Bright 4K pivoting screen. Plenty of ports, including USB-C, DisplayPort, and HDMI out.
Inconvenient rear port placement. Optical drive is DVD only.
- Bottom Line
The Dell OptiPlex 7450 All-in-One is a powerful business desktop with a brilliant 4K screen, plenty of power, and excellent connectivity.
The Dell OptiPlex 7450 All-in-One business desktop (starts at $1,069; $1,904 as tested) packs a 4K screen, powerful processor and graphics, and excellent connectivity in a sleek body that looks like a standalone display. It is somewhat expensive as configured, but its compact chassis and connectivity make it ideal for multi-monitor setups in cramped spaces, plus its 4K resolution and power make it a shoo-in for creative departments. It replaces the Dell OptiPlex 24 7000 Series All-In-One (7440) as our Editors' Choice for business all-in-one (AIO) desktops.
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Large Screen, Large Workspace
The OptiPlex 7450 is housed in a 23.5-inch 4K In-Plane Switching (IPS) touch display. The PC's body measures 15.5 by 22.7 by 2.5 inches (HWD) by itself, and its height-adjustable stand takes up 10.1 by 8.9 inches (WD) on your work surface. The panel is VESA-mount compatible, so you can attach it to an articulating arm or mount it on your cubicle or office wall. Its dark gray and black business-like aesthetic matches most Dell OptiPlex desktops and displays. It's a lot more plain looking than the flashy Microsoft Surface Studio, but it will blend into most office environments just fine.
The stand is very flexible. You can adjust the screen height from 17 inches to 20.75 inches tall. It also pivots, so you can view the display in a portrait-style orientation. Compared with the standard landscape orientation, portrait mode more closely matches the vertical layout for web design, and some billboard advertising. When you turn the system 90 degrees to the left or right, sensors automatically adjust the content on the screen to follow suit. You can opt for an articulating stand instead for an extra $24.50. The height-adjustable stand is likely to fit better in a single-user environment, while the articulating stand helps in a collaborative setting, where you can easily turn the screen to share with a colleague. The replaceable stand makes this OptiPlex more flexible than the Surface Studio or the HP Envy 34 Curved All-in-One.
The 4K (3,840 by 2,160) display offers four times the resolution of a Full HD panel, which is the default for the OptiPlex 7450 base model. This gives you a lot more room to work, as well as smoother text and graphics. Thus far, we've only seen 4K resolutions on select AIOs like the 21.5-inch Apple iMac and the Dell OptiPlex 7440, though the 27-inch Apple iMac and Microsoft Surface Studio (4,500 by 3,000) both have higher-resolution panels. The screen on the OptiPlex 7450 has a 16:9 aspect ratio, matching the Apple iMacs as well as 4K TVs. There's no digitizer support for active pens, like on the Surface Studio, but the 10-point touch capacitive screen responds quickly to fingertip inputs. The stereo speakers are located under the screen, and sound perfectly fine for business communications, though they understandably lack bass. If you need top-notch audio, the Dell XPS 27, a consumer-oriented AIO, is a better choice. There's a 2-megapixel webcam centered above the display, which has a physical shutter for privacy.
Modern Connectivity Plus a DVD Drive
The system comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse, which helps keep desktop clutter under control. There's also an 8X DVD+/-RW drive, which some might think of as a relic of the early 2000s. DVDs are still used in businesses, since documents and historical records from that era may have been archived on CDs or DVDs. We wish it were a Blu-ray drive for better compatibility with more recent optical disc formats, though 4K-compatible Blu-ray players have yet to surface in desktop PCs.
Wired connectivity is excellent. A headset jack, an SD card reader, a USB 3.0 port, and a USB-C port are located in arms reach on the left side of the display. Less conveniently located in the back, under a removable panel, are an audio line-out jack, a DisplayPort, an Ethernet Port, an HDMI-out port, two USB 2.0 ports, and four USB 3.0 ports. The rear ports are vertically oriented, so they are difficult to reach unless you first lay the system face down. The DisplayPort and HDMI-out ports let you drive up to three 4K displays, including the internal one. Since the system is self contained, it's easy to deploy a compact three-display workspace without the added bulk of a separate small-form-factor or tower desktop. Wireless connectivity comes in the form of 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2.
Storage and Operating System
Our test unit has a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) and 16GB of RAM, upgraded from the 500GB hard drive and 4GB RAM in the base model. 16GB of RAM is certainly enough to keep dozens of websites, the core Office programs (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook), and other apps like Spotify and Slack all active at the same time. Using an SSD instead of the base hard drive speeds up launching programs and loading local documents. If you need more local storage, there's a free 2.5-inch hard drive bay. The rear panel pops off, but it's a job for your IT staffers, as it's a little tricky and requires specialized tools. The system comes with Windows 10 Pro and a few preloaded utilities. Dell covers the system with a standard three-year warranty with on-site service after remote diagnosis.
An Intel Core i5-7600 processor and a discrete AMD Radeon R7 M465X GPU (upgraded from the base Core i5-7500 with integrated graphics) helped the OptiPlex 7450 make quick work of our benchmark tests. While it placed first on the Photoshop test (2 minutes, 50 seconds), it was in the middle of a tightly spaced pack for the other day-to-day and multimedia tests. Any Photoshop time under 3 minutes is excellent, and the OptiPlex 7450 is the only one to break that barrier among the AIO desktops compared here. The Dell XPS 27 was 9 seconds faster on the Handbrake test (1:05), but the results from other systems were clustered around the OptiPlex 7450.
On the PCMark 8 Work Conventional test, the OptiPlex managed 3,058 points, an average score among these power-user systems. The Microsoft Surface Studio (2,780) lagged the pack due to a slower processor and higher-resolution screen, and the HP Envy Curved AIO was a bit faster given its lower-resolution monitor, but all of these competitors will handle office tasks quickly and efficiently.
The business-centric Dell OptiPlex 7450 isn't built for gaming, so it's understandable that it lagged the other AIO desktops on all six of our 3D benchmark tests. For example, the Microsoft Surface Studio trounced the competition using its enthusiast-level Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics processor. That said, the OptiPlex 7450 was able to achieve playable results on the Heaven (37fps) and Valley (44fps) tests at medium quality settings at 1,366 by 768 resolution. Any result higher than 30fps shows smooth animation on average, and is playable. That means you can play a game like Minecraft or classics like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in a small window after you've finished working.
Better Screen, Better Connectivity, Better PC
Between the excellent 4K display and strong multimedia performance, your creative department will thank you for purchasing the Dell OptiPlex 7450. The 21.5-inch iMac also has a 4K screen, but its older internal components, lack of USB-C, and aging chassis keep it out of contention unless you're a macOS shop. The 27-inch version of the iMac has a 5K screen, but it also lacks USB-C, and is about $900 more expensive if you upgrade its memory, graphics, and SSD. The OptiPlex 7440 has the 4K screen and a lower price tag, but the new model adds a touch screen, discrete graphics, USB-C, a wealth of useful ports, and more memory for multitasking. Those upgrades are certainly worth the extra $250, and therefore the system is our new Editors' Choice for business all-in-one desktop PCs.
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Joel Santo Domingo is the Lead Analyst for the Desktops team at PC Magazine Labs. He joined PC Magazine in 2000, after 7 years of IT work for companies large and small. His background includes managing mobile, desktop and network infrastructure on both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. Joel is proof that you can escape the retail grind: he wore a yellow polo shirt early in his tech career. Along the way Joel earned a BA in English Literature and an MBA in Information Technology… More »
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