Review: HP Compaq Elite 8300 All-in-One

For some strange reason All-In-One (AIO) computers are not as popular as they should be. For any business that relies on having the fastest equipment and office-bound staff, an AIO is a great option to save space and funds.

HP's Compaq Elite 8300 All-in-One desktop computer (image: HP)

To clarify, an AIO is a computer which has the innards of a traditional computer built into the body of the monitor. Granted the monitor is a bit bulkier than a normal one, but everything users need in a computer is built into it.

While it does not make the complete unit very mobile or travel-friendly, if the user does need to move it around, they simply need to pick up one piece and off they go.

The monitor is also adjustable, so users should not worry about an affixed screen with no movement – as with traditional monitors of that size.

HP’s Compaq Elite 8300 All-in-One Desktop PC is probably as good as AIO can get, as the machine has everything a user could possible want – while looking incredibly stylish.

It features a stunning 23-inch diagonal TN widescreen WLED backlit LCD screen and has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080, while there is the optional integrated 2.0 MP webcam and dual microphone array as well.

Unpacking the business giant is easier than one would expect, as the only assembly required is to remove the protective foam and a few stickers here and there. From there on it is pretty much ready to be plugged in and switched on.

Since there is no physical computer tower or body, all the jacks, connections and plugs are located around the outside of the monitor. In terms of connectivity, it has a stunning amount of USB connections – four USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0.

It also features a microphone in, headphone jack, a DisplayPort, an audio out, and one RJ-45 network port while having Wi-Fi functionality. On the right side of the monitor sits a neatly tucked-away Slim Tray-load optical drive which functions as a reader and DVD writer.

The design of all the ports and connector are well-laid out, but it is a bit of a stretch to reach the USB ports right at the back. But, it is doubtful that users will occupy all six USB ports at the same time. If that is the case, then they should probably invest in bigger USB drives.

The unit also comes shipped with an HP wireless keyboard and mouse, which is very handy if the AIO is a user’s first purchase. The peripherals are not of the best quality (compared to high-end keyboard and mouse combinations), but it is more than efficient in doing the job.

In terms of the inner workings, the unit runs of an Intel Q77 Express chipset and has 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 SDRAM. There are different chipset configurations available for users, but the top end AIOs will have a Intel Core i7-3770 with Intel HD Graphics 4000 (3.40 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores) inside.

From the factory floor that All-In-One comes installed with a whole array of programs such as Microsoft Office Starter, Microsoft Security Essentials, HP ProtectTools Security Suite and SRS Premium Sound Pro.

HP’s Compaq Elite 8300 All-in-One Desktop PC is great alternative if individuals or businesses want a quick solution to computing that has all the bells and whistles that they might need.

The unit is great to work on and keyboard and mouse combination is comfortable. There are a small number of frustrations that go with working on AIO (portability, difficult to reach some ports), but as far as AIOs in general go, the Compaq Elite 8300 is one of the best we have seen so far. The screen is big and bright, the hardware runs fantastic and the design is sturdy and stylish.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor