TEARDOWN: Inside the Omni27

omni27-main.JPGThe day the Omni 27 arrived on my desk, I literally couldn’t ignore it.   It was blocking the view of my monitor.  And the sun. I thought to myself – “Who wants a computer that big?”  Then I pondered the 27” monitor I already use on my desk. “Oh yeah…I do!”


As you may have seen last week, before a computer gets to you, our team tears apart prototypes to better understand how they will compete in the marketplace.  Now, a lot of hardware stops through our labs on its way into your hands, but the Omni27 is probably the biggest piece of consumer hardware we’ve had arrive here...ever. And now I'm about to tear it apart for your viewing pleasure.


The Omni27 is a system chock full of features.  Of course, you’d expect as much from an All-in-One PC, cramming everything into one case.  Some are ones you may be familiar with (speedy Intel processors, gorgeous 27” screen, oodles of RAM).  And if you’re a regular, you may have already seen the story on this system and some first impressions of it.  Now I’d like to take you a bit behind the scenes of this enormous piece of hardware to explore some of the not-so-obvious features.   A bit of fair warning: We’re doing this so you don’t have to at home – and, more important, so that you don’t void warranties. So before you crack open any case, please consult your manuals, first. Let’s take a peek behind the curtain, shall we?


 Picture1.jpgWith a simple pull of my finger on the back panel – we’ll start the journey.



Getting started


Picture2.jpgSee those four screw holes – we’ll talk about that a bit later.  But just below this panel is a smaller covering that when removed reveals a USB port with the keyboard and mouse receiver.



One cool feature you’ll see here is that HP put a ‘light pipe’ on this cover. 




Why?  So that if you’re having trouble connecting your elite keyboard/mouse to the system (hey – it happens to the best of us), you can, at a glance, make sure the Omni27 is communicating with the keyboard/mouse by just looking.  And if you need to get at that dongle, the only tools you’ll need are your fingers. 



Behind the curtain

Most of the time, you’ll never need to open up your Omni27, but in case you ever decide you want to, it’s good to know the engineers at HP made it as easy as 1-2-3.  As in three screws. That’s all it takes to get into this system.  Even better – you won’t lose those screws.  They’re captive.  That means the screws actually help lift the rear cover from the system, making it a snap for you to lift up and get into the guts.




Now that we’re behind the scenes, let’s take a walk around.




Seems like there’s more sheet metal here than in a Michael Bay movie, but it’s got a good reason to exist.  Its main job is protecting you and your system from EMI (Electromagnetic Interference).  If you’ve ever put your phone next to a speaker and heard some unintentional music – that’s EMI!  Nobody wants that —unless you’re trying to listen to dubstep.


If you’re good at finding Waldo, you may have recognized the hard drive and the optical drive.  If you ever have the need to remove either of these, you’ll notice that all it takes is one screw (again – captive, so you won’t be losing them) to free them from the system.  Behind the large sheet metal enclose on the right is the brain (motherboard) behind this beauty.  You’ll notice that we’ve included a tool free door for the memory, in case you want to upgrade.  You can also see the cooling system front and center.  That large fan and cooling fins are keeping this system cool and quiet.  And those two massive black rectangles below all that sheet metal?  Our next topic.



Let’s talk about Beats Audio.


Picture7.jpgNo doubt you’ve heard the term, but this is the hardware that delivers it to your ear holes.  HP spared no expense when it comes to audio quality on this system.  Two huge speakers with two drivers each deliver that legendary beats quality audio.  Pair this with the optional Pulse sub-woofer and you’ve got an awesome audio experience.  Go ahead. Listen to one of those Michael Bay movie trailers – you’ll hear the gravel in Optimus’s voice every bit as clear as the unnerving  wub-wub-wub dubstep staccato of the soundtrack at the volume you want.  Between those two massive speakers, you’ll find the following little bits.





What are these pieces you may ask?  Well, if you remember those 4 holes we saw when we first started, these are the last pieces to that puzzle.  These pieces help complete HP’s VESA mount interface.   Remove the stand and these little guys nicely fill the void they leave. 




HP designed this system knowing that there are plenty of folks who know it would look incredible not only standing on its sleek base, but flush against the wall.  Hey, if you’ve ever considered wall-mounting a TV, then it’s only natural to think of doing the same with a sexy PC – no need to have a media center hiding under your desk. In fact, I suggest buying two Smiley Wink.


Going further.


So let’s see the brains behind this beauty.  At this point – I have to warn you – don’t try this at home.  This is just for show-and-tell purposes. Removing the sheet metal enclosure for the motherboard reveals what’s powering all that 27” of screen real estate.




Behind all those copper heat pipes, you have your choice of some of Intel’s fastest processors, in this case an Intel i3-2100.  That copper plate?  Keeping your choice of several graphics cards cool.  Memory is seated below that – load up to 8 gigs if you like. In this configuration, you can also see the TV tuner card and full selection of I/O ports.  Since this is a teardown, let’s take this down to the motherboard level.




If you’re familiar with desktops and their motherboards, this may look a bit unfamiliar to you.  These motherboards are made specifically for our all-in-ones & are a hybrid of desktop & laptop technologies.  Desktop processor, laptop style memory (in this case, SO-DIMM DDR3 sockets), and instead of a PCIe slot for loading discrete graphics, we’ve got a MXM connector.  All of this allows us to provide a powerful desktop in a model thin package.


That’s just a quick look at some of the hardware features of this system that cannot only make your life easier but also give you the freedom to make this amazing piece your own.  That’s about it from me, if you’ve got one and have a comment on the hardware – I’d love to hear your thoughts.  What’s your favorite feature?  Have you wall mounted the system (pics please!)?  Loving the audio?  We’d love to hear from you!


by dwight_paraiso
on ‎03-01-2012 10:18 PM


 FROM: dwight_paraiso

 RESmiley Surprisedmni27 Model

           i really like to purchase this model.. can you post the actual price in US dollars?? and when this available in the market.....

by GizmoGladstone
on ‎03-02-2012 07:48 AM

Hey there Dwight:


It's actually available for order now, and it's at the HP store starting for $1199 -- just spec it out however you please....



by NJKatwoman
on ‎07-19-2014 05:41 PM

I love my Omni 27, but the screen just got cracked.  Thankfully, the computer itself still works, but I'm upset about the cracked screen.  How do I go about getting it repaired/replaced?  Thank you.

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