Dell OptiPlex 9020 AIO review

For a basic work desktop, the Dell OptiPlex 9020 All-in-One is a solid choice, handling day-to-day computing tasks with ease and bringing Windows 8 and touch to the workplace.
Photo of Dell OptiPlex 9020 AIO

There’s a new face in the office, and while does everything the last guy did, it doesn’t look the same and it does things a little different. I’m talking, of course, about the all-in-one PC, which is rapidly becoming the new norm for office PCs, replacing towers with touch-enabled systems that make the most of Windows 8. The Dell OptiPlex 9020 All-in-One is just such a system, and for most office workers and cube dwellers, the fresh-faced design and fourth-generation Intel hardware will make it a welcome addition to any office environment.

Design
The OptiPlex 9020 is an all-in-one desktop for business users. Measuring 15.2 by 22.6 by 2.8 inches (HWD), the OptiPlex 9020′s all-in-one design is great for smaller offices where a single large monitor may be preferable to a traditional tower PC. The desktop has a 23-inch 1,920-by-1,080 resolution display, which is ideal for viewing high-definition content or multitasking with side by side windows. It’s also a touch screen, which adds another intuitive interface option and helps bring out the best aspects of Windows 8.

The all-in-one design places all of the PC components in the same chassis as the display, and supports it with a dual-hinge stand. The dual-hinge design allows you to adjust both the angle and the height of the display, which you won’t see on easel-stand designs like the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 92z.

The OptiPlex 9020 has a two-tone black and silver color scheme, which should make it appealing for use in an open office or customer-facing environment, as well as the usual cubicle or office. It is outwardly identical to the Editors’ Choice Dell Optiplex 9010 AIO, with edge-to-edge glass covering the display, and a chin below that contains the system’s Realtek HD Audio speakers. Above the display is a built-in webcam, but it comes with a twist—it swivels, letting you shutter the camera when not in use.

This configuration of the OptiPlex 9020 comes bundled with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and I’m happy to report that both are of decent enough quality that you may not need to buy a replacement.

Features
The OptiPlex 9020 is outfitted with a tray loading DVD+-RW optical drive on the right-hand side of the system, and two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, and headphone and mic jacks on the left. On the back of the OptiPlex 9020, set behind the hinged stand, you’ll find six additional USB ports (two USB 3.0, four USB 2.0) along with two PS/2 ports, HDMI and VGA output and an Ethernet port. Internally the OptiPlex 9020 boasts an array of wireless features—802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and WiDi 2.0.

Dell also packs in several business-friendly features to make it easier to integrate the OptiPlex 9020 into your existing IT structure, like Intel vPro, which lets you manage each system remotely, and centralized control through Dell Systems Management, and managed data security through Dell Data Protection.

The OptiPlex 9020 is equipped with a modest 500GB, 7,200 rpm hard drive, which offers room for all of your programs and plenty of storage for documents and spreadsheets. Windows 8 Pro comes already installed on the system, and Dell also includes a 30-day trial of Microsoft Office 365, a 30-day trial of McAfee Security, and CyberLink Media Essentials. Dell includes its own backup and recovery tool, and also covers the OptiPlex 9020 with a three-year warranty and free on-site service.

Performance

Dell has outfitted the OptiPlex 9020 with a fourth-generation 2.9GHz Intel Core i5-4570S processor and 4GB of RAM—a step down from the Intel Core i7 (Ivy Bridge) and 8GB of RAM found in the Dell Optiplex 9010 AIO. As a result, the OptiPlex 9020 is better suited to standard office fare, like word processing, rather than crunching numbers in large data sets. In testing, the OptiPlex 9020 completed PCMark 7 with 3,553 points, putting it behind Core i7-equipped systems like the Dell XPS One 27 Touch (4,905 points) and the OptiPlex 9010 (4,306 points), but ahead of the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 92z (3,162 points).

The OptiPlex 9020 still did quite well in tests like CineBench R11.5 (5.47 points) and finished Handbrake in 40 seconds and Photoshop CS6 in 4 minutes 24 seconds. For daily office use, this sort of performance will be more than adequate, cranking through tasks quickly and without lag, even while multitasking.

Graphics performance is quite good, thanks to the improved performance of Intel’s fourth-generation processor’s integrated graphics, Intel HD Graphics 4600. In 3DMark 11, the OptiPlex 9020 scored 2,125 points (Entry settings) and 278 points (Extreme settings). This performance was good enough to top that of the Lenovo Edge 92z, even though the latter was equipped with an AMD Radeon GPU. While you won’t be playing demanding games during your off hours, the OptiPlex 9020 does have the chops to handle whatever presentation or Web rendering you task it with.

While it’s not the most powerful office machine Dell has on offer, the OptiPlex 9020 All-in-One is a great PC for most office workers, handling day to day computing tasks with ease and bringing Windows 8 and touch to the workplace in a form factor that puts both in their most useful capacities. A different OptiPlex, the 9010, remains our Editors’ Choice for all-in-one business desktops, but the 9020 is certainly a smart pick for the office that doesn’t such a high-powered system.

Specifications
Touchscreen Yes
Operating System Microsoft Windows 8 Professional
Storage Type HDD
Graphics Card Intel HD Graphics 4600
Type Business
RAM 4 GB
Processor Family Intel Core i5
Monitor Type LED Widescreen
Primary Optical Drive Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW
Screen Size 23 inches
Storage Capacity (as Tested) 500 GB

Verdict
For a basic work desktop, the Dell OptiPlex 9020 All-in-One is a solid choice, handling day-to-day computing tasks with ease and bringing Windows 8 and touch to the workplace.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc