Average Performance but Exceptional Audio
Overall, the ET2300INTI AIO PC is a decent system with some interesting features and some disappointing letdowns. To begin, we must first say that it makes so much more sense using a touchscreen AIO with Windows 8. It was a joy swiping the screens and making use of the new ‘Snap’ multi-tasking feature. It also helps that the ET2300INTI has a very responsive multi-touch display.
As for performance, the ET2300INTI performed as expected, with its upgraded processor and faster 7200rpm hard disk giving it an advantage over comparable AIOs from Lenovo and Acer. On a whole, it did well on our benchmarking tests.
And as we’ve mentioned previously about the ET2411INTI, ASUS would do well to equip their AIOs with a more capable discrete graphics engine. Although our gaming benchmarks showed that it achieved playable frame rates even at 1080p resolution, bear in mind that this was on modest graphics settings and on rather old games. Newer games will no doubt be more demanding, and this means that users would have to either to turn their graphics settings down even more or play at lower non-native resolutions. Of course, for users who are not that serious about gaming, the standard NVIDIA GT 630M discrete graphics chip would more than suffice.
In terms of the ET2300INTI’s features, we were a little curious as to why ASUS would omit Blu-ray playback and also the integrated TV tuner. As a self-proclaimed "Master of Entertainment", the omission of a Blu-ray drive is particularly glaring, especially when the older ET2411INTI and also the Lenovo A720 could both play Blu-ray discs. But we do appreciate that ASUS has given the ET2300INTI four USB 3.0 ports and also two Thunderbolt ports for state-of-the-art connectivity options.
Additionally, the ET2300INTI also redeems itself with its surprisingly competent audio performance. For so long, we have been conditioned to accept that notebooks and AIOs cannot have decent audio because of space and design constraints, but the ET2300INTI changes all of that. The ET2300INTI sounds authoritative and full of body; where traditionally AIOs and notebooks sounded thin and weak. Granted, it accomplishes this with the aid of the bundled subwoofer, but it still sounds exceptional. In fact, we would even go as far as to say that it is comparable to entry-level desktop speaker systems.
With a retail price of S$2159, the ET2300INTI is about $90 costlier than the older ET2411INTI, and this puts it a tricky position. This is because while the new ET2300INTI has a better selection of I/O ports, a more responsive touchscreen display and better speakers, it is let down by the lack of an integrated TV tuner and Blu-ray drive.
The ET2300INTI would have been close to perfect had it come with an integrated TV tuner and a Blu-ray drive, but as it is, if what you are looking for is an all-round entertainment system or if you have an extensive collection of Blu-ray movies, you might want either stick an additional USB-based Blu-ray drive or forgo the ET2300INTI and stick to the older ET2411INTI. Otherwise, if most of your media is stored and obtained digitally, the ASUS ET2300INTI will delight with its responsive touchscreen display, capable performance and stunningly competent audio performance.