Toshiba DX1215

Toshiba‘s touchscreen all-in-one, the DX1215, has one of the best touchscreens I’ve used — and I don’t say that lightly. Add some shiny wireless peripherals and awesome speakers, and you have a decent — but not great, thanks to the mobile processor — multimedia all-in-one.

Our review model, priced at US$934, features a second-gen Intel Core i5-2410M processor, which is actually a laptop, not a desktop, processor, with built-in Intel HD graphics. The DX1215 also has 4GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It runs a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium.

The DX1215’s 21.5-inch touchscreen is absolutely gorgeous. Not only is it bright, with good color representation and excellent contrast, it’s also one of the best, most accurate touchscreens I’ve used. The glossy screen, which is surrounded by a thin, shiny black bezel, has a native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. Hi-res photos and video look amazing on this screen–the picture is clear, crisp, and honestly almost comes alive. It’s one of the best screens I’ve seen. Viewing angles aren’t quite as amazing–the screen does get significantly darker when you move to either side.

The touchscreen aspect is also great–the multitouch is extremely accurate, and not at all like what I usually expect from all-in-one touchscreens. There’s no lag at all, which definitely makes the experience enjoyable. However, Toshiba hasn’t optimized the DX1215’s version of Windows 7 for touchscreens, so you may have some trouble using regular apps such as Internet Explorer out of the box. This is something that can be easily calibrated, but it’s a strange oversight considering how much time Toshiba obviously spent on the screen itself.

Design-wise, the DX1215 is pretty slick, if typical. Unlike many all-in-ones, the DX1215 looks more like a monitor on its swiveling, tilting matte silver stand. The screen is surrounded by a thin black bezel, with the Toshiba logo at the bottom; a built-in 1.3-megapixel webcam and a microphone are at the top; and below the screen are the speakers. Audio on the DX1215 is quite good–not only do the built-in speakers produce very loud sound; it’s also deep, with excellent bass.

No buttons clutter up the front of the desktop; instead, all the buttons are on the right-hand side. These include a button for turning the screen off, as well as an input-change button, brightness controls, and audio controls. The right side of the screen also has a tray-loading DVD-R slot.

On the left-hand side are a few convenience ports: two USB 3.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks, and a multi-in-one card reader. The remaining ports are on the back–four USB 2.0 ports, ethernet, HDMI-in, and a security cable lock slot. The two USB 3.0 ports are an especially nice touch–another all-in-one we recently looked at, the Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge M91z, also has six USB ports, but none are USB 3.0.

The DX1215 comes with two wireless accessories, a keyboard and a mouse. The keyboard is small, smooth, and flat, with regular-style keys. Typing on the keyboard is decently comfortable, but the keys are smooth to the point of being slippery. Combine this smoothness/slipperiness with a slight stiffness, and typing accurately is a little difficult. The keyboard has a few buttons at the top–a power button (it is wireless, remember), as well as volume controls and an Eco mode button.

The mouse is shiny and rounded, and features silver accents. It’s light, easy to use, and otherwise generic. But I barely paid attention to the mouse–the touchscreen was just that good.

Performance-wise, the DX1215 is okay, but not excellent, for its category (budget all-in-ones), with a WorldBench 6 benchmark score of 115. This isn’t terribly surprising, given its mobile processor. By comparison, the US$900 Lenovo ThinkCentre M91z has a score of 132, but the ThinkCentre has no touchscreen or wireless peripherals.

As you might expect, graphics performance isn’t excellent either. But the DX1215 did perform better than the ThinkCentre–both computers rely on Intel’s integrated HD graphics–with an Unreal Tournament 3 frame rate of 45.8 frames per second (medium quality settings, 1024-by-768-pixel resolution). The ThinkCentre only managed 35.9 fps in the same tests.

The Toshiba DX1215 all-in-one PC is stylish, with sleek peripherals, an awesome touchscreen, and excellent speakers. However, it’s not the best runner when it comes to performance, and the software guts of the computer aren’t as top-notch as they could be.

Not only does it have a lot of unnecessary software (such as Toshiba-branded utilities, Best Buy’s PC app, and Corel Label@Once), but the interface isn’t touchscreen-optimized. While that isn’t a deal-breaker, it is kind of an inconvenience.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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