Touch-screen computer that’s great for HD video
The MSI Wind Top AE2220 is a larger version of the AE2020, an all-in-one PC with a touch-sensitive screen. Almost every aspect of it has been improved: the screen is bigger, it's more powerful, has more storage, and more memory.
The 21.5in screen is perfect for viewing high-definition video – it’s large enough to display even the highest-quality video at the 1080p resolution. The picture is bright and crisp, and it's also touch-sensitive. We’re not convinced so far that touch-screens like this are really more than a gimmick, as there are few applications available now that take advantage of touch-sensitive displays.
It's simpler and more comfortable to control the PC using the supplied keyboard and mouse rather than having to constantly press fingers to the screen. Still, it can be interesting for manipulating or displaying pictures, and applications such as Microsoft Virtual Earth do benefit from the touch-screen.
The included keyboard and mouse aren't enormously impressive either. The keyboard was fine for typing, but it’s quite lightweight to the point of feeling cheap. Similarly, the mouse was functional, but it’s not as well designed as some current models of mice.
As an all-in-one computer, the MSI AE2220 includes the processing unit, storage and screen in one unit, which is slightly bulkier than the equivalent sized monitor. A transparent bezel surrounds the PC, which lights up whenever the computer's lights come on. The good looks are spoiled by a fairly ugly gauze texture that covers the area beneath the screen, along with the loudspeakers. These sounded good, but the plastic case resonated loudly when the volume was at maximum, and they didn’t handle bass tones very well.
There are two USB sockets on the computer’s side, along with a Blu-ray drive (which will read all CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs and will write CDs and DVDs) and a memory card reader, while at the back are four additional USB sockets, with HDMI and VGA sockets for attaching either a monitor or a suitable flat-panel TV. There is also an eSata connector for attaching external storage, and sockets for connecting the computer to speakers, headphones or an amplifier. As well as the wired network connection AE2220 can connect to wireless networks as standard.
Some all-in-one PCs have relatively low-powered processors that tend to perform sluggishly for all but the easiest of tasks, but MSI has used an Intel Core 2 Duo processor in the AE2220, which is much more capable. It’s not from Intel’s most recent line-up but it’s no slouch.
The supplied Windows 7 Home Premium operating system ran smoothly and coupled with the Nvidia Ion graphics chipset, the computer was perfectly capable of playing high-definition video and Blu-ray discs, although it’s not up to dealing with modern games, unless you turn the detail settings right down.
Most all-in-one PCs are more like monitors with a cheap PC built into them, and are no more powerful than a cheap netbook.
MSI has bucked that trend with the AE2220, which is powerful enough to be a replacement for a bulky desktop PC. It isn't as attractive as other all-in-ones such as Apple's 27in iMac, but performance is what counts, and aside from gaming, the AE2220 can handle anything most home users will throw at it.
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This all-in-one computer may not look too great, but it performs very well Good points Lots of memory and storage; large display; powerful processor and Nvidia graphics Bad points Not good looking; no particularly useful applications for touch-screen
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