Setting up this Asus AIO properly took me a while. Besides putting the batteries (included) into the wireless mouse and keyboard, you must remove the external subwoofer and plug it into the dedicated port at the back.
As the computer comes with a built-in TV tuner, you may want to hook it up to your home's TV point. Finally, you have to put batteries into its remote control.
But the time you take to set it all up is worth it. These extra features help to distinguish the ET2301 from the other AIOs in this round-up.
This, in my opinion, is also the best-looking PC here, with its blend of metallic silver and black. But the base, which houses the actual computing bits, takes up a fair amount of desk space.
Understandably, all these features also make the ET2301, at $2,199, the priciest of the lot here, by far. The blow is softened by its three-year on-site warranty, which compares well with the one-year industry standard.
A double-hinge design lets you both tilt and change the height of the display, making it more flexible than its competitors here.
Like the others here, the ET2301 uses an in-plane switching screen which has wide viewing angles of up to 178 degrees. It also has a typical 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution.
It can work as a monitor when connected to a console or set-top box via its HDMI input. There is even an onscreen display that is useful for adjusting the brightness and contrast, similar to that found in a typical monitor.
Most of its ports, including the SD card reader, audio jacks and a number of others are located on either side of its base. It also has a slot-loading DVD combo drive, though I would have given it bonus points if it were a Blu-ray drive instead.
The external subwoofer is nice to have, but not a game-changer. It adds some depth to the audio, but there are superior third-party solutions.
Despite its steep price, its hardware falls in the mid-range segment. The Intel Core i7 processor is capable enough and there is a good 8GB of RAM. But its Nvidia GeForce GT 740M graphics chip is not fast enough to do justice to the latest games. In BioShock Infinite, it managed a paltry 18 frames per second at Low setting.
But, this Asus AIO is the only one of the lot here to have the new 802.11ac wireless adaptor.
The 1TB hard drive is a decent 7,200 RPM version, but a hybrid or solid-state drive would have been preferred.
Extras such as the TV tuner and external subwoofer are likely reasons why this AIO is the most expensive model in this round-up. They also help to make it an excellent machine for entertainment, though not so much for games.
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770S (3.1GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 740M 2GB DDR3
RAM: 8GB DDR3
Display: 23 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Connectivity: 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, HDMI-in, HDMI-out, Ethernet, SD card reader, subwoofer jack, TV input, headphone and microphone jacks
Value for money: 3
This article was first published on July 09, 2014.
Get a copy of Digital Life, The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.