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Wednesday, 27 May 2009 07:55

MSI unveils five Display All in one PCs

Written by Eliot Kucharik

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Applish design, Nvidia Ion and touch screen

While we were at Frankfurt at the MSI X-Slim Event we had a chance to picture MSI's answer to Apple's iMacs. While pricing for Apple products starts at €1000,- a Display PC from MSI starts about €550,-. Featurewise all MSI PCs have a single-touch display, so if your mouse goes defective you are still able to use the PC. All configurations come with glare displays as MSI will not sell any non-glare versions.

The first machine the NetOn AP1900 is featurewise a nice compromise between energy-consumption and HD capablities. For some reason MSI decided to change the design and got it quite "cheap looking". On the other hand, the Intel Atom and Nvidia Ion combination gives you HD capability that should work flawless. If should sell around $700/€600, but rumours have it that this machine will only appear in Asia which would be a shame, because such machine would fit perfectly in EU and US market. All PCs come with a rather small mouse, either it's for children or Asian people only as I had troubles getting the right grip.

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The Windtop PCs look much nicer compared to the NetOn but the specs of the first one, the Windtop AE1900 is much weaker. It is only fitted with a single core Atom and Intel Chipset and we find this machine would hardly fit for everyday use. We can't understand why MSI didn't go for a dual-core and a more powerfull chipset, in this desktop machine. 5W to 10W more would not have been a big burden. Fudo is currently playing with one of these and will give his impressions shortly. Also the other specs fit any netbook besides the 18.5" glare single-touch display.

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The next Windtop AE2000 is more interesting, while 20" gives you enough space to replace most of your desktop needs, this machine also features a Radeon HD4330 mobile graphics card. Of course this is not for gamers, but HD content is now possible. The black edition of the Windtop Displays PCs are much more appealing compared to the white one.

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The next Windtop AE2201 is quite the same as the AE2000, but instead of an HD4330, the chipset is an Ion/GeForce 9300. Also it features SPDIF out and HDMI in. We have no clue why the AE2000 does not have the same options, two more outputs would have not been that expensive to do. As the name suggests this product sports a 22" WXGA display. Additionally MSI upgraded the CPU and built in an Atom 330 dual-core.

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While you would guess the Windtop AE2200 is weaker compared to the AE2201, it's not. This is the first Display PC with a "real" CPU, a crippled E5400 Core 2 Duo clocked at 2.7GHz. The downside is, it features an G45 chipset which has rundementary HD capabilities but is no competition to Ion/GeForce 9300 or HD4330. With a price of about €990,- it comes close to Apples offerings.

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MSI's Display PCs are a mixed bag. While always consisting of different specs instead to limit the whole platform to one chipset only, we see the Windtop AE2200 as a real desktop replacement. Atom CPUs are for our taste too slow to prove really usefull, especially the single core ones, but as a second PC outside your workplace they are enough to browse websites and some models are also good enough to play HD content. You can also mount these machines on the wall and flip the pictures with your finger and try to impress your friends at least once.

We would have liked to see all MSI Atom models with dual-core CPUs, because the small cost increase would have a major impact on performance. None of the models do feature a blu-ray drive, but it's possible MSI will release such models when the market "demand" them. Priced from about €549,- up to €990,- would probably be more expensive then a normal PC with a seperate TFT, but on the other hand you will get very power efficient machines with some cable mess removed.

They would look good in any office. 
Last modified on Wednesday, 03 June 2009 09:23

Eliot Kucharik

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