With desktop PC sales on a steady decline, this might seem like a strange sector to move into. But Lenovo has proved that AIO (all-in-one) Windows PCs can still sell well, so Toshiba's brand-new Qosmio DX730 range isn't all that odd.
For those of you unfamiliar with the AIO PC concept, it’s basically taking a desktop PC and fitting it into the same chassis as a screen to make for a single unit that can do everything. Probably the most well-known example is Apple’s iMac.
The advantages are that these are easier to set up than a traditional desktop system, where you have to worry about the computer, monitor and speakers as separate bits. They also take up less space, and all the parts will play nice with each other.
The disadvantages are that you can’t select quality parts yourself, have less internal flexibility and upgrade potential, and usually pay a premium. Compared to a laptop, meanwhile, AIO PCs generally offer more power, more flexibility and connectivity, and of course larger screens, but aren’t so great on portability.
Toshiba’s take seems pretty promising on paper. A 23in Full HD multi-touch display, Onkyo speakers with built-in subwoofer, decent specifications and optional Blu-ray drive, plus oodles of connectivity in a fairly slim package, all makes for a potentially convincing mix.
We’re checking out the ‘mid-range’ DX730-102, which for a pound shy of £1,000 sports a Core i5 CPU generously backed by 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, but lacks dedicated Nvidia graphics or Blu-ray.
Build and Design
Our first thought on taking this Qosmio out of the box was that it’s a far cry from the metal-clad minimalism of the iMac. Then again, those start at a pound short of £1000, so we can hardly expect the same level of quality. Compared to most of its Windows-PC brethren (with the exception of the rather gorgeous Lenovo IdeaCentre A310), the DX730’s looks are up to scratch.
While most AIOs, such as the HP TouchSmart 610 and Dell Inspiron One 22, have a more TV-like design in resting the bezel close to the desk with two little feet at the front and a rear leg for stability and tilt, Toshiba’s effort follows the iMac in sporting a more monitor-like body with a single foot that offers tilt but no height adjustment. Unlike the Apple AIO though, the DX730’s stand can be removed for wall mounting.
Build quality is quite good throughout with only a hint of creak here and there, and a lovely smooth action on that tilt hinge.
What struck us most on taking the DX730 from its packaging was its incredible glossiness. Though the entire back is matt textured plastic, the black bezel and included peripherals are as shiny as they get, and consequently form an unsightly attachment to fingerprints, grease, dust and scratches. At least the silver stand and mocha speaker grill don’t add to the forensics lab results.