IPS panel; HPs Magic Canvas.
Expensive; gimpy volume control in HDMI mode; no Blu-ray drive.
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 tired of pushing the envelope.
HP needs to move the power button off the top of its all-in-one PCs; it’s too easy to accidently turn the machine off while adjusting the angle of the display.
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 (you can read our review of HP’s Omni 27 Quad here ), 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 videocard (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, where HP cheaps out with a simple DVD burner. Both machines include an LED-backlit IPS LCD panel (neither are touchscreens).
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.
We dig HDMI inputs on all-in-one computers, but the port should be back here with the rest of the I/O ports.
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’d 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 as an in-between compromise.