Desktop Systems Guide
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For a long time, touchscreen AIOs have been little more than a novelty. Sure, it may be fun to use for brief moments, but for everyday tasks such as web browsing, the trusted keyboard and mouse combo reign supreme. However, if Windows 8 and its new Modern UI is everything Microsoft makes it out to be, then using touch on desktop systems as a main form of input could gain popularity and this is where touchscreen AIOs will come in to the picture.
As for now, the ASUS ET2411INTI is a decent enough AIO for those who want to hop on the touchscreen AIO bandwagon before Windows 8 comes around. Performance-wise, it holds its own very well against competing AIOs such as the Acer Aspire Z5 and the latest Ivy Bridge notebooks (the innards of the system are that of a notebook). If anything, we think ASUS should have equipped the ET2411INTI with a more powerful discrete graphics processor so as to make it a more capable all-round entertainment system. As of now, gaming performance is a little weak, and to really get the best out of it requires users to significantly reduce graphics settings and even resolution. On the upside, ASUS didn't go with the CPU's built-in graphics engine and pairing it with the discrete NVIDIA GPU has enabled it to tackle some of the lesser demanding games and satisfy the mainstream users.
At S$2069, the ASUS ET2411INTI is, as far as ASUS products go, actually reasonably priced, though that doesn't mean it's inexpensive. The Acer Aspire Z5 is considerably more affordable at S$1699, but then the Acer does not have Blu-ray playback capability - and Blu-ray drives are considerably more costly than regular DVD combo drives. Also, it does not have an additional subwoofer as the ASUS does nor a remote control. Whether these extras and the better design are worth you consideration is up to individual needs. For the more calculative folks, AIO PCs are definitely not as affordable as a DIY system, but that's a given trade-off as the premium you pay go into making a sleek and polished product, as well as the more expensive notebook form factor based components and after-sales support.
In closing, as an all-round do-it-all entertainment/computer system, the ASUS ET2411INTI is pretty hard to beat as it decently fulfills all the requirements of both a computer and a regular television. That said, there’s certainly room for improvement and a beefier discrete graphics processor along with a more advanced 10-point touch input would have really sealed the deal. Alternatively, we would have also settled for the existing configuration if it had a more enticing price point.
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