One For All And All In One (Part 3) - HP OMNI 27-1015T, Sony Vaio L Series (Model SVL24116FXB)

10/21/2012 9:26:37 AM

Description: HP OMNI 27-1015T

Has hp lost its touch?

WE USED TO get excited when HP would send us its latest all-in-one. Each new model seemed to add some cool innovation or new feature that no other manufacturer had. The Omni 27-1015t has us wondering if the all-in-one pioneer has grown tired of pushing the envelope.

Sure, this new model has a slightly faster CPU, a better GPU, a bigger hard drive, and faster memory than the last HP all-in-one we tested (HP's Omni 27 Quad, reviewed in July), but simply reaching into a new parts bin isn't innovating. Visit HP's website, and you'll see the Omni 27-1015t selling for $1,250. You can customize the machine you buy, however, and the computer that HP sent for review was pumped up with a faster CPU (an Intel Core i5-3550S), more memory (8GB of DDR3/1600), a faster video card (an AMD

Radeon HD 7650A), and a higher-capacity hard drive.

This bumped the price tag to $1,470, which puts it just $30 below the price tag of the Core i7-3770S-powered Asus ET2701. In addition to a superior CPU, Asus puts a Blu-ray drive in its machine, whereas HP cheaps out with a simple DVD burner. Both machines include an LED-backlit IPS LCD panel (neither are touchscreens).

Description: HP needs to move the power button off the top of its all-in-one PCs; it's too easy to accidentally turn the machine off while adjusting the angle of the display

HP needs to move the power button off the top of its all-in-one PCs; it's too easy to accidentally turn the machine off while adjusting the angle of the display

In terms of benchmark performance, the Omni 27-1015t proved to be considerably faster than the relatively weak Gateway and roughly on par with the Sony L Series, but it trailed the Asus and Dell machines by considerable margins.

In most other respects, the Omni 27-1015t is a carbon copy of the Omni 27 Quad. On the machine's left-hand side, you'll find two USB 3.0 ports, a mic input, a headphone output, and a media card reader. There's a slot-feed DVD player/burner on the right-hand side (with an eject button), along with buttons for volume control and for switching between PC and HDMI modes.

The HDMI input is also located on the right-hand side, but HP would be wise to follow the rest of the industry in moving this port to the back of the machine so the cable can be hidden. And for the love of Pete, when your engineers design the next model, force them to provide an easier means of controlling the volume when the machine is in HDMI mode. As we noted in our review of the Omni Quad, it takes 14 button presses to bring the volume from 100 percent to zero.

The Omni 27-1015t’s back panel hosts four USB 2.0 ports, line-level RCA outputs for powered speakers, and a subwoofer output. HP sells a pretty good powered subwoofer—the $130 HP Pulse—but you can plug any powered sub into this jack.

If you don't need an all-in-one as powerful as what Asus is offering, we recommend stepping down to the Gateway. The price/ performance ratio of HP's Omni 27-1015t is just too out of whack for us to recommend it as an in-between compromise.

We dig HDMI inputs on all-in-one computers, but the port should be back here with the rest of the I/O ports.



3.06Hz Intel Core i5-3550S


AMD Radeon HD6550A


8GB DDR3/1600


2TB (7,200rpm)


DVD player/burner


Sony Vaio L Series (Model SVL24116FXB)

Description: Sony Vaio L Series (Model SVL24116FXB)

Oh me-oh, oh my-oh, look at the price of this vaio!

SONY INTRODUCES a number of cool innovations with its latest generation of Vaio L Series all-in-ones, but the company exacts a hefty premium from those who want the best the company has to offer. This model SVL24116FXB costs $200 more than the Asus, but is outfitted with a slower CPU, a smaller display, a lesser video card, and a smaller hard drive.

Sony's most important innovation is its capacitive touchscreen that recognizes not just two, but 10 touch points. As such, this will be one of the few current-generation computers that will meet the Windows 8 requirement for touchscreens to recognize a minimum of five touch points. What’s more, the computer can use its built-in webcam to respond to physical gestures even without the touchscreen.

