Written by: Holly Waldren

Instructional Designer for the CSMB Sales Training and Development team

 

A sad fact about myself: I never win contests. I’ve never won a lottery, big or small. Never won concert tickets, a new car, or even a pecan pie. (I hate pecan pie, but still entered a drawing for one once.) I’m just not lucky that way.

So imagine my excitement when – for the 1st time in my life – I won a drawing at work. And it wasn’t for some water bottle or tote bag plastered with logos. Nope, I won a new Dell Inspiron™ One 2305 computer…not a bad way to end my losing streak!

 Inspiron™ One 2305

Inspiron™ One 2305

Now, I didn’t really see the need for another PC – and certainly not a desktop. My Inspiron™ laptop (bought in mid-2005!) was still running strong…in fact, we had just upgraded the OS and all the software. A laptop seemed like the best for my lifestyle, because our house is small tiny slightly larger than a shoebox. My “desk” was the kitchen table – fine for a laptop, not so great for a desktop.

But never mind, I decided – no need to let that dampen the excitement of WINNING. A. BRAND. NEW. COMPUTER.

Soon after, a box arrived at the house. I envisioned something like the Publishers’ Clearinghouse crewknocking on my door with a great big check or something, and lots of balloons – but no, just a box.

I carefully followed the set-up instructions:

1. Plug the power cable into the system and the wall outlet.

2. Push the power button

3. You are done! (Ok, Ok - It's also a good idea to plug in the mouse and keyboard)

Since the 2305 is an AIO (all in one) system, all of the components are built into the display. No separate “tower” or speakers to take up valuable desktop space. And it blends into any decor – just like a TV does. (Heck, it could be a TV – but you will need a TV tuner for that.)

Except….

Well, I mentioned that my desk was the kitchen table, right? Honestly, it looked a little odd there. And I worried that my 4-year-old might spill milk on the keyboard, or toss his unwanted casserole at the monitor. 

 

 A disaster waiting to happen - On the kitchen table

A disaster waiting to happen

(That ergonomic wireless keyboard/mouse? Bought separately. My entry-level system shipped with a basic wired set.)


So although it definitely blends into nearly any area…the kitchen table may be an exception. (Also, I don’t recommend the bathroom. Or the garden shed.)

Clearly, I needed a real desk. More to the point, I needed to find space in my itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny house for a desk. Not an easy task – but there was a small open area under the stairs in the living room, and I shopped tirelessly to find a desk that would slide in there. Result = perfect!

 

Fits Perfectly!

Dell likes to say that the 2305 provides a “family-oriented experience.” Let me explains what that means to my family: we LOVE having a computer in the living room. We use it to:

  • Surf the web and check email
  • Play games (Elmo, anyone?)
  • Watch videos…my son will sit on his dad’s lap for hours, watching YouTube clips of the Beatles
  • Play music…yeah, more Beatles
  • Print documents on the wireless printer that we’ve stuffed in the closet
  • Video chat with my dad, who lives in another state

When my son gets older, I expect we’ll use it for homework and more. I love that it’s in a common area, so I can (discreetly!) monitor him on social media, and make sure that his interactions are safe.

Most people would probably use it to watch movies or television too. We don’t, only because we already had a TV in the living room. I do think the 2305 would be an ideal media center for a bedroom/dorm room, office, or kitchen. (But not on the table!) The 23-inch, 1080p full-HD, widescreen display is beautiful.

As you would expect, the 2305 can be purchased in several different configurations, depending on your needs and priorities. And I hope this doesn’t seem ungrateful –I’m NOT! We love this system! Thank you Dell!! – but if I had been buying, I probably would have gone with a higher-end config. My model lacks a few features that would be useful:

  • Audio/visual ports: The higher-end models include HDMI and composite video inputs… and you’ll need them to use the monitor as an extended display for a laptop, Blu-ray/DVD player, or gaming console.

I have a work laptop; and when I’m in the office, I hook it up to a 2nd monitor to give myself a bigger working area. I’d love to be able to do this at home too, but with my limited space, there isn’t room for yet another monitor. Spending a few extra dollars here would have definitely been worthwhile for me.

  • Touchscreen: My model does not include touch, to my son’s dismay. I don’t personally miss it, but Dell’s touch software is really intuitive and easy to use…perfect for kids.
  • RAM: My model came with 3 GB*…which is not bad, but you can get a 2305 with up to 4 GB*. I always buy the maximum amount of RAM available. This system performs very well right now – but over time, as software becomes more complex, 3 GB* may become limiting.

On the other hand, this entry-level config came with a great feature set, including:

  • AMD Athlon™ II X2 processor
  • 1080p full-HD display
  • CD/DVD burner
  • Integrated 2 MP webcam
  • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 bit)

In a nutshell: the Inspiron One 2305 is a really great AIO system. I never realized how much I would like having a desktop in the living room, so I’m particularly grateful to Dell for holding that drawing last year. (And now I can say that I’m a WINNER!)

If you want a professional’s take, here’s CNET’s Senior Editor Rich Brown, walking through the design and key features. Of course, the model he has includes touch, a Blu-ray drive, wireless keyboard/mouse…and those A/V ports that I covet!

* RAM: A 64-bit operating system is required to support 4GB or more of system memory. GB means 1 billion bytes and TB equals 1 trillion bytes; significant system memory may be used to support graphics, depending on system memory size and other factors.