 2320 makes a competent gaming computer.

Like most current all-in-ones, the Inspiron One 2320 offers touch-screen functionality (although Dell will also let you buy a nontouch version for $100 less). With the touch screen comes Dell's Stage interface, a low-profile but reasonably well-done set of touch-friendly icons and associated applications.

The apps are mostly straightforward media players and the like, although Dell has also included the Nero-made SyncUp program for streaming media files between devices on a network. You can drag and drop your own shortcut icons to the Stage bar. In all, Stage is an accessible, unobtrusive approach to touch. It's not quite as produced as HP's similar TouchSmart software, but the overall benefits are similar.

Alongside the media connectors mentioned above, Dell has also included the usual assortment of data connections. You get four USB 2.0 jacks on the rear panel, and on the left side you'll find an SD memory card reader and another pair of USB 2.0 inputs. Also on the left edge, the Inspiron One 2320 offers a set of analog audio jacks and dedicated buttons for screen brightness and volume control. Dell throws in a wireless mouse and keyboard to round out the package. Our only complaint: no USB 3.0 ports. USB 3.0 should be standard in any new all-in-one over $1,000.

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