Review: HP Pavilion 23 AIO Desktop

We like a good computer in the ‘Cool household, so when HP kindly offered to lend me an All in One (AIO for short) for a couple of weeks, I was keen as mustard to give another one a go. The 23 in the model name refers to the size of the screen- it’s full HD (1080P) and is also a touch screen, which is nice.

All in ones are ideally suited for the dining or living room or the corner of any communal room as they pretty much only need one cable, the power cable, and they’re done- no tangle of trip hazards.

A nice touch is the mouse and keyboard (both wireless) come with batteries already installed and all you have to do is pull out a tag to clear the contacts.

In fact, set up is pretty easy, as you can see from the video I shot:

Ever since Ned was 18 months old, slipped out of his bed, crept downstairs, unlocked the iPad and put Peppa Pig on, we’ve realised our kids are properly the digital generation, and touch screen technology isn’t second nature to them, it’s actually completely natural. When any of the kids use their mum’s MacBook, they get frustrated by the lack of touch screen because it doesn’t make sense to them and that’s why I love these all in ones with touch screens.

Within ten minutes of sitting in front of the HP Pavilion 23 AIO, Fifi was on the maths website doing her homework- counting out money to pay for shopping. She used the touch screen almost exclusively to select coins and products to pay for; which made the homework a lot more about the maths and a lot less about the interface.

I have to report (boys being boys) that our eldest also found the touch screen useful when it came to playing Minecraft too.

The AIO is powered by an AMD A10 APU (a chip that combines a CPU and a graphics card into one package) and runs pretty well. It’s certainly powerful enough for a bit of light gaming although you won’t be running the latest games with all the bells and whistles on. The inclusion of a DVD drive is good as well, having the ability to rip CDs or put a DVD on to watch means it can effectively work as an aerial-less telly with Netflix, Amazon Prime, iPlayer and DVDs.

I think the acid test in reviewing anything that has to go back is whether you miss it when it’s gone. We missed this, despite already having a slightly older AIO that the kids regularly use. The fact it comes with a keyboard and mouse is a benefit, and the only real downside I can see is the WiFi is a bit antiquated. Having said that, there are a dizzying number of potential configurations you can pick, and this one retails for £699 on ebuyer, but you can go up to almost £1,000 if you try (HP also do a 27 inch model), so there is something there for everyone.