Introducing the Toshiba DX735 All-in-One

So far we've tested HP's TouchSmart 610 all-in-one and Dell's Inspiron One all-in-one, and in both cases we've found things to like along with aspects that left us wanting. Today we have on hand Toshiba's DX735 in its least expensive configuration. Starting at under a grand, the DX735 at least superficially suggests a design that's more focused, more streamlined, and less schizophrenic than the competition. Did Toshiba do right where the others stumbled, or is the DX735 just another case of too many compromises?

A Toshiba computer meant to be used solely on the desktop seems like a rare thing, but once you take a look at the specifications you'll see they went in a completely different direction from HP and Dell. While HP and Dell paired desktop processors with underpowered discrete notebook graphics, Toshiba cut a lot of the fat and just went for pure notebook hardware (excepting the hard drive). Here's what we received for review.

Toshiba DX735-D3201 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i5-2430M
(2x2.4GHz + HTT, 3GHz Turbo, 32nm, 3MB L3, 35W)
Chipset Intel HM65
Memory 2x2GB Samsung DDR3-1333 SODIMM (Max 2x4GB)
Graphics Intel HD 3000
(12 EUs, turbo up to 1.2GHz)
Display 23" LED Glossy 16:9 1080p Touchscreen
Hard Drive(s) Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB 7200-RPM SATA 6Gbps HDD
Optical Drive DVD+/-RW writer (HL-DT-ST GT30N)
Networking Atheros AR8151 PCIe Gigabit Ethernet
Atheros AR9002WB-1NG 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
Audio Realtek ALC269 HD Audio
Stereo speakers
Headphone and mic jacks
Front Side Webcam
Speaker grilles
Power button
Right Side Optical drive
Left Side Input button
Brightness control
Volume control
SD/MMC/XD/MS Pro card reader
Headphone and mic jacks
2x USB 3.0
Back Side Kensington lock
HDMI input
5x USB 2.0 (one taken by wireless mouse and keyboard receiver)
AC adaptor
Ethernet jack
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 25.6" x 7.5" x 17.3" (WxDxH)
Weight 17.6 lbs
Extras Webcam
Wireless keyboard and mouse
Flash reader (MMC, SD/Mini SD, MS/Duo/Pro/Pro Duo)
USB 3.0
Warranty 1-year basic support
Pricing $849 online (11/21/2011)

This is going to sound strange after my having taken Dell's Inspiron One to task for using a mediocre, halfway point of a processor, but I actually like the Intel Core i5-2430M that Toshiba employs in the base DX735 model which we have on hand. Where the other manufacturers are experimenting with mixed results, from the get-go you can tell Toshiba has basically grafted a notebook on to the back of a 23" touchscreen, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The dual-core i5-2430M has two cores with Hyper-Threading clocked at 2.4GHz, able to jump to 2.7GHz on both or 3GHz on one. That's not overwhelmingly fast and it's certainly no quad-core replacement, but the decent dual-core processor coupled with a lack of dedicated graphics hardware (or even a dedicated graphics option) makes the DX735's target market clear: this is an internet appliance. Users who want a little more oomph can spend up $100 to get a model that sports a quad-core i7-2670QM that should be more or less comparable in performance to the i5-2400S in Dell's all-in-one, but at a substantially lower wattage.

The Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics are standard across the line and are adequate for the purposes of this all-in-one, while the default 4GB RAM is a perfectly reasonable starting point. I do quibble a bit with Toshiba only offering up to 6GB on their "top end" model; RAM is cheap enough that 8GB should be easily doable.

Where Toshiba wisely diverges from notebook hardware in the DX735 is the use of a full-size hard drive. While it may add heat and weight to the system, Toshiba was frugal enough with their thermal budget that they're able to employ the 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12. The drive is reasonably fast (for a hard drive) while being a good citizen, and it runs 10C cooler than Dell's drive does.

Finally, where Toshiba kills the competition is in offering USB 3.0 connectivity. While overall connectivity is pretty basic, having two USB 3.0 ports for high speed data transfer is a godsend. It's still downright perplexing why the other, more expensive models from the other vendors don't offer USB 3.0, but at least it's here.

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  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Someone I know was looking at iMacs, because they're tasty looking, and for many reasons I agree.

    Why won't a PC manufacturer make a good all-in-one? A decent graphics card and an IPS panel is all you need to match an iMac, but it would still not cost as much as an iMac..

    With TN screens and integrated graphics (the guy would want to run AutoCAD and Inventor on it) it is absolutely useless.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Anyone who wants to run AutoCAD on an all-in-one is barking up the wrong tree.
  • brybir - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    I agree with the author here, very much not the target market for these machines. Unless he has a really constrained space, he would be better off getting a nice HP Elitebook with freestanding monitor for the same price, and then getting the added benefit of portability when he needed it. Or, he could get the same PC + freestanding IPS monitor and save a considerable amount of money.
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    I agree. Guess it would be nice to be able to suggest an all in one that is at least as capable and has a nice screen like an iMac.

    Once people get it in their heads they want something that pretty, it becomes difficult to sway them.
  • ggathagan - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    If we look at the demographic that the AIO seems to be targeting, it's the casual-to-medium duty market.
    While not always the case, the last several generations of iMAc have certainly been more than adequate to that task.

    Aesthetics is certainly a valid reason to like the Apple in this market, especially since the screen on an iMac *is* far better.
    In addition, if someone has the know-how, or knows someone who has the know-how, the boot camp option takes care of any platform-specific needs.

    Ironically, I think that Apple shot themselves in the foot somewhat by going to a 21.5" screen for the smaller iMac.
    When they decided to go from a 24" screen to a 27" model for the larger iMac, they should have moved to 23" for the smaller model.

    That is one factor that may attract shoppers away from the iMac, even if other aspects of the PC AIO's don't match Apples's quality.
  • vozmem - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    I thought it was a Toshiba TV.
  • Dribble - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    That gets a GT 555M, various processors, nvdia 3d vision. Would be more the sort thing I would be after as a replacement for my acer 8920G laptop for the family to use - for surfing, ms office work, kids gaming, watching stuff, viewing 3d photos (yes I own a 3d camera).
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    I'll tell Dustin to try asking for a review unit, but considering Lenovo hasn't been willing to ship us any laptops for about two years, I doubt it will happen.
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Thankfully you can always plug in external speakers
  • Golgatha - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link

    Needs a TV Tuner and VESA mounting holes so I can mount it on a wall in my kitchen. Would love to have a networked TV with a full fledged Windows PC capable of being the perfect HTPC in a highly integrated package. Would be nice to be able to plug in a portable Bluray drive or mount Bluray ISO rips into it for high definition movies in the kitchen too.

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