Re-engineering computer hardware is an expensive and time-consuming process. That’s why the technology usually evolves gradually, rather than in fits and starts; great leaps are risky. When you do something novel, it needs to be for a good reason. When Antec recently introduced two new types of coolers, the Kuhler 1250 and the 950, it did something pretty different. In a closed-loop liquid-cooling (CLC) system, the pump is customarily integrated into the heatsink that sits on top of the CPU. But with this new series of Kuhler units, Antec has moved the pump on top of the fan, which it uses to power the pump. The 950 ups the ante even further by putting a fan on each side of the radiator, making it a truly bulky piece of equipment. Always happy to see an innovative design, we hoped that perhaps the 950 would excel where the 1250 (reviewed last issue) was just OK for the price.
Sony markets its Vaio Tap 20 as a mobile desktop, but you could say that about any portable computer. We think “laptablet” is closer to the mark. With its 20-inch display, the Tap 20 is both a big laptop and a gargantuan tablet. And it wouldn’t make any sense at all without Windows 8.
Note: This review was taken from the April issue of the magazine.
The concept of the desktop PC that folds flat like a tabletop is catching on. HP was first, with its Z1 workstation, but Lenovo brought the technology to consumer all-in-ones with its very sexy IdeaCentre A720. Now Asus has adopted the idea for its new ET2300 series (we reviewed the model ET2300INTI-B022K).
Note: This review was taken from the January issue of the magazine.
We’ve long maintained that no all-in-one could ever satisfy a Maximum PC reader’s primary desktop computing needs because design limitations lead to compromises that impact gaming. To accommodate the space constraints and cooling concerns of these compact systems, AiO designers typically rely on mobile CPUs and GPUs that lack the horsepower needed for maximum performance in games.
Note: This review appeared in the Holiday 2012 issue of the magazine.
We know what you’re thinking. Why is Maximum PC dedicating precious time doing another roundup of all-in-one PCs? You’d never buy one of these machines as your primary computer, right? Right. We’d never be satisfied with just an all-in-one, either. But we can’t think of a better second computer.
It’s hard to review ViewSonic’s new Smart Display VSD220 without thinking back to another of the company’s unusual products that we reviewed almost a decade ago: the Air Panel V110.
The Air Panel used Microsoft’s “Smart Display” technology to essentially let you remotely control your PC over Wi-Fi for browsing and MP3 streaming. Not to rehash ancient history, but Smart Display was just another charred carcass on the long road to a successful consumer tablet computer.
Besides functioning as a desktop-size Android device, the VSD220 can serve as a stand-alone touchscreen monitor for a full-fledged PC.
We used to get excited when HP would send us its latest all-in-one. Each new model seemed to add some cool innovation or new feature that no other manufacturer had. The Omni 27-1015T has us wondering if the all-in-one pioneer has tired of pushing the envelope.
HP needs to move the power button off the top of its all-in-one PCs; it’s too easy to accidently turn the machine off while adjusting the angle of the display.
Gateway lists no fewer than 13 all-in-one models on its website, and this model with a dual-core CPU, integrated graphics, and twisted nematic LCD is its top offering. If the PCs in this roundup were playing football, the Gateway would be the water boy. But if all you need in a family PC is a machine for web browsing, email, productivity, and watching DVDs, this might be all you need.
Gateway’s ZX6970-UR10P is a very basic touchscreen PC with a price tag that won’t induce sticker shock
OK, our first look at the Dell XPS One’s gorgeous display didn’t leave us quite as flabbergasted as astronaut David Bowmanstaring into the monolith at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But the absolutely gorgeous Samsung PLS panel—with its 2560x1440native resolution—did leave us a bit slack-jawed. The XPS One’s$2,000 price tag might have contributed to that reaction, too; then again, a 27-inch Samsung Series 9 display built using the same panel costs $1,200 all by itself.
Dell’s XPS One 27 is a gorgeous computer. You’ll have to decide if it’s $2,000