Packard Bell oneTwo review

Another all-in-one touchscreen arrives, this time from Packard Bell. We go hands-on

A touchscreen computer

Packard Bell was bought by Acer at the beginning of 2008, and the influence of its new owner is evident in this PC. The rear of the oneTwo looks similar to that of the Acer Aspire Z5600, and the same software suite can be found on both machines.

That suite includes Acer's TouchPortal software, which isn't necessarily a good thing. It looks nice, using the metaphor of a writing desk to provide links to existing applications, but it's merely fluff. The only additions to Microsoft's Touch Pack software are simple photo-sharing and note-taking applications that add little to what’s already included with Windows 7.

The interface feels sluggish: some animations, such as the sweep that’s required to load the TouchPortal interface, judder painfully into life, and several Touch Pack applications – Globe in particular – struggled to run smoothly.

Thankfully, more positive attributes have also been carried over from the Acer. The Packard Bell’s 23in screen, for instance, is bright, sharp and evenly-lit across its 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution and it proved responsive and accurate throughout our hands-on prodding time.

It’s not quite as impressive as the Sony VAIO VPC-L11S1E – the £500 price difference reflects that – but it’s still one of the best we’ve seen.

The chassis looks and feels good, too, thanks to a glossy black exterior sitting upon clear plastic legs. The gentle curve on the rear is lifted straight from the Acer and we'd be happy with it centre stage in a study. There’s a decent selection of ports, too, with six USB sockets, eSATA and a card reader.

Inside, a 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 powered the oneTwo to a score of 1.41 in our application benchmarks, which is more than enough power to handle demanding applications. The rest of the system is kitted out well, too, with a 1TB hard disk, 4GB of RAM and a hybrid TV tuner.

The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 GPU averaged 46fps in our Low-quality Crysis benchmark and played 1080p test videos smoothly. While it’s fine for media playback, gamers will likely find themselves lowering the settings or sticking to older titles.

Nevertheless, the only genuine disappointment – especially given the size and quality of the screen – is the omission of a Blu-ray drive. These are now becoming common even in cheaper traditional desktops, but in these all-in-ones Blu-ray seems to be reserved for the dearer rivals at the moment. Hopefully that will change soon.

But the oneTwo is a solid, if not exactly spine-tinglingly exciting, all-in-one system. Its main problem is the existence of that Acer at a very similar price. With almost nothing to separate the two in terms of specifications and performance, we'd have lean towards the slightly better looking Acer.


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