Packard Bell OneTwo L review

Can this touchscreen all-in-one do better than its brethren?

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Packard bell onetwo l

If you'll use the Packard Bell OneTwo L for watching TV and movies - both standard definition and high definition, through online streaming services such as the BBC iPlayer - then you're going to be pretty pleased with this PC. The screen looks great, with great colour reproduction and smooth playback thanks to a pretty decent response time.

We'd even recommend plugging in a PS3 or Xbox 360 into the screen if you haven't got a dedicated HD TV. The only negative with the monitor is that it's quite reflective, which led to some bad glare when viewed in a room with lots of ambient light.

As a touchscreen it works as well as could be expected, with good responsiveness and accuracy. Windows 7 is as bad with touch controls as we've come to expect, but the included Packard Bell TouchPortal interface aims to circumvent this.

At first glance this seems like a poor man's Windows 8, with a weather app and large fonts that ape Microsoft's Metro interface. To dismiss it like this wouldn't be entirely fair though - after all, Packard Bell should be commended for acknowledging that Windows 7 isn't ideal for a touchscreen, and for trying to offer an alternative.

Packard bell onetwo l

Applications such as TouchBrowser and TouchPhoto offer an internet browser and image viewer respectively that have enlarged interfaces and recognise touch gestures, such as a swipe of the finger to flick through photos. The gesture recognition is a tad hit and miss - it sometimes got confused about whether we wanted to view another photo or rotate the current one - but it's a nice extra feature. However, we can't really see it catching on.

Crucially, anything you can do here can be done much quicker and easier through the standard Windows 7 interface with the good old keyboard and mouse. We were hoping to see an interface that would make us want to ditch those in favour of the touchscreen, but it wasn't to be.

With the launch of Windows 8, however, this could become a fantastic touchscreen computer, with the new operating system and powerful components working in tandem to maybe produce the all-in-one PC that we've been waiting for.

As it is, though, Windows 7 just feels like a hindrance without a mouse and keyboard.

Using traditional controls reveals a nice, snappy performer, great for quickly browsing the web or watching movies. Games on the other hand didn't do well, though if you stick with casual games you'll be fine.