The recent announcement by Toshiba to launch a brand new all in one touch screen PC in Australia is not surprising, but what is surprising is the sheer quality and performance of the device, from the sleek speakers hidden under the device but exposed enough to deliver great sound, to the easy swivel screen to the simple but stylish finish.
During the past 18 months I have reviewed several all in one PCs including touch screen models from the likes of HP with their TouchSmart model to offerings from Acer and Medion.
Under the bonnet the DX1210 PC is no slouch due to the use of Intel’s new Sandy Bridge technology. The model I reviewed came with an i5 processor; an i7 model is also available. While the 21.5 inch screen was okay, I would have preferred a 23 inch or 24 inch screen.
Having said that the quality of the display was excellent especially when I compared the Toshiba display alongside two new high end LED monitors from Samsung and BenQ.
When it comes to audio output the Toshiba PC is light years ahead of any other all in one PCs that we have reviewed due in part I suspect, because this device had to make it in the tough Japanese market where quality is critical.
The use of Onkyo speakers and Dolby Audio processing delivers crystal clear sound eliminating the need for external speakers. Music and video content delivered from iTunes and various Internet radio stations were clear and up to par with any other 2 channel PC attach sound system we have heard.
The only exceptions are some of the 360 degree desktop speakers and offerings from the likes of Bose and Bowers & Wilkins.
The speakers are located underneath the PC but exposed enough so you can see them when sitting in front of the PC. I suspect this is deliberate as the sound wave being output hits a desk and then floats upwards as opposed to outwards from speakers that are often located on the side and in some cases on the top of all in one PCs.
The base model DX1210 comes with a Core i5 2410M CPU and 6GB of RAM as well as the new Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor that is built into the new Sandy Bridge architecture.
This discreet graphics card is not designed for gamers but it does deliver excellent video and graphics, whether you are watching a TV show or YouTube clip the image delivered to the screen is as good what you get from a $2,000 TV.
You also get a built in Blu ray player and 1 Terabyte of storage which comes in handy if you are using the built in media centre recording capability for TV shows. If you decided to buy this all in one PC you may want to consider an external 2 TB drive to store TV programs or other IPTV content.
The one thing that lets this PC down has nothing to do with Toshiba. It’s Microsoft’s woeful media centre offering and the lack of services like Telstra BigPond Movies, or if you were buying this PC in the US, a Netflix subscription.
This PC has an excellent TV tuner and a really decent HD graphics card. However I would like a bigger screen than 21.5 inches because once you sit away from this PC, to a couch in a study, the screen looks really small.
When we played a Blu ray movie the only big experience missing was 3D, but I suspect that this will be addressed in future Toshiba all in one PCs as they have already demonstrated at the 2011 CES show, 3D running on a 21.5 inch screen without the need for 3D glasses.
What Toshiba has achieved with this PC is the marriage of function with good stylish design. They have also added an extra capability that allows a user to easily link devices like a Smartphone or tablet via a single PC.
We tested this with an Android tablet and Smartphone and it proved to be a great way to managing multiple devices through a single hub. We also integrated an external music database and a wireless Sonos S5 Zone player.
The Toshiba DX1210 PC includes HDMI-in, six USB ports (including two USB 3.0 ports) , Bluetooth, 802.11n (2.4GHz) Wi-Fi, an SD card slot and Gigabit Ethernet.
Toshiba’s Sleep-and-charge technology is also built into this PC. This allows USB-based devices including tablets and an iPhone or iPad to be charged even when the PC is not powered on.
A Sleep & Music capability allows music to keep playing even when the PC is in sleep mode.
For any home or kid’s bedroom this is an excellent PC. The touch actually works unlike some early all in one PCs we tested and the device is packed with capability. Design 10/10. Sound Output 10/10.
Screen size 5/10 however this is compensated for by excellent graphics.
As to performance this device screamed along even when I had several applications open. To test this PC I loaded Adobe Creative Suite CS5. This is a beast of an application that instantly slows down a PC especially when you open Photoshop, In Design and Illustrator and then try crunching a large document for Acrobat.
Most PCs struggle, however this device took it in its stride, which was impressive. It also has a lot to do with the fact that this all in one PC comes with Sandy Bridge technology built in.
On the downside, the screen needs to be bigger and the touch of both the wireless mouse and the touch screen was ultra-sensitive despite several adjustments.
This PC, with a 27 inch screen i7 processor, 2 TB of storage and a price tag of $1,995 is close to being the ultimate all in one PC, but that is not reality yet so the DX1210 is the next best thing.