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CNET First Look
Dell Inspiron One 2305Dell's higher-end Inspiron One 2305 has everything we'd look for in a dedicated home entertainment PC. Although it's not the fastest computer out there, it's capable where it counts, and even plays some games. Forgive Dell's intrusive bundled system backup...
-Hi! I'm a slightly sick Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET.com. Today, I'm here with the Dell Inspiron One 2305. So, this is Dell's newest all-in-one PC. It's a really nice-looking system we think. It looks sort of more like an AV device than a computer. It's got a big screen up here. Audio down here in the bottom would be the speaker. But in general, there's no sort of cosmetic touches to the case, and it has a really nice, clean, sort of approachable look to it. This indeed is a touchscreen PC. You can see that there's a carousel down here where Dell's added a bunch of icons. And this is actually a pretty interesting approach to touch. With a lot of touch-based all-in-ones, there's usually a touch environment you launch and it's a little bit slow to load. And then from within that, you launch the various apps. But with here, the touch is right on the Windows desktop. Though all the other icons are like normal on a touch-based, but down here, you've got these dedicated touch apps. You can launch the music app for example, and the screen blows up. It's a little bit slow, but eventually, it populates with the various albums you've loaded on to it. You can see there's other apps for photos, video. There's a note-taking program, some games, and a few other features over here. What we like in particular is the web tile. You can program it to link directly to web pages so you can load them up nice and fast. Now, this is a customizable PC, but this review unit is the $1,149 model. Now, at that price, Dell includes a whole bunch of features including a Blu-ray drive, AV connections on the back, as well as a touchscreen. The system itself though starts at $599, and that's a pretty good price considering the 23-inch display. For this price point though, this system makes a particularly good home entertainment system. The Blu-ray drive on the side can play Blu-ray discs, obviously. Around back, you get multiple AV inputs. There's an HDMI input, a VGA input, as well as a composite video input. Between those 3 features, you can connect all kinds of different devices from cable boxes to game consoles. You can connect the laptop or another computer to use this is as a secondary monitor. Those ports represent a great opportunity to use the system as a digital media hub, which is cool if you wanna use it in say, a dorm or a bedroom or some place that space constrained. That way, you don't need a second display. Dell's also included a couple of nice touches on the system. You get brightness controls here in the left side of the screen. Over in the other side, there's volume controls. They're a little bit hard to find without the visual cues over here, but we'll trade that for the clean design. You also get a wireless keyboard and mouse with the system. And we particularly liked the nice, big volume control dial here. Now, we mentioned the system isn't that fast and, true, it does have a Quad Core CPU. But it's probably on the slower end of all-in-ones in this price range. It'll handle basic productivity. It can even play some games. But you can definitely get a faster PC in the same price range. Overall though, for its sharp design, it's well attributed touch interface, and its extensive home media apps, we really like the system as a dedicated digital media PC. So, I'm Rich Brown. This is the Dell Inspiron One 2305.