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Wednesday, 29 July 2009 13:49

MSI Wind Top AE1900 All-in-one PC reviewed

Written by Sanjin Rados

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Review [UPDATED]: An Atom-based AIO with touch-sensitive screen

 

Today’s guest is the new star in MSI’s offer – the Wind Top AE1900 WindTouch. Many of you have already seen devices such as this, or at least know what they’re all about, but in case you don’t you should know that Wind Top AE1900 is an All-In-One system, where the entire PC is a part of the 18.5 inch touch-sensitive monitor.

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The Wind Top AE1900 is obviously designed with different interiors in mind. Ice white color and see through Plexiglas edges make it look stylish and a nice fit in your workspace, living room as well as your kitchen or bedroom for instance. The 18,5 inch monitor (about 46,5cm in diagonal) is intended for 1366x768 with 16:9 format. That’s quite enough for watching a movie in your bedroom, check out internet recipes in your kitchen or just do everyday office work. The monitor’s response time is 5ms, which adheres to today’s standards.

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If you’re looking for nice performance, you should know that Wind Top AE1900 is not a powerful rig that will allow for serious gaming, but as you will see soon enough, MSI prepared a couple of cute games that aren’t MHz-hungry and can be played without using the keyboard and mouse. The simplicity and new ways of interaction with your PC are definitely a thing that AE1900 will teach its owners.

One of the non-standard ways of interaction, and at the same time one of the aces from Wind Top AE1900’s sleeve is the touch-sensitive screen. You can easily reach your destination – start a program, play a movie or a song, but to make things even easier, MSI included its launch bar software, bringing most of everyday apps to one place for easier access. You can see how the launch bar and accompanying programs look in the following few photos.

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The launch bar is automatically started after starting Windows, but if in case you don’t like it you can easily stop it and keep on working normally.

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The Work tab contains Microsoft Office apps but unfortunately they’re all trial versions and expire after 2 months. Some of the interesting apps we’ve spotted is the GanttProject for project management, Dia for UML diagrams for software engineering projects, FreeMind for better data organization, GeoGebra for young mathematicians, etc.

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AE1900 is aimed at younger and middle aged people who like to follow trends and can’t miss out on the new fashionable All-in-one. Using a touch-sensitive screen is easy to get used to but it’s best to use it in combination with the provided keyboard and mouse, as text processing and some tasks that demand more precision might require it. In case we’re talking about just a bit of text, you can do that using the virtual keyboard below.

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Despite their pretty cheap build the StarType ES300MU keyboard and StarMouse ES130 run nicely. The mouse is optical, goes into a USB port and comes with 2 buttons and a scroll wheel, whereas the keyboard is a bit smaller than standard but all the keys are there, of course. We must admit that it’s a bit too loud for our liking, but it feels nice and comes with a couple for multimedia keys that will come in handy when you need to control the volume, brightness, etc.

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MSI means business with its All-in-ones and the company currently offers two 19’’ models (AP1900 and AE1900), two 20’’ models (AE2010 and AE2000) and one large 22’ model (AE2200). The flagship features of all the models are the stylish design, touch-sensitive interface, slim design, quiet operation and the fact that they don’t take up much space.

Unfortunately we can’t say with certainty whether all the models are quiet, but our today’s test sample is. The only time you’ll hear it is when it starts, when all the fans run at maximum rpm, otherwise it’s pretty quiet and cool at the same time. The hottest spot on this device is on top, where the air outlets are. The CPU will run at 66°C in average, and the entire system will consume 50W at max.

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Last modified on Friday, 31 July 2009 12:36
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