HP Omni 100: Low on Price and Features
At a Glance
HP's 20-inch Omni 100 all-in-one desktop PC has a very low asking price for an all-in-one of its size ($559, as of January 18, 2011), but its lackluster features make it hard to recommend to anyone who isn't operating on a tiny budget.
The machine's 1.6GHz, dual-core AMD Athlon II X2 250u processor showed little oomph in our PCWiorld Labs tests: The Omni 100 ambled to a score of 70 on our WorldBench 6 suite--marginally better than the 68 earned by the worst performer in its class, the Lenovo IdeaCentre C315. For a higher-performance alternative, we recommend spending $200 more on the Gateway ZX4300-01e all-in-one, which picked up a mark of 97 on WorldBench 6).
Forget about trying to play games on the Omni 100. Its 1600-by-900-pixel display lacks any kind of touch functionality, too. Though its sibling, the HP All-in-One 200, doesn't have a touchscreen either, that machine offers a 1080p display and earned a score of 104 on WorldBench 6. Contrast levels of our test images and movies on the Omni 100 helped deliver natural-looking details, but the display's lack of strong saturation made images seem a bit lifeless, with flat and dull color.
HP presents you with four preset display options: default, movie, text, and gaming. We saw little difference between the overblown setup of the "movie" and "gaming" modes, and overall we much preferred the "default" setting, despite its indifferent results.
The Omni 100's only connection options for external devices are two USB ports on the system's side and four more on the back; HP's included wired mouse and keyboard occupy two of those six ports. In addition, a multiformat card reader rests on the side and a 10/100 fast ethernet connection on the rear. There's no next-generation display connectivity, no TV tuner, no other connection options for storage devices, no audio support beyond a stereo connection for headphones.
Not surprisingly, the Omni 100 comes without Blu-ray support. The DVD burner on the side of the system is all you get.
The Omni 100 comes configured with a 500GB hard drive and Wireless-N connectivity. HP provides printable instructions for upgrading the all-in-one's optical drive, hard drive, and memory.
At some point, stripping features from a desktop PC to lower the price becomes counterproductive. That appears to have happened in the Omni 100's case: Spending a bit more on a competing model can get you a significantly better machine, whether you're looking for touch functionality or more power under the hood.