HP Compaq Elite 8300 All-In-One PC Review
All-in-one computers have a great space-saving profile for businesses and regular home users. When configured with WiFi and wireless keyboard/mouse, the only cable is the power cable, making for an uncluttered and unimposing look. Not at all a stranger to the AIO market, HP has introduced its Compaq Elite 8300 AIO system. Let’s take a closer look.
Many AIOs tend to look the same. What distinguishes this AIO is the adjustability and heft of its base. Height and tilt angle are all highly adjustable, and the base seems to be well-designed to keep the computer’s center of gravity firmly over the stand – it would take some serious jarring to knock this puppy over.
The system has a very clean look, and the base can be removed in order to mount the system to another VESA format monitor support system. The front of the system features a matte black bezel with a silver trim line across the bottom. At the far right of the trim is a pale blue LED power indicator, which also indicates the position of the power button tucked around the corner on the side of the system.
The built-in webcam has a physical shutter that can be closed by a sliding control at the top of the monitor, ensuring visual security for those uncomfortable with the idea of a camera pointed at them all day. The included wireless keyboard and mouse were comfortable and give solid tactile feedback. The keyboard includes a function key to allow you to adjust things like speaker volume, access media playback controls, and sleep the system right from the keyboard.
Ports and slots include four USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0; two PS/2; one microphone input; one headphone output; one DisplayPort; one audio output; 1 RJ-45 1000baseT; one half-length mini PCIe x1 for general expansion; and one MXM for graphics expansion. A slim-line DVD-RW drive is located on the top-right side of the case.
Intel 802.11a/b/g/n is also included as well as the built-in 1000baseT hard-wired network interface. When both a wired and wireless connection was available, the system seemed to use the wireless, which is disappointing and rather odd, and wired is almost always a better connection. I had to disable the wireless interface to get the wired connection to be used. The wireless connection worked very well and provided great performance.
A set of stereo speakers is built into the lower part of the bezel, and provides impressive audio performance for an AIO. There’s no low-end, but is far better than what I’d expect out of the form factor, and can reach an impressive volume level.
The screen measures 23-inches on the diagonal, and is a full 1920x1080 HD display. This system can easily double as a television when coupled with a TV tuner such as Silicon Dust’s HDHomeRun tied to Windows Media Center (my computer TV tuner of choice). The display is crisp and bright. Easy to read, the large display with high resolution will enable even those with poor vision to use the computer effectively. And – it’s rotatable to work in a portrait orientation as well as the more traditional landscape orientation.
The system includes an optical touch panel that supports two touch points. Just need to do something quick? No need to pull out the keyboard and mouse. The touchscreen works very well, and would make this system an excellent choice for kitchen or living room and greatly augments a media center concept. With two touch points, you can zoom into a web page be spreading two fingers applied to the display, just like on a tablet computer.
If needed, access to the internal components is quick and easy. The back of the case is designed to “horse shoe” around the stand mounting area, and unlatches with two spring-loaded locking tabs. No screws need to be removed – just pull the two tabs to the side, and the back slides off.
The 8300 comes equipped with an Intel Core i5 quad-core processor at 3.2 GHz and 4 GB of memory and a Western Digital WD5000AAKX 500 GB hard drive. The system is very responsive, and 4 GB of memory is pretty reasonable for most home and office tasks. The Windows Experience Index for this system is 4.8.
The Core i5 also comes with graphics built-in, and delivers reasonable display performance until you get to 3D. The 3D Mark Performance benchmark yield lackluster performance, but then again, this isn’t designed to be a gaming machine. The overall 3D Mark score is P421.
The PCMark benchmark provided an overall result of 2481.
For Disk I/O, the ATTO disk benchmark rated the system at between 130 and 140 MB/second for the larger packet sizes.
On the PassMark benchmark, the system scored an overall 1444.6. [[ Matt – detail PNG is available with the images if desired ]]
Boot time from cold start to desktop was 1 minute, 25 seconds, and shutdown time was 11 seconds. This was without any antivirus software loaded.
An interesting thing that the 8300 includes is face recognition for access security. You can train the system to recognize your face through a series of photos in multiple head positions take through the webcam. When it’s time to log in, the system will scan your face and compare to one or more “scenes” of photos to see which user you are and log you in automatically.
The HP system I evaluated was refreshingly free of evaluation and pre-installed software. Some of the HP utilities were a bit obnoxious with setup windows the first few times I started it up, but the desktop was free of extra icons and there wasn’t anything on the system that I would feel the need to remove.
The HP Compaq Elite 8300 with an MSRP of $1,155 is a nice general-purpose that would work great in most office and home applications. Gamers may want to keep on looking, and your higher-end production work like video editing would be better suited for a beefier machine. But your more typical user should be well pleased by the performance, build, touch-screen and aesthetics of this system.