Fancy a desktop computer but without the clutter of a whole load of cables and the hassle of having to set up a PC, monitor and speakers separately? Then an all-in-one (AIO) PC is the way to go. This incorporates the aforementioned bits into an integrated whole which gives a far cleaner look and feel while taking up less space, though there are significant disadvantages too. For example, if the screen breaks you might need to chuck the PC part too, and due to the use of 'laptop' parts upgrading is made more difficult and there are considerable performance compromises. However, if you have decided on the AIO route, Dell's fairly stylish, Full HD and touch-capable Inspiron One might be just what you're looking for.
In blatant contradiction of the One's name, Dell provides two different series. The Inspiron One 22 is an entry level, 22in, AMD-based machine, while the Inspiron One 23 gives you an extra inch of screen real estate and is a higher-spec, Intel-based affair.
We're looking at the former, which starts at £449 for an Athlon II X2 250u backed by Radeon HD 4270 graphics, 3GB of RAM and a 320GB HDD. Our £628.99 configuration (model number 2205) is a little beefier, sporting a 3GHz, dual-core AMD Athlon II X2 250e CPU, backed by 4GB of RAM and a 3.5in, 500GB hard drive. AMD's Mobility Radeon HD 5470 graphics are driving the Full HD screen, though the optical drive is a non-upgradeable, slimline DVD Rewriter, so watching Blu-rays isn't an option (unless you use an external drive).
In fact, considering that you can usually customize the heck out of Dell machines, it's very disappointing to see that almost nothing on the Inspiron One 22 is upgradeable - or downgradeable, for that matter - prior to buying. You get a choice between the two configurations mentioned above and that's it. At least on the more expensive of the two, a DVB-T/analogue TV tuner and inbuilt wireless N card come as standard, while the specifications should be powerful enough to handle most tasks – demanding 3D gaming excepted.
On the bright side, both the optical and hard drives are very easy to upgrade yourself. The Inspiron One 22's back cover simple slides off, after which undoing a few screws is all it takes. So Blu-ray is an option if you're wiling to get your hands dirty.
Connectivity is yet another disappointment. Along the right hand side of the machine, you'll find a memory card reader, two USB 2.0 ports, and headphone plus microphone jacks nestled between volume controls and a blue-backlit, chromed power button (which becomes backlit in red when on standby). At the back we have another four USB 2.0 ports, 3.5mm line out and in jacks, a Gigabit Ethernet port and the tuner's antennae jack.
There's no USB 3.0 or eSATA for hooking up fast external storage and, more worryingly, no video in or outputs. This means you can forget about using a secondary display with the Inspiron One 22, and hooking up external devices like consoles or netbooks is also out of the question.
It's quite frankly the worst-connected AIO we've seen in a while: even the Samsung U200 at least offered eSATA and DVI-out, and both the Asus EeeTop and MSI Wind Top AE2220 threw digital audio and HDMI-out into the mix. It's more than a little disappointing that the One 22 can't match the connectivity found on machines that are nearly a year older.