GAME OF THRONES
Speedy; USB 3.0; 3D content.
GAME OF LIFE
No integrated Bluetooth; style not universally appealing.
With built-in 3D support and some serious muscle under the hood, MSI’s Wind Top AE2420 3D offers a tantalizing view of the future of this form factor. A 2.8GHz Core i7-860, 4GB of RAM, an ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5730 graphics part, Wi-Fi, and 1TB of SATA2 storage make this a solidly conceived all-in-one PC, even if it feels a wee bit unpolished.
With a 2.8GHz Core i7-860 under the hood and 3D Blu-ray support, MSI’s Wind Top has some muscle.
As an example, this was the only system we tested without an integrated Bluetooth keyboard and mouse—we had to plug in the included USB dongle to connect the mouse and keyboard. That’s a little rough around the edges. More frustrating was the fact that the mouse wouldn’t automatically wake up upon touch; every time we wanted to use the system after it had gone to sleep, we had to hit the connect button on the bottom of the mouse.
In terms of performance, the MSI flexed some muscle, running a close second to HP’s very fast TouchSmart. The Core i7-860’s four cores and eight threads powered their way through ProShow Producer, and the presence of ATI’s mobile Radeon HD 5730 allowed it to post frame rates in the high 30s for our Call of Duty 4 test, which is the fastest of the three systems reviewed here. What’s that, you say? You think 35 frames per second for a 3-year-old game isn’t all that great? Well, welcome to the world of all-in-ones. Practically speaking, the Wind Top feels snappy, and while the processor speeds allowed us to play Total War: Shogun 2 in campaign mode, when the time came to fight it out on the game’s 3D battlefields, we were disappointed.
The Wind Top comes with two USB 3.0 ports, five USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-in, S/PIDF-out, a coaxial-in port, and a webcam. The inclusion of a stylus surprised us, but hey, it’s not mandatory and it’s not hurting anyone, right? MSI’s Wind Touch OS layer deserves special mention—it provides a fairly straightforward way to access media solely through the touch screen.
While not as nice as Sony’s VAIO L Series, the 23.6-inch screen puts out pretty decent visual quality. And, as far as we know, this is the only all-in-one that allows you to watch 3D Blu-rays and play 3D games. It even has a built-in emitter and comes with a pair of active shutter 3D glasses.
Overall, this is an above-average showing. And if you want 3D content, this is the only gig in town.
|MSI Wind Top 2420 3D|
|CPU ||2.8GHz Core i7 860|
|GPU ||ATI Radeon Mobility 5730|
|HDD ||1TB (7,200rpm)|
|MSI Wind Top 2420 3D|
|ProShow Producer (sec)||686|
|MainConcept (sec) ||1,389|
|Photoshop CS3 (sec) ||150|
|Premiere Pro CS3 (sec) ||660|
|Call of Duty 4 (fps) ||38|