Packard Bell oneTwo M I3871 review

Revamped all-in-one PC with a 21.5 inch touchscreen display and Core i3 processor
Photo of Packard Bell oneTwo M I3871
£599

Why Packard Bell decided to call its all-in-one range the oneTwo, is beyond us or the reckoning of mortal man. You’d think it was the sort of name you might give a prototype or experimental computer, as in “testing, testing, oneTwo, oneTwo”. There must be a reason behind it, but it’s a safe bet to assume the moniker isn’t a reference to the machine still in beta testing.

Naming conventions aside, the freshly revamped oneTwo range comes in two flavours. There’s the ‘M’ for the medium 21.5 inch touchscreen display which we’ve reviewed here, and the ‘L’ for large 23 inch screen, which costs £100 more.

Both of these are more streamlined than previous incarnations of the oneTwo, in fact they’re two-thirds of the size to be precise. At around 6cm thick, or should that be thin, these units are rather more svelte than your average all-in-one, such as the Dell Vostro 360 which is 8cm in depth.

However, a chunky silver bar juts out at the bottom – replacing the dainty feet of the previous models – making the oneTwo look a little bulkier than it should. Its silver colour clashes somewhat with the rest of the machine, which is black, where the overall appearance might not be to everyone’s taste.

On the plus side, the silver bar does sport a rather smart looking Packard Bell logo that lights up when the machine is on. Moreover, its solid nature means the all-in-one is sturdy on its feet. This is coupled with a stiff rear stand, and as a result – there’s no danger of this machine falling over, for anything short of a major earthquake. Incidentally, the rear stand is adjustable so that you can tilt the touchscreen back, by around 20 degrees.

In terms of its specifications, the oneTwo runs a Sandy Bridge Core i3-2120 dual-core processor at 3.3GHz, with integrated graphics rather than a discrete video solution. At this machine’s price point, that isn’t surprising. The inclusion of 3GB of system memory has helped in keeping the cost down, although we’d have hoped for a more standard 4GB. Storage space hasn’t been stinted on, with a 1TB hard disk nestling inside.

The optical drive is a standard DVD writer, and this all-in-one also boasts a 1.3 megapixel webcam, plus an impressive range of ports. These include 4 USB sockets, along with 2 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI and Ethernet port, a headphones output, multi-card reader and a TV aerial connection.

Yes, this is an all-in-one designed with media in mind, and it’s Freeview certified with an AverMedia H335 MiniCard DVB-T on board. The ability to watch TV is a smart added touch at this price level, although the 21.5 inch display isn’t quite as ideal for viewing as its bigger brother’s 23 inch screen. However, despite the screen size this machine does offer a full HD 1920×1080 resolution, with a response time clocked at 5ms.

Watching a DVD movie proved that the response time was good enough to cope with fast moving scenes. The display is bright and clear, although it’s a glossy screen that does show reflections in the light of day. For the sound, Packard Bell has included an integrated speaker bar along the bottom of the unit, featuring a pair of 2.5 Watt stereo speakers. Given their size, these actually produce a pretty respectable sound, with a touch of virtual surround too. Bass levels were rather weak, but that’s to be expected from a small integrated speaker system.

The display renders games nicely, although this all-in-one struggles to run moderately demanding contemporary titles in full HD. The integrated graphics here, with the 3GB of system memory is hampering its style. The resolution needs to be dropped to 1366×768 to get a playable 25 frames per second in Dirt 3, for example. A gamer’s machine this obviously isn’t, but it can cope with relatively light gaming duties.

Windows 7 Home Premium is the OS of choice, which isn’t ideally suited to touchscreen operation with some of the smaller menus being pretty fiddly to navigate. However, that’s Microsoft’s fault, not Packard Bell’s. The screen did very occasionally miss the odd finger press, if it wasn’t quite firm enough.

Packard Bell has seen fit to include its own suite of touch-based apps that can be accessed with one touch, from the Windows desktop. The TouchPortal interface includes a touch-focused browser with bigger icons, along with favourites and history that use large pictures of web pages, rather than text.

Other apps available include a touchy-feely photo editor, with the usual pinch-to-zoom and rotate functions; a touch-based video player, music player; some games and even an interactive globe, which can be pulled around with your fingers. It’s a useful collection of applications, but we did experience some stability problems and a few crashes while testing them all out.

Packard Bell also bundle a wireless keyboard, and mouse set with the oneTwo. A well-spaced chiclet style keyboard is provided, with a firm but not clicky-typing action. The mouse isn’t quite so impressive, being on the light and plasticky side.

Company: Packard Bell

Website: http://www.packardbell.co.uk/

Contact: 0871 467 0008

Positives
  • Good breadth of features; budget price tag.
Negative
  • Integrated graphics and 3GB of system memory slows the entertainment side down a bit.

Verdict

The oneTwo is a reasonably well spec'ed, sturdy and budget conscious all-in-one that has a good breadth of features given the price tag. Built-in is a TV tuner, with a useful range of connectivity options, plus a compact speaker bar that kicks out some decent sound. Its performance as an all-rounder is slightly hampered by the reliance on integrated graphics, and the amount of memory available. Also, the TouchPortal interface seems a tad glitchy, but none of that diminishes the value-for-money factor that you're getting.