HP EliteOne 800 G2 AIO review
An attractive all-in-one business PC with only a few rough edges
All-in-one PCs might seem like an unnecessary luxury in an office, but they have real benefits. They're compact, while having more power and connectivity than most laptops, which not only helps save space on cramped desks but cuts down on unprofessional looking clutter too. The HP EliteOne 800 G2 AIO is designed with businesses in mind, so it has some features you won't find on consumer all-in-one desktops.
One of the most obvious business-oriented features on the EliteOne 800 G2 AIO is its fingerprint reader. Although a common sight on smartphones and business laptops, they're a surprisingly rare sight on desktop PCs. However, the fingerprint reader here needed a comparatively long and precise swipe to unlock the computer. This is slower and more prone to false negatives than the faster and simpler touch of a finger required for most modern fingerprint-enabled smartphones. Even so, it's still a handy convenience.
HP Inc claims its SureStart BIOS can restore itself after a malware attack using a backup copy stored in ROM. We weren't able to test this though. Other, admittedly less glamorous but still useful security and privacy features include the slot for a Kensington security cable and a simple physical slider that covers the front-facing webcam lens. Oddly, there's no SmartCard slot and the webcam isn't Windows Hello-compatible.
Businesses that already have client management software in place won't need HP TouchPoint Manager, but this basic cloud-based service could be useful for small businesses. The straightforward web interface lets IT administrators perform basic tasks on a small fleet of HP PCs, from managing user accounts to overseeing endpoint security settings.
While the casing of the 800 G2 can be opened - no mean feat given that it's often impossible on most all-in-ones - it's easier said than done. It's a fiddly and time-consuming procedure, so it's likely you'll only want to do it in special cases such as retrieving sensitive data on the internal storage in the event of a breakdown.
If hardware failure does happen, then at least there's the reassurance of the generous three-year warranty which provides for on-site next business day service.
Casing and ergonomics
The EliteOne 800 G2 is chunkier than some other all-in-ones since it still has a built-in DVD writer for accessing legacy archival media (and writing them too, if your business still uses blank DVDs). Despite its relative bulk, swivelling the PC single-handed was easy. Tilting isn't quite as effortless, sometimes requiring both hands.
Disappointingly, the inductive wireless charging stand we saw on the initial pre-production versions of the 800 G2 wasn't included with our review unit. There isn't any word yet on whether that particular option will be available in the UK, which is disappointing if you wanted to cut down on desk clutter even further by using it to charge your inductive charging compatible smartphone.
Update: HP has confirmed that the delayed wireless charging stand will be available in the UK, but pricing and an exact date have yet to be confirmed.
Although the 800 G2 isn't height adjustable, other ergonomic touches are present. The bundled wireless keyboard and mouse were surprisingly comfortable - especially the responsive laptop-style keys with plenty of travel. Good quality input devices are by no means a given with business PCs.
Unlike the iMac, which has all its ports arrayed on its rear, albeit relatively close to to its right-hand side edge, the 800 G2 has some of its ports on its left-hand side for easy access. In fact, there are quite a few connectors - a full-size SD slow, audio input and output and a USB-C socket as well as a pair of USB3 ports. Gigabit Ethernet, four more USB3 connectors and a DisplayPort are in a nook at the back where the stand meets the rest of the PC.
The 23in screen is bright with good colour accuracy, wide viewing angles and reasonably good contrast. It's a little disappointing that the resolution is only' 1920x1080 pixels given that Apple sells a 4K iMac at a very similar price, but the resolution is still enough to work on two documents side by side with ease. A bigger disappointment is the display's glossy sheen. Although this helps with its high brightness, we found it very reflective under fluorescent office lighting.
Our review unit came fitted with 8GB of RAM and a 3.2GHz Core i5 6500 quad core processor which sped through our benchmarks, no doubt helped along by the 256GB Samsung SATA3 SSD.
There's an extra RAM slot with a maximum overall ceiling of 32GB as well as a M2 slot for another SSD - if only the interior were easier to get to. Cheaper configurations are available, but we'd think carefully before trading down as they cut costs by settling for less memory and smaller SSDs or more spacious but slower hard disks.
Despite its speed, the 800 G2 wasn't noisy - we struggled to hear it in a quiet room and it only became really audible when handling the very toughest parts of our benchmarks.
The HP EliteOne 800 G2 AIO isn't cheap, but you do get a lot for your money - performance without the racket, a generally good quality screen, generous warranty coverage and other useful business-friendly features.
If you don't need the business-oriented features, but do value screen quality, then consider the similarly-specified and priced 4K iMac which has a display with superlative image quality and a higher resolution too. Bear in mind though that, like Apple's other 21.5in all-in-one desktops, it's not upgradeable at all and only supports a maximum of 16GB of memory when ordering.
This review was originally published on 04/4/2016 and has since been updated, most recently on 07/4/2016.
The EliteOne 800 G2 is a good all-in-one business PC, but it needs a little more finesse given the strong competition
|Processor||Quad-core 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 6500|
|Front USB ports||2x USB3, 1x USB-C|
|Rear USB ports||4x USB3|
|Graphics card||Intel HD 530|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Pro|
|Warranty||Three years next business day on-site|
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