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There are many advantages to choosing an all-in-one computer system. They occupy very little desk real estate compared to typical desktop computers while offering much larger screens than a laptop. They're also remarkably easy to set up, requiring nothing more than plugging in the power cord and ethernet cable. With the HP TouchSmart 9300 Elite Business PC, you can add high performance and a responsive touchscreen to its long list of impressive features.
While many all-in-ones trade convenience for mediocre computing prowess, this beauty is likely to be up to any task you throw its way. With a leading-edge processor, plenty of memory and an expansive high-definition touchscreen, the HP TouchSmart 9300 is the best all-in-one PC we've encountered and has earned our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award.
Right from the box, we were impressed with the look and feel of the TouchSmart 9300 elite. It's hefty, weighing nearly 27 pounds, which may take you off guard since – with the exception of its thickness – it resembles a top-quality monitor. Still, it's thin when you consider everything that's housed inside. The solidly built unit is very stable, with an extremely versatile stand that reclines to facilitate the use of touchscreen applications.
The HP TouchSmart 9300 is available with your choice of a second-generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor. We are thrilled with the performance that the i7-2600 CPU provides. This advanced processor runs at 3.40GHz and contains four cores and eight threads for lightning-fast multitasking. It's paired with the Intel H67 chipset. Though this isn't the ultimate gaming arrangement, it's not far off. The Sandy Bridge architecture of the i7-2600 notably augments the way graphics display compared to previous generations. An Nvidia GeForce GT 425M graphics card adds an additional 1GB of video RAM, making the display even more impressive and responsive. With all this power, it can be easy to forget that this is a business-oriented computer rather than a gamers' dream machine. The display is impressive in all regards, including providing a superb experience for customer interaction. Additionally, it's ideal for watching full HD Blu-ray movies.
The processor power is complemented by the generous 8GB of RAM. Our test unit ran the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Professional, so all 8GB of memory were available for use. Computers operating with a 32-bit version of Windows 7 are only capable of accessing about 3GB of RAM regardless of the amount installed. The computer's massive 1TB hard drive provides all the storage you're likely to require. Other storage options include a 160GB solid-state drive or a 320GB self-encrypting drive.
The 23-inch – diagonally measured – wide-screen monitor is the most visible feature of this computer. The LCD display is backlit by white LEDs, producing exceptionally vivid colors and accurate images. It has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, so it's full 1080p highdefinition. To that image quality, add the fact that it's a highly precise touchscreen and you have a platform that is ideal for customer displays, kiosks and reception areas. It's also ideal for those who want to develop touchscreen applications. Its visual cues make it an intuitive way to accomplish tasks like dragging and dropping files or resizing images and for editing graphics.
HP makes the most of the touchscreen technology by including a very stable and versatile mounting system. It can be rotated a full 180 degrees, but more importantly, it can be tilted a full 65 degrees. We found that tilting the screen forward as much as five degrees is helpful in difficult lighting environments, where glare can be an issue. More significantly, it can be slanted rearward as much as 60 degrees – a position that we found particularly conducive to touchscreen functionality.
Interacting with the HP TouchSmart 9300 Elite is a pleasure. The clean lines and minimalist design belie the numerous included options. A wired keyboard and mouse are standard, but ours included a wireless keyboard and mouse that are a logical addition to the all-in-one package. There are six USB 2.0 ports – two on the left side of the unit and four in the rear. There's also a DisplayPort lineout in the back, so connecting an additional monitor is easy if you need to. The left side offers a headphone output and microphone input, as well as volume and mute buttons. There's also a card reader located here that will accommodate SD, SDXC, MC, xD, MMC, MS and MS Pro removable media.
The right side of the computer offers a slot-loading Blu-ray player that will also play and record DVDs and CDs. Surprisingly high quality stereo speakers are integrated into the lower portion of the display screen. They won't replace a full-sized stereo system, but they're more than adequate for listening to music at your desk and for interactions with customers at a reception desk. Online conferencing and video calls are accommodated by the 2MP, high-definition webcam and dual microphone array. You can adjust the webcam's up-and-down angle with a simple thumb wheel at its rear.You can also use the webcam to provide facial recognition for added security for your sensitive business information.
The rear panel includes a port for a 10/100/1000 ethernet connection. Wireless networking is available with the integrated Wi-Fi b/g/n PCIe mini wireless card that provides 2.4GHz but not 5.0GHz compatibility. Bluetooth technology is also included for linking to printers and other devices.
HP offers technical and customer support by toll-free telephone, email and live chat. The device is covered by a one-year parts-and-labor warranty, which includes one year of onsite, next-business-day service. Telephone technical support is available 24/7 during the warranty period.
The HP TouchSmart 9300 Elite business PC may well be the ideal all-in-one for people who have never considered that option. It is first and foremost an outstanding PC with power to spare, a large, brilliant display and just about every interface option imaginable. Add to that its responsive touchscreen, and you have a device that's at home as both a primary business computer and a dynamic customer interface.
The large, multi-touch screen is ideal for customer interaction, and intuitive and convenient for visually intensive applications. It has far more computing power than is often seen in all-in-one PCs.
While it has Wi-Fi connectivity, it lacks compatibility in the powerful 5.0GHz band.
The HP SmartTouch 9300 Elite is among the most versatile and powerful PCs we've encountered, regardless of form factor. It's equally at home as an inviting, interactive interface to greet customers or as a primary desktop computer.