Moving on to audio, the speakers are decent, if not in the same league as those found on the MSI Wind Top AE2220 Hi-Fi. They produce reasonable levels of clarity and depth, and trebles are handled without significant issues even at their fairly loud maximum volume. However, bass resulted in noticeable distortion so you’ll need to keep the volume down to about half. External speakers are still highly recommended – but not required – for movies, and music is a no-go if you’re discerning.
A decent screen is an essential requirement for an AIO PC, especially when – as is the case with this Inspiron One 22 – you can’t connect external displays. Thankfully, once you get past its reflective glossy finish the 22in example here is rather good. It’s still a TN LCD panel, so its vertical viewing angles are inevitably poor, but horizontal viewing angles are excellent. Combined with great contrast that will let you see every last bit of dark detailing, it’s attractive for gaming and movies both.
Sharpness is also excellent, no doubt helped by the small dot pitch resulting from stuffing a Full HD/1080p (1,920 x 1,080) resolution into its relatively small size. Furthermore, colour and shading gradients were smooth without noticeable banding and there was no sign of other unwanted artefacts.
In fact, our only real complaint regards slightly uneven backlighting, with some bleed in the bottom left corner which you may spot when watching a film in a darkened room.
There’s no touch sensitive layer to dull the picture on this screen, as Dell has gone for the same optical touch-sensing system which we’ve seen many times before. Sensors in the bezel pick up on any object – whether this is fingers, styli or bananas – that comes within half a millimetre of the screen’s surface, and it works very well. The only real disadvantage is that it only supports two simultaneous touch points.
It’s well-established that Windows 7 isn’t designed with touch primarily in mind, and to counteract this most manufacturers provide their own touch interface for a selection of basic tasks. Dell provides Stage, which takes the shape of a strip somewhat reminiscent of the taskbar in Mac OS.
A single touch on an icon brings up the contents of that folder or various options of that program, which is a nice… erm… touch. However, we can’t say it worked particularly well overall. In the photo application, for example, flicking between images is a pain. Also, the buttons for minimizing and closing the application are not large enough and too close together, faults we really wouldn’t have expected from Dell.