This is a largish all-in-one due to its 23-inch screen and a wide all-around bezel. The optical drive is vertically installed on the right-hand edge and its power switch rather awkwardly located on the top edge where it can be, and has been, all too easily pressed when trying to find the best viewing angle. A front bottom edge or rear location might have been more sensible as they are probably less likely to be touched by accident. The power lead uses a rather unusual coaxial connector that does not engage quite as positively as it should and the lightest touch could disconnect power, as might a young child or family pet tripping over its lead. The power adapter is especially large and heavy and appears to indicate that this machine uses quite a lot.
The provided keyboard is really quite poor and had repeatedly lost one or both of its risers within a few minutes after removal from its packaging - not an impressive start. The mouse is barely adequate, yet alone outstanding and it and the keyboard share a USB dongle rather than Bluetooth, which is not built-in on this PC. On reflection, they are probably best left in their packaging. Having owned and used several previous HP systems, although not an all-in-one, this is by far the worst keyboard they have ever supplied although none was outstandingly good. This keyboard is very light in weight, looks and feels cheap and very plasticky, and its touch is poor and possibly worse than the cheapest possible likely sold by many computer stores. I do not see either surviving long-term use and many users will probably quickly choose to replace them. A desktop set from Logitech, for example, and possibly one using their Unifying receiver which allows up to 6 devices to be used may be a good option.
The main body has a Vesa mounting hidden under a plastic cover but the base would presumably need to remain. This cover panel also needs to be removed in order to upgrade the RAM from the rather paltry 4GB currently installed, a single SODIMM rather than the more usual pair in this instance. Most Windows 8 laptops, even those with i3 processors and selling for less than half the price of this will have 6GB or more on board. The upgrade instructions are not provided in the rather brief and very mean documentation included and needed to be found online, a none-too-easy process as it was difficult to identify. As the process exposes the machine's innards, many will decide not to do this themselves and perhaps to pay for the upgrade. A simple access panel would have been simpler as is used on most laptops or the even simpler solution as used by Apple in their 27-inch iMac which uses an easy to disengage and re-engage RAM cage protected by a small, easily-removed and replaced cover.
Using Windows 8, this model as its TouchSmart tag suggests, employs touch screen which in this instance recognises ten-point contact and therefore should support all of the possible Windows Touch Gestures available. A small leaflet relating to use of Windows 8 is included but more information may be needed by a first-time user where one of the available books may help. This all-in-one, or something very much like it, is a better choice for in-home Windows 8 use than many of the current alternatives which barely support Touch Gestures.
Other than where indicated, the machine's specifications are good. It is a complete system as supplied and it is for the buyer to decide which, if any, extra peripherals may be needed. An internal 1TB hard drive is reasonable for many users but some may wish to add another for backup or other purposes. With 4 USB 2.0 ports on the rear plus 2 USB 3.0 ports on the left edge together with the audio in and out, it is reasonably well equipped with ports. As the screen is included, HDMI is omitted. There is a coaxial aerial cable for TV and digital radio at the rear. Wireless and wired Ethernet is available. The system features HP's own version of Beats Audio, but its internal sub-woofer is too small to provide the powerful bass that many would hope. By way of compensation, there is a rear connections for a sub-woofer, provided you can find a suitable product.
Unlike some comparable designs, this pivots on its frame from the base and not a central hinge. There are no specific advantages or disadvantages either way but this is stable enough not to move on the slightest touch.
It is quite heavy, although not excessive in weight, and I imagine that a location once selected is where it will probably remain. Although good in most areas, a better keyboard and mouse could easily improve this outfit and possibly without any significant increase in price to the consumer. Recommended, but with reservations.
After some months of use, its owner found several minor issues with its ownership and use; repeated inadvertent powering down due to the poorly positioned power switch which is all too easily hit and a power lead that disengaged from its socket were probably the two most annoying. The Intel graphics and shared RAM were amongst other limiting features.