The 20-inch HP Omni 100 all-in-one desktop PC sports an extremely low asking price, but we're still hard pressed to recommend its lacklustre combination of features, for all but the most dedicated of bargain-shoppers.

The version we benchmarked was a US model with a dual-core 1.6GHz AMD Athlon II X2 250u processor. It crawled to a WorldBench 6 score of only 70. Although the UK flavour comes with a 2GHz dual-core AMD Athlon II 170U processor, you shouldn't expect anything other than bargain basement performance from this PC.

Don't even think about trying to play games on the HP Omni 100 - let alone pressing your finger against its panel in a vain effort to manipulate your system sans mouse or keyboard. Perhaps to help save a bit on the cost, HP decided to pack a plain ol' vanilla display within the Omni 100. We haven't seen an all-in-one without any kind of touch functionality stroll through our labs in quite some time, and the feature is sorely missed. That said If you aren't sold on touch-functionality, HP's own All-in-One 200 also lacks a touchscreen, but offers a 1080p display and a score of 104 on WorldBench.

The HP Omni 100's port configurations are beaten by those of a humble budget desktop, in that your sole connection option for external devices is two USB ports on the system's side, or four on the back. A multiformat card reader rests on the side as well, while a paltry 10/100 Fast Ethernet connection rounds out the Omni 100's rear. And that's all she wrote: no next-generation display connectivity, no TV tuner, no other connection options for storage devices, no audio support beyond a stereo connection for headphones, nothing. It's as if someone ate a tasty sandwich and left us the crusts.

It almost goes without saying for the Budget All-in-One category, but here goes: The HP Omni 100 doesn't come with Blu-ray support. The DVD burner on the side of the system is all you get, but you're still limited by the native 1600-by-900 resolution screen - give us native 1080p any day. While the contrast levels of our test images and movies created pleasant details without unnatural appearances, the lack of strong saturation on the display left our viewing tests devoid of life. The colors often just seemed flat and dull for our tastes.

HP attempts to solve this quandary by presenting a user with one of four different preset options to choose from for the display's setup: default, movie, text, and gaming. We couldn't discern much difference between the overblown setup of the "movie" and "gaming" modes. We'd much prefer to keep things on good ol' "default" and, even then, we're not super-impressed by the results.

A 500GB hard drive and Wireless-N connectivity represent the yin and the yang of the system's hidden insides. We'd much prefer more storage space on the former, but we appreciate that the latter allows us to solve the issue of the Omni 100's paltry wired networking speeds. As mentioned, you can upgrade the optical drive, hard drive, and memory of this all-in-one. We appreciate that HP's all-in-one (unlike most others) at least gives you the option - and the printable instructions - for a little internal modification.

Oh, and remember a bit ago when we said that the HP Omni 100 comes with six USB ports for connections? In reality, you can knock that down to four: An included wired mouse and keyboard, both generic, reduce the meager connection offerings of HP's AIO even further. You'll at least have the option for purchasing wireless peripherals them online.

NEXT: Our expert verdict >>

HP Omni 100: Specs

  • All-in-one desktop PC
  • AMD Athlon II 170U/2GHz, Dual-Core
  • 64-bit Computing
  • 1MB L2 cache
  • 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • 500GB Serial ATA-300, 7200rpm hard disk
  • DVD±RW/DVD-RAM, LightScribe Technology
  • 6 in 1 card reader
  • 20in LCD display, TFT active matrix, 1600x900
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4270, 895MB available graphics memory
  • integrated sound card
  • 2x right/left channel speakers
  • Mouse, keyboard
  • Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX - RJ-45, 6x Hi-Speed USB, mini-phone stereo 3.5mm, audio line-out mini-phone stereo 3.5mm
  • 9.1kg
  • All-in-one desktop PC
  • AMD Athlon II 170U/2GHz, Dual-Core
  • 64-bit Computing
  • 1MB L2 cache
  • 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • 500GB Serial ATA-300, 7200rpm hard disk
  • DVD±RW/DVD-RAM, LightScribe Technology
  • 6 in 1 card reader
  • 20in LCD display, TFT active matrix, 1600x900
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4270, 895MB available graphics memory
  • integrated sound card
  • 2x right/left channel speakers
  • Mouse, keyboard
  • Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX - RJ-45, 6x Hi-Speed USB, mini-phone stereo 3.5mm, audio line-out mini-phone stereo 3.5mm
  • 9.1kg

OUR VERDICT

At some point, a company can only strip so much away from a desktop-or all-in-one-before the little joy it offers completely overshadows whatever amounts you're saving in the process. In the HP Omni 100's case, spending just a bit more can get you quite a bit more machine, whether you're looking for touch functionality, or more power under the hood.

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