Packard Bell OneTwo L review

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

Packard Bell OneTwo L
The PC's touchscreen is fast and responsive, but Windows 7 isn't quite up to the task

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Packard bell onetwo l

Weighing up whether or not to recommend buying the Packard Bell OneTwo L is a tricky decision. Don't get us wrong - it's a very decent PC and easily one of the best all-in-ones we've seen. It's packed with loads of features too, bar the exclusion of a Blu-ray drive and optical digital audio.

So what's staying our hand from stamping a big TechRadar recommendation all over this product?

The big problem is Windows 7 - it's a great operating system, but it's just not cut out for touchscreen controls. Icons, buttons and text are just too small to comfortably use with a touchscreen, and if you find yourself using the keyboard and mouse over the screen, what's the point in paying extra for it?

Sure, the Packard Bell TouchPortal makes a valiant effort to improve the usefulness of the touchscreen, but it's not the smoothest solution, and ends up locking away a lot of Windows 7's more advanced features.

What the Packard Bell OneTwo L really needs is an operating system that's been designed for a touchscreen, with all the power of a full version of Windows 7.

Of course, this is exactly what Microsoft is working on with Windows 8.

In a year or so, if the Packard Bell OneTwo L came with Windows 8 out of the box, we'd definitely recommend it. As it is, if you buy it now you may feel you'd need to shell out on upgrading to Windows 8 when it comes out. We're not sure at the moment how much this upgrade will be, but we'd recommend waiting until Windows 8 is launched.

We liked

The components inside the Packard Bell OneTwo L are certainly powerful, and for day-to-day computing and media playback it works smoothly and flawlessly. The 23-inch screen is also fantastic, if just a tiny bit too shiny, and the ability to plug in a Blu-ray player or games console and turn it into an HD TV is a massive boon.

We disliked

For a machine that's so good at playing media, it's a shame that it doesn't come with a Blu-ray drive or decent audio-out options, meaning that it's not quite as future-proof as we'd have hoped. Also Windows 7 just doesn't work with the touchscreen, and the Packard Bell TouchPortal interface isn't quite good enough.

Final verdict

Looking for a small HD TV and a computer for your bedroom or living room? Then the Packard Bell OneTwo L is easily one of the best all-in-one PCs on the market, and a worthy investment. Want a powerful desktop PC for graphic editing, playing games or working on? You can get a lot more power for a lot less money elsewhere. Once Windows 8 arrives, however, this could be a very tempting purchase for all.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.