Advent AIO-100 review
UPDATE: Since this review was written, the price has risen to £430 inc VAT. Although this does reduce its appeal, we note that component prices have risen due to the value of the pound (and this has had a similar effect on rival products). As such, we feel the AIO-100 still deserves its Recommended award.
The lifestyle PC market is undergoing a similar transformation to the laptop industry right now, with Atom-powered nettops offering a cheap and cheerful alternative to full-powered machines.
Advent’s baby is the latest in this new genre and its cute-looking AIO-100 looks to take on the Asus Eee Top head on.
It isn’t an exact copy, though. For a start it doesn’t have the touchscreen that grabbed headlines when the Eee Top first emerged. This means that the Advent lacks the easy-to-use and well-organised proprietary interface that was layered over the top of Windows XP on the Asus machine.
We’re not too worried about this, though – while testing the Eee Top we found ourselves reverting to keyboard and mouse whenever we had to do anything more complicated than skipping music tracks or performing the most basic of web surfing tasks. The inclusion of a 1,680 x 945 resolution 18.4in screen as opposed to the 15.6in panel in the Eee Top, is more than enough compensation for the loss of touch sensitivity.
Another area where the Advent differs is in its design. Where the majority of all-in-one machines that we see in the PC Pro Labs cram every component inside a thickened screen, the AIO-100 takes a different tack. Here, the majority of the components are housed in a small, squat chassis, with an adjustable strut holding the screen, which is far slimmer than those found on the average all-in-one.
It results in a machine that possesses plenty of understated retro style – and though not quite up to the standards of the silver Sony VAIO VGC-JS1E/S it’s better looking than the childish Eee Top, and we wouldn’t be ashamed to have it out on display. That stand is versatile, too. The screen can be tilted forward and back as well as up and down on an incline – although it does feel a little flimsy.
Elsewhere, there’s more good news. Scattered around the chassis is a decent selection of ports and sockets that puts the Eee Top’s meagre offering to shame. Five USB ports should be ample, while a single Gigabit Ethernet port, card reader and VGA output complete the set. There’s even an optical drive (a dual-layer DVD writer) – yet another advantage it has over the Eee Top and one that brings the Advent more in line with more expensive all-in-one machines.
Inside, though, the specifications are typical net-top fare. Intel’s 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor is partnered with 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard disk, and wireless is confined to 802.11bg – this is one of the few areas where the Eee Top comes out on top, with its draft-n wireless. The graphics chip is the only area to receive any sort of an upgrade, although an Nvidia GeForce 9200M chip won’t see you playing any modern games any more than the old Intel GMA 945 would have.
Consequently our 2D benchmarks offered no surprises and the AIO-100 produced an overall score of 0.37 – in the same ball park as every other net-top and netbook we’ve reviewed. Power consumption, though, is pleasingly low: an idle consumption of 22W rises to only 34W when the Atom processor is pushed to its limits.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Total hard disk capacity||160|
|CPU family||Intel Atom|
|CPU nominal frequency||1.60GHz|
|CPU overclocked frequency||N/A|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel 945GME|
|Conventional PCI slots free||0|
|Conventional PCI slots total||0|
|PCI-E x16 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x16 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x8 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x8 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots total||0|
|Internal SATA connectors||0|
|Internal SAS connectors||0|
|Internal PATA connectors||0|
|Internal floppy connectors||0|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?||no|
|3D performance setting||N/A|
|Graphics chipset||Intel GMA 950|
|Graphics card RAM||256MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||0|
|Number of graphics cards||N/A|
|Hard disk||Fujitsu MHZ2160BH|
|Hard disk usable capacity||149GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk 2 make and model||N/A|
|Hard disk 2 nominal capacity||N/A|
|Hard disk 2 formatted capacity||N/A|
|Hard disk 2 spindle speed||N/A|
|Hard disk 2 cache size||N/A|
|Hard disk 3 make and model||N/A|
|Hard disk 3 nominal capacity||N/A|
|Hard disk 4 make and model||N/A|
|Hard disk 4 nominal capacity||N/A|
|Optical drive||TSST TS-L633A|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical disk 2 make and model||N/A|
|Optical disk 3 make and model||N/A|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,680|
|Resolution screen vertical||945|
|Resolution||1680 x 945|
Free drive bays
|Free front panel 5.25in bays||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||5|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|Front panel memory card reader||yes|
Mouse & Keyboard
|Mouse and keyboard||100-key wired keyboard, wired, optical two-button with wheel mouse|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows XP|
|Recovery method||Recovery partition|
|Software supplied||CyberLink PowerDVD, Microsoft Works SE 9|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||23W|
|Peak power consumption||28W|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.37|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||Fail|
|3D performance setting||N/A|