Computers

ASUS Vivo AiO (V272) review: All-in-one goodness?

A complete desktop PC that simply works

Published

on

As a person who builds his own desktop computers and thrives on portable laptops for his on-the-go lifestyle, I admit there are times I just want a PC that can do it all — minus all the hassle of plugging accessories in and finding wall sockets for charging.

That’s exactly what an all-in-one computer aims to do, and the ASUS Vivo AiO is the latest example.

Much like the Zen AiO Pro I reviewed last year, this model only needs a single power cable to get things running. Everything else is already built in or simply wireless. Now, that’s convenience!

Here’s what it can do

Make no mistake about it: This AiO PC is quite big. With a 27-inch LCD on its adjustable base, it takes some effort to take this 8.5kg computer out of its box and setting it on a table. From there, however, the rest of the setup becomes pleasantly easy.

All you have to do is plug in the power cable, insert the wireless keyboard and mouse’s dongle into an open USB port, and you’re all set! Powering the unit on happens by pressing a somewhat hidden button at the back of the display.

You’ll then be greeted by a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution, which isn’t that dense for a 27-inch panel, but it does allow the system to run more smoothly since fewer pixels have to be pushed at a given time. ASUS claims it has a 100 percent sRGB color gamut, which is great for editing photos and videos more accurately.

Some variants of the Vivo AiO come with a touchscreen. This is kinda unusual to have on a desktop computer, but if it’s already there, then why not, right? Still, I would stick to using the keyboard and mouse, and leave the touch gestures to your laptop or smartphone.

I’m saying this because the bundled wireless mouse and keyboard are actually quite good. While not mechanical or gaming-optimized in any sense, they’re ergonomic and work well on all sorts of surfaces with no noticeable input lag.

Despite having everything in one solid piece, there are enough ports to go around.

Underneath the display, you get a single USB port, which I found to be a perfect spot to plug in the keyboard-mouse receiver, as well as a 3.5mm audio port for your headphones or external speakers.

At the back is a decent selection of ports, from USB 3.1 to HDMI and Ethernet. The only head-scratching omission is USB-C, which is becoming increasingly common on smartphones and thin notebooks. Even ASUS’ own phones and laptops are committed to the port, so it’s strange to see it missing here.

Design-wise, my main complaint is the location of the webcam. It’s situated on the bottom bezel, allowing it to look up your nose during video calls. ASUS brags about the display’s 81 percent screen-to-body ratio, but I would’ve been fine with some bezel up top to house the front camera instead.

Even though you can tilt the unit by a few degrees to find your sweet spot, you sadly can’t adjust the height to remedy the poorