|MSI Wind Top AE2010 AIO Desktop System|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Notebook | Compact PC|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 11 September 2009|
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MSI AE2010 Conclusion
Benchmark Reviews begins each conclusion with a short summary for each area that we rate. The first is performance, which considers the effectiveness of the MSI Wind Top in operation against direct competitors. On a scale of 1 to 10, which is exactly how we grade each section, the MSI Wind Top All-In-One Desktop receives a solid 9.0 when compared against other products in its related category. Compact desktop computers have never had it so nice, and to be bundled with a AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core 3250e processor and ATI Radeon HD 3200 GPU certainly creates some animosity among dual-purpose notebook and nettop computers. The AE2010 outperformed NVIDIA's ION platform, even when equipped with a dual core Intel Atom N330, and shamed GMA950 performance in the latest ASUS Eee PC.
MSI packaged the AE2010 in a nice full-color package similar to desktop monitors, but basic feature information and product specifications are absent. What the box lacks in allure the Wind Top makes up for in elegance. A clear plastic outer edge frames the piano-black bezel around the 20" touch screen LCD monitor. A textured simulated-leather trim piece casts some definition to the face of this AIO unit, and buttons are hidden away from sight and tucked in behind the edges.
Like notebook computers, the MSI Wind Top has compact-computer construction to credit for its durability. Nearly every facet of design has the internal components keeping close attention to ergonomics, while optimizing the dense use of internal volume. It took some extra effort to expose the hardware, and in doing so the plastic covers and extra shielding were examined and commended for their reinforced design. The touch screen LCD panel is extremely tough, although not quite bullet-proof, and the outer shell is tough and long lasting. After some consideration, there aren't any true 'weak' points in the Wind Top's construction. If there were to be any suggestions, it would be in the choice of output video ports used.
In terms of functionality, the MSI AE2010 sets new expectations for personal computers. In the space of a flat panel LCD monitor, MSI has managed to squeeze in a 20-inch touch screen, webcam, IR remote receiver, stereo SRS speakers, DVD super multi-drive, six High-Speed USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, 320GB hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet, Wireless N Wi-Fi adapter, D-Sub input and output, 4-in-1 multi-card reader, microphone and headphone jacks, the Radeon HD 3200 mobile GPU, and a dual core AMD Athlon X2 3250e processor. The limits of a diverse computer have just been blown away and redrawn.
Value, always the catch for any new consumer electronic item, is actually something I might consider the biggest strength behind the MSI Wind Top. As of early September 2009, the AE2010-02SUS was sold online for just over $600. The Nerds lists the AW2010 All-In-One desktop system for only $614, while PCRush sells for $612.
Anyone who has shopped the market for comparable features and functionality knows that you can't match the MSI Wind Top's list with its generous price. This article has spent many detailed pages exploring everything from touch screen and webcam to gaming frame rate and Wi-Fi N connectivity. While the MSI Wind Top shares the same desktop space as large full-size tower computers with discrete graphics, , mid-level games such as World of Warcraft, The Sims, Spore, and Empire: Total War are within reasonable reach but don't expect the Radeon HD 3200 GPU inside the AE2010 to play high-end games like Prototype or Cryostasis. Surprisingly, the AE2010 even worked for 3D-intensive CAD/CAM applications like AutoCAD 2009. For casual PC users who want to save space and still enjoy graphic design, web browsing, document creation, and email, the MSI Wind Top AE2010 All-In-One is the best thing I've recommending in a very long time.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The retail version of Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit O/S installs very quickly and only requires the Realtek RTL8192E 802.11n wireless network adapter driver to be installed afterward. The 32-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate installed extremely slow however, and was unsuccessful after three attempts.
+ 20-Inch Touch-Screen LCD Panel
- Lacks DVI and HDMI Video Output
Final Score: 9.1 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
Nomination: 2009 Editor's Choice Award.
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