Introducing the Dell Inspiron One 2320

Our last Windows all-in-one review was for HP's TouchSmart 610, an interesting if slightly pricey piece of desktop kit. HP brought a lot of innovation to the table but they couldn't quite patch over the underlying problems with the hardware and software ecosystems that keep a touch-based all-in-one from really achieving all it can. Today we have on hand the Dell Inspiron One 2320, complete with Dell's own touch-based software interface and its own bells and whistles. Is Dell able to smooth over those issues better than HP could, or did they stumble on to some new ones?

What surprised me out of the gate was that Dell opted to go for a much less adjustable stand than any of HP's or even Toshiba's all-in-ones (one of which we have in house); the Inspiron One 2320 has two legs and then it just sort of reclines on its own. That makes it simultaneously more and less user-friendly than the competition; there's something about it that feels more approachable, but at the same time it's really less adjustable than the other ones, and with a TN panel that really spells trouble. Let's hit the specs before we go any further.

Dell Inspiron One 2320 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i5-2400S
(4x2.5GHz, 3.3GHz Turbo, 32nm, 6MB L3, 65W)
Chipset Intel H61
Memory 2x4GB Hynix DDR3-1333 SODIMM (Max 2x4GB)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1GB DDR3
(96 CUDA cores, 600/1.2GHz/1.8GHz core/shader/memory clocks, 128-bit memory bus)
Display 23" LED Glossy 16:9 1080p
Hard Drive(s) Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB 7200-RPM SATA 6Gbps HDD
Optical Drive Blu-ray reader/DVD+/-RW writer (HL-DT-ST CT30N)
Networking Realtek PCIe Gigabit Ethernet
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
Audio Realtek ALC269 HD Audio
Stereo speakers
Headphone and mic jacks
Front Side Webcam
Speaker grilles
Right Side Optical drive
Input button
Power button
Left Side Brightness control
Volume control
Headphone and mic jacks
2x USB 2.0
SD/MMC/XD/MS Pro card reader
Back Side Kensington lock
HDMI input
Composite input
Optical out
Antenna jack
Antenna jack for NTSC/OTA ATSC input
VGA output
Ethernet jack
Surround jack
4x USB 2.0 (one taken by wireless mouse and keyboard receiver)
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 22.25" x 2.5" x 17" (WxDxH)
Weight 18.85 lbs
Extras Webcam
Wireless keyboard and mouse
Flash reader (MMC, SD/Mini SD, MS/Duo/Pro/Pro Duo)
Blu-ray writer
Touchscreen
JBL speakers
Warranty 1-year basic support
(optional 3-year)
Pricing Starting at $599
Price as configured: $1,249

As with HP's TouchSmart 610, Dell's Inspiron One opts for a mix of desktop and notebook hardware. The CPU is a low-power desktop model, the Intel Core i5-2400S clocked at 2.5GHz and capable of turbo-ing up to 3.3GHz on a single core or 2.6GHz on all four non-Hyper-Threaded cores. Instead of desktop DIMMs, though, Dell only offers two SO-DIMM slots, each with 4GB of DDR3, more than adequate for even demanding use cases.

The graphics hardware takes the hit, though. I ranted a bit about the lack of a proper ecosystem in my HP TouchSmart 610 review, but here it's particularly egregious. Dell opts for a lowly NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M as the fastest GPU you can get in the Inspiron One 2320 line. The desktop GeForce GT 430 it's descended from was already pretty dire to begin with, but just 96 CUDA cores running at 600MHz (1.2GHz on the shaders) and just 1.8GHz of DDR3 on a 128-bit memory bus isn't going to cut it for a 1080p display. We've tested this chip on Dell's XPS 15z as well, and really it's only good for medium detail 768p gaming. This is the same issue I had with HP's all-in-one, only here it's amplified because there had to have been thermal headroom in the Inspiron One 2320 for at least the GeForce GT 540M. I'd complain about that, too, but not quite so vocally.

When I spoke to HP's representative about the meager graphics hardware in the TouchSmart, she suggested that it was really meant to be more of a family computer and thus didn't need particularly aggressive graphics hardware. That may be the case, but it undermines the necessity of a dedicated GPU to begin with. If the integrated HD 2000/3000 graphics are inadequate, you probably plan on doing at least some gaming, so you'll want more. The fact is that these mobile graphics chips were designed for notebooks with 768p screens, and at that resolution they're fine. On an all-in-one, though, they're much harder to justify and really speak to a fundamental problem with the all-in-one ecosystem: we need an in-between point for graphics hardware. What we really need for "upscale" 1080p AIO systems is at least GT 555M or (preferably) GTX 560M level hardware; we've seen such chips in 14" and 15" notebooks; would it really be that hard to stuff something faster into a significantly larger AIO system? The GT 525M upgrade from the base model Inspiron One 2320 ends up costing over $200, and for that price it just doesn't add enough performance.

The rest of the Inspiron One 2320 is capable enough, and Dell seems to be gunning for more of a true family machine with it by including VGA, composite, and HDMI inputs, suggesting that even when the computer inside it isn't particularly great anymore, you can still use it as a monitor. It also supports Intel's WiDi, and the hard drive inside is a full 3.5" drive.

Application and Futuremark Performance
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  • JarredWalton - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Just to help avoid confusion, I've added a bit to the offending paragraph. Here's the updated version, so if you still have complaints with this wording please let me know what you disagree with and why:

    "When I spoke to HP's representative about the meager graphics hardware in the TouchSmart, she suggested that it was really meant to be more of a family computer and thus didn't need particularly aggressive graphics hardware. That may be the case, but it undermines the necessity of a dedicated GPU to begin with. If the integrated HD 2000/3000 graphics are inadequate, you probably plan on doing at least some gaming, so you'll want more. The fact is that these mobile graphics chips were designed for notebooks with 768p screens, and at that resolution they're fine. On an all-in-one, though, they're much harder to justify and really speak to a fundamental problem with the all-in-one ecosystem: we need an in-between point for graphics hardware. What we really need for "upscale" 1080p AIO systems is at least GT 555M or (preferably) GTX 560M level hardware; we've seen such chips in 14" and 15" notebooks; would it really be that hard to stuff something faster into a significantly larger AIO system? The GT 525M upgrade from the base model Inspiron One 2320 ends up costing over $200, and for that price it just doesn't add enough performance."
    Reply
  • tzhu07 - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    This looks like the retarded younger brother of the iMac. Steve Jobs is fundamentally correct when he said that Dell makes boring beige boxes. Dell hasn't really done anything to prove him wrong.

    And God damnit those fucking stickers (lower right corner) keep appearing on Windows based machines. Stop, just stop already. I can't roll my eyes far back enough at this practice.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    NOTE: Sigmatu, personal attacks on people is not something we like to see in our comments, and they have been deleted. tzhu07 has expressed an opinion that this looks like a crappy knock-off of the iMac, and that's certainly a valid opinion. Complaining about the stickers on systems is also valid. Your attacks suggesting he... whatever... are uncalled for. Any more of that and I'll pull out the banhammer. Reply
  • sigmatau - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    I guess when I was told to "stfu" when I was talking about my horrible 3gs in another one of your articles, that was ok because I was talking the truth about Apple? gotcha. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    I don't read through every comment on every thread, but your attacks were personal and I saw them. If someone makes unwarranted attacks on you, feel free to drop me an email. If it's in the forums, though, don't talk to me -- talk to one of the forum moderators. The bottom line is your comments here were out of line and I saw them. Instead of pointing the finger at a vague "other post", accept that your posts were inflammatory and personal attacks that contributed nothing, and move on with better posts. It's what helps separate the AT readership from, say, the DT readership (though there's obviously overlap); we like to hold our comments to a higher standard. :-) Reply
  • sigmatau - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Fine, next time I will just say how fucking stupid Macs are and go on a diatribe about that since that seems to be fine by you. Fuck Macs! I guess that's the higher standard you are looking for?

    In all honesty, both of our comments should have been deleted. By you posting about this instead of a personal message, then you should not be surprised by a response.

    Anyways, I got it. I will not call people names, but apparently I can throw up all the profanity about products and that is fine. Sounds fairly hypocritical to me but whatever man.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Or you could just behave yourself in the first place.

    That is also an option.
    Reply
  • sigmatau - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Fuck Macs. Reply
  • sigmatau - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Macs are fucking grossly overpriced.

    I am expressing my opinion and "that's certainly a valid opinion".
    Reply
  • niva - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Right on about the stickers, they're so hard to remove... I wish companies would stop doing that. Their main logo is obtrusive enough.

    Same about bloatware sold with the machines. I want a clean windows install on it.

    Agreed with the sentiment that this is a VERY cheap iMac. Hate Apple but props must be given in terms of design. Dell failed in execution of this AIO.
    Reply

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