There's widescreen and then there's widescreen.

After testing an HP EliteOne all-in-one desktop for a few weeks, it's obvious to me that computing has devolved (or improved, depending on your point of view) into a browser-based mindframe. All computers are relatively fast, all computers have plenty of storage. What makes the EliteOne stand out is that the screen is so ludicrously wide that I had room for an insane number of tabs, and it ended up making me more productive all day long.

Now, don't get me wrong--some gaming desktops provide a high-end graphics card and the ability to edit videos and photos faster. There's good reason to build your own high-end desktop, especially if you need a little boost for a game like Fortnite. I've been building and testing desktop computers for the last 17 years, and I'm a big fan of better, faster rigs.

For most users in an office setting, though, little differentiators mean a lot, because processing speed, memory, and even screen technology have improved so much that the average office workers of today don't really know the difference.

The HP EliteOne 1000 34-in WQHD Curved Display, as the name suggests, uses a 34-inch curved screen that seems to stretch from one end of an office to another. That's a lot of room for tabs! At last count, I had exactly 25 of them all up at the same time, and they were manageable and easy to click, adjust, and use. Feel free to lament the fact that the best feature on this computer, which costs $1,519, is that you can run more tabs in Chrome, but it's an actual, legitimate benefit for most of my work.

The other perk? I really liked the pop-up webcam, which sits in a small slot at the top of the screen. No tape needed--to turn off the camera, just push it back down into the slot. It runs at 2 megapixels but has a good microphone that picked up my voice for several test calls. In a Google Hangout session, I pushed the cam back into the slot to disable video.

Another interesting feature: The audio quality from the base isn't bad, and I could hear people talking on a Skype calls without any problems. There are plenty of ports for USB devices like a printer or a thumbdrive. My test computer had 8GB of RAM, an Intel i5-7500 CPU, and a 220 GB main drive so I had no problems editing photos in Photoshop and running multiple apps in addition to Google Chrome.

But honestly, the EliteOne is meant to be a normal everyday workstation, something you'd use if you're like me and tend to run a browser but also need to switch windows over to a few desktop apps, edit a video once in a while, or run a Skype call.

My only issue with the EliteOne, other than a bit of a high ticket price, is that it's not a touchscreen. I liked using the Microsoft Surface Studio in a test once because you can flip through the browser window or even use the Microsoft Dial on the screen for editing sessions. (With the Dial, you can quickly select colors or brushes directly on the screen.)

During my HP EliteOne test, there were a few times when I reached up to swipe through a photo album, which works on many all-in-one desktops these days. HP does make a version of the EliteOne that has a 23.8-inch touchscreen, but it's not nearly as nice for running tabs in Chrome. It's not too fair, but you might argue that the 34-inch desktop is too big for a smaller office and seems to take up a large footprint.

But back to the tabs in Chrome. I loved working all day without tabphobia (also known as, the fear of accidentally clicking a tab you need by mistake).

If that's you--someone who tends to run a lot of tabs in a browser--and you need the other features, including the built-in webcam, the HP EliteOne 1000 34-in is a good pick.

Published on: May 15, 2018