While listening to music, for instance, you can adjust the volume by pointing your index fingerat the computer's camera and drawing a circle in the air: A clockwise spin turns the volume up, and a counterclockwise movement turns it down. If you’re watching a slide show, waving your hand from left to right advances to the next photo, while moving it from right to left moves back to the previous slide. It's a bit of a gimmick now, but we predict it's a feature we'll come to expect over time.

Other unique features we’d like to see every all-in-one manufacturer copy include a picture-in-picture mode that lets you use the full Windows 7 desktop while video from the HDMI input streams to a small window in a corner. This allows you to watch TV and use the web at the same time. There’s also a picture-and-picture mode that splits the screen vertically and places a window for the HDMI input alongside a Windows 7 window. These features would be even better if you could swap either to full-screen mode without losing sound from the HDMI input (so you could focus on the web during commercial breaks and switch back to the windowed view when they’re finished).


Sony declined to say if its 24-inch touchscreen panel is based on TN or IPS technology, but we can tell you it isn't nearly as bright and vibrant as either the Asus or the Dell.

Unlike the Asus, the Sony has an integrated TV tuner, and you don’t need to fire up the PC to use it, to use the display with an HDMI source, or even to use a web browser. There's a Core i7 CPU under the hood, but it's a Core i7-3610QM that doesn't include Intel's more advanced virtualization technologies (vPro and VT-d) or Intel’s demand-based switching technology. The Vaio’s Nvidia GeForce GT 620M video card is also a step behind what Asus, Dell, and HP have to offer.

Sony’s Vaio L Series model SVL24116FXB brings some impressive innovations to the all-in-one market, but we don't think they’re worth a $200 premium over the much more powerful Asus ET2701 with its larger, better-looking display.

Sony is one of the few all-in-one manufacturers still providing a TV tuner by default. The Vaio L Series also provides both an HDMI input and an output.



2.3GHz Core i7-3610QM


Nvidia GeForce GT 620M


8GB DDR3/1600


1TB (5,400rpm)


Blu-ray player/DVD burner


Who's The Fairest Of Them All?

Can any of the latest all-in-one machines lure us away from a conventional desktop?

THE ALL-IN-ONE MARKET has grown and changed for the better this year, thanks in large measure to efforts by Asus and Dell to push the envelope. Sony also deserves a measure of credit for introducing pic- ture-in-picture, picture-and-picture, and gesture-recognition innovations (even if its Vaio L Series trails the pack in terms of price/performance ratio). But can any of these contestants tempt a hard-bitten PC enthusiast into giving up separate boxes?

Dell comes close with its new XPS One, especially the configuration reviewed here. We can't overstate the beauty of that gor­geous Samsung PLS panel. The display might not satisfy a professional photog­rapher or illustrator, but games, movies, and websites look fantastic, and it delivers higher resolution than most of us are using today (this review was written using a Dell U2410,with native resolution of 1920x1200). Plus, it’s the only machine in the roundup to include an SSD, albeit a small one.

The Asus ET2701, on the other hand, delivers the best bang for the buck. Yes, its IPS panel has native resolution of only 1920x1080, but it costs a full $500 less than the Dell, and the rest of its most critical infrastructure—CPU. GPU, memory, and mechanical hard drive—is exactly the same. (But if you decide to buy one, don't bother unpacking the keyboard—it well and truly sucks.) If you—or your friends and family, if they're looking for your recommendation— have the budget, this is the machine to buy.

But not everyone has that much cash to throw down for a new PC, so what do we recommend for smaller budgets? Certainly not the HP Omni 27—it’s nearly as expensive as the Asus, but it’s not nearly as good a value. The same goes for the Sony Vaio L Series, although we applaud the company for introducing new features into the market. That leaves Gateway’s little engine that could. The ZX6971-UR10P is nothing to brag about, but for those who need a simple productivity machine that can double as a display for a set-top box or a gaming console, it’s the machine we’d recommend.


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