Review: Toshiba's LX835-D3230 is a compact all-in-one with strong media capability
All-in-one computers are popular due to their simplicity, low profile, and media capabilities. They have increasingly become more powerful, too, offering features and performance closer to what a power user desires. The LX835-D3230, Toshiba’s latest all-in-one model, offers good performance for the price, but some users may find the screen size constraining.
Priced competitively at $999, the LX835-D3230 comes with an Intel Core i7-3610QM processor that runs at 2.3GHz, plus 6GB of RAM for speedy multitasking. It managed a score of 103 on our strenuous WorldBench 7 benchmark suite, so it's about 3 percent faster than our baseline system.
Unfortunately, the LX835-D3230 has only Intel's integrated HD 4000 graphics technology. In our graphics tests, it barely ran Dirt 3 and Crysis 2 on high settings at a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, achieving an average of just 15.0 frames per second and 9.2 fps respectively. When we lowered the graphics settings and dropped the resolution to 1024 by 768 pixels, the system ran Dirt 3 at 52.0 fps and Crysis 2 at 31.4 fps. In any case, you won't want to try playing any graphically intensive games on the LX835-D3230, though it should manage casual, low-end games fairly well.
Capabilities and connections
Despite the LX835-D3230's inability to play games, you shouldn't count it out as a media maven. The 23-inch high-definition screen sports a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, and is great for watching movies and television. It may be a little tough to watch from the couch, but it's ideal for a small room or dorm. It also comes with a remote that allows you to sit back and enjoy media from a comfortable distance. Unfortunately, since the system lacks a touchscreen, it can't take full advantage of the impending Windows 8 features. Most people won’t mind, though, and the absence of touch support will help you keep the screen clean.
The LX835-D3230 boasts a plethora of ports for the media aficionado, including a TV tuner and an HDMI-in port for connecting video game consoles or Blu-ray players. If you have a superb DVD collection, you’re in luck with the included DVD drive. You'll also find four USB 2.0 ports and a gigabit ethernet port on the back, plus two USB 3.0 ports, a memory card reader, a headphone jack, and a microphone jack on the left side.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the LX835-D3230 covers all the bases with 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. With both kinds of wireless tech available for staying connected or syncing devices, you'll get to keep the area around the system free of cable clutter.
A standard wireless mouse and keyboard accompany the system. Both are a comfortable size, and easy to use. The keyboard isn’t particularly useful for media capabilities, but it does offer the standard pause/play, skip, and back controls when you use the function key.
The screen leans on a small stand that allows a little room for adjustment. It isn’t the most elegant setup that we have seen on an all-in-one, but it works. The speakers are located on the front, and the sound quality is reasonably good with the installed SRS Premium Sound 3D software.
The LX835-D3230 has your storage needs covered for the foreseeable future, as it comes with 1TB of 7200-rpm storage for all of your programs, files, and media. A terabyte should last most people (even media collectors) a long while before they start looking to expand. Of course, this all-in-one's lack of easy internal accessibility means that any expansion will have to take the form of an external drive.
If you’re looking for an AIO, and you want to get a bit more power without killing your wallet, the Vizio CA27-A1—that company's first all-in-one—may be an alternative to keep an eye on. The $1250 (as of September 5, 2012) CA27-A1 managed a score of 122 on our WorldBench 7 benchmark, and has a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics card. It still isn’t a gaming machine by any means, but you will certainly get your money’s worth from it. The Vizio is also larger, with a 27-inch display and 1920-by-1080-pixel high-definition resolution. Its startup times are faster since it uses a small solid-state drive to cache the larger, slower 5400-rpm hard drive.
Overall, though, the Toshiba LX835-D3230 is a great all-in-one system for a great price. It is encouraging to see how affordable AIO systems have become without sacrificing a lot of power and usability. In an age where media consumption is a centerpiece for most people, options such as the LX835-D3230 are key to staying on a budget and still enjoying everything that modern entertainment has to offer.
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