Advent AIO-101 review
Most of the all-in-one PCs we see fall into one of two camps. There are plenty of low-cost nettops around, and quite a few luxury models costing over a grand, but in the middle ground, there are relatively few contenders. That’s exactly where Advent’s AIO-101 sits, priced at £590 exc VAT.
In this price bracket, it’s up against the lower-end Dell Studio One 19 model, which currently retails for £564 exc VAT, but if you’re expecting a similar specification, you’ll be disappointed. The Advent’s processor – an AMD Athlon X2 3250e – can’t compete with the Studio’s 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo.
It’s the first time we’ve seen this processor, and on the positive side it’s 1.5GHz clock speed and dual cores help the AIO-101 beat most Atom-based systems hands down for performance, while matching them for power efficiency. It scored 0.64 in our application-based 2D benchmarks, which is around 60% faster than even the best XP-based Atom systems.
And, though HD video didn’t prove too much of a problem for the AIO-101, its ATI Radeon HD 3450 graphics chip won’t blow you away with its gaming ability. It limped through our low-quality Crysis benchmark, run at 1,024 x 768, at a sluggish 8fps.
Elsewhere, there’s 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard disk – more memory and hard disk space than the Studio One 19 – and draft-n wireless alongside Gigabit Ethernet means that connectivity is up to scratch.
Even more welcome is a hybrid analog/DVB/T TV tuner, the sort of kit that we’re used to seeing in expensive Sony VAIO all-in-one machines, but certainly not in aggressively-priced machines like the Advent. The Dell Studio One 19 doesn’t have one as part of its basic specification.
And, despite the decent specification, Advent has managed to keep the power draw low: the AIO-101 pulled just 41W when idle and 58W when running through the most demanding part of our benchmarks. It’s not quite as low as some Atom-based machines we’ve seen, but it’s still far below the norm from fully-fledged desktop systems.
This media-friendly specification is wrapped up in a package that, unfortunately, is less tempting. It’s a similar design to the AIO-156, with all the major components housed in the base and the screen perched atop an adjustable neck. Build quality is just as unconvincing, thanks to a spindly, wobbly screen support; we’d have preferred to see the iMac-like chassis used for the Advent AIO-200, which looked good and felt rock-solid.
And though the speakers are a tinny-sounding mess, we have few complaints about the screen. Its native resolution of 1,680 x 945 is unusual but suits the 18.4in frame and, aside from a slightly pale finish, there are no serious faults to report. Colours are reproduced accurately throughout and there’s no backlight bleed to be found.
There’s a decent selection of ports and sockets too. The front houses a card reader and buttons for tweaking the monitor, while the rear offers Gigabit Ethernet, three USB ports, eSATA and a DVI-I for attaching a second screen. The keyboard and mouse included with the Advent are basic, but perfectly comfortable to use.
There’s no doubting that Advent has crammed a lot in to the AIO-101: the TV tuner ensures that there’s more media muscle on offer here than with many rival machines, and the rest of the specification is more than capable of coping with web surfing, word processing and the sorts of basic tasks that most home computers are asked to do. It’s noticeably nippier than Atom systems too, so if you do want to do something a little more demanding from time to time – ripping a CD or doing a touch of light video editing – you won’t be grinding your teeth quite as much.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Total hard disk capacity||320|
|CPU nominal frequency||1.50GHz|
|CPU overclocked frequency||N/A|
|Conventional PCI slots free||0|
|PCI-E x16 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x8 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots free||0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|3D performance setting||Low|
|Graphics chipset||ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||0|
|Optical drive||Samsung TS-L633A|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,680|
|Resolution screen vertical||945|
|Resolution||1680 x 945|
|Dimensions||446 x 215 x 372mm (WDH)|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
Mouse & Keyboard
|Mouse and keyboard||Wired keyboard and mouse|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows Vista|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||41W|
|Peak power consumption||58W|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.64|
|Office application benchmark score||0.57|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||0.76|
|Encoding application benchmark score||0.60|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||0.61|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||8fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|