Dell Inspiron One 2310 Review: Inspiring The Next Breed Of All-In-One PCs
So similar, you’d think it’s a real iMac
The new Dell Inspiron One differs slightly from its predecessor in the looks department, although the design changes are unlikely to cause any deal of confusion among current users. While the older Inspiron One all-in-one desktop PCs relied on an extended display ‘chin’ to serve as a front rest for the unit, the new Dell Inspiron One 2310 does away with the ‘chin’ by using two simple but effective legs for support, as shown in the image below.
Of course, this does not affect the AIO’s functionality in any way, although the decision to use discreet stands comes across as a move which slightly diminishes the Inspiron One 2310’s aesthetic appeal, as opposed to the more sleeker and unified design of Dell’s older AIO PC.
That being said, the ‘all hardware components behind the screen’ philosophy is not new, and the Inspiron One 2310’s design bears a strong resemblance to that of Apple’s well-known iMac lineup, or more specifically, the design of Apple’s iMac G5 and current Intel iMac desktop PCs. In fact, if not for the fact that the Inspiron One 2310 sports a different colour scheme, one might just be able to mistake the Inspiron One 2310 for an actual iMac from far.
That is not to say that the Inspiron One’s design is perfect. While it takes after the popular iMac in terms of looks and style, it also inherits the same flaws and limitations found in the former. Like the iMac, the screen can be tilted up and down to adjust the viewing angle, but this means that the display cannot be pivoted or rotated around an axis. This can come across as a restriction, especially if the Inspiron One is to be used as a family PC: the lack of a pivoting arm means that users have to manually rotate the PC in order to allow other people sitting at the sides to easily view the display’s contents.
The Inspiron One 2310’s screen, however, partially makes up for the unit’s inability to pivot its display by having a reasonably decent viewing angle. Still, it does not change the fact that Inspiron One’s glossy display meant that we often found ourselves staring straight into our own reflection instead of our benchmarking tools while using the AIO. Fortunately, this issue can be easily resolved by turning up the AIO’s brightness to its highest level (and temporarily blinding yourself in the process of getting used to the higher brightness settings).
Even though most all-in-one desktop PCs utilize notebook hardware components to achieve their smaller footprint (and lower electrical consumption), the fact that AIO’s are not limited by the need to be portable means that they can offer users a much larger variety of I/O and expansion ports. This is aptly demonstrated by the vast array of ports available on the Inspiron One 2310 AIO PC, which we will go into detail shortly.
The ports located on the Inspiron One 2310’s rear are neatly separated into two parts: this is due to the location of the AIO PC’s rear stand. The Microsoft Windows Certificate of Authenticity is located directly behind the rear stand, as well.
The bottom left of the Inspiron One 2310’s rear houses the most commonly used set of I/O and expansion ports, as shown below. Located here from left to right are four USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm audio-out jack, the Ethernet port for those who prefer a cabled connection to the Internet, the DC-in socket for powering the PC and a jack for the bundled TV-tuner card.
Dell obviously thought that its users might want to make use of the Inspiron One 2310’s large screen as a primary display for various multimedia devices, and it clearly shows in its selection of ports available at the bottom left of the AIO’s rear. Located here are more audio and video I/O connectivity options which allow for such purposes: there is an S-PDIF-out port for optical audio output, composite video-input connectors. a VGA-in port and last but not least, a HDMI-in port. This, coupled with the TV-in ports, means that the Dell Inspiron One 2310 can essentially double up as both a monitor and television set for use with various multimedia devices such as game consoles and DVD players.
The Inspiron One’s left side is a lot more spartan: a single optical drive sits at the top of the side, while the buttons which control the display’s brightness and input devices are also located here. However, this is no generic optical drive: rather, our review unit came with a Blu-ray combo drive. This means that you can ditch the standalone Blu-ray player in your home and watch your Blu-ray movies from the comfort of your new Dell Inspiron One 2310 AIO PC.
More expandability options are available on the Inspiron One’s right side though: situated here is a 7-in-1 integrated card reader, along with an additional two USB2.0 ports, for a total of six such ports. Last but not least, two 3.5mm jacks located here provide audio-out and microphone-in capabilities for the Inspiron One 2310 AIO PC.
At this point, you might be wondering what could possibly lie beneath the plastic shell surrounding the Dell Inspiron One 2310. The good news is that, unlike the Lenovo IdeaCentre A310 AIO PC which we reviewed some time back, the 2310 is designed in such a way that a user can easily gain access to the hardware hiding beneath it. This is further backed up by the fact that disassembly manuals are easily accessible for download from Dell’s home page.
Removing the back cover of the Dell Inspiron One 2310 reveals all the hardware used in its construction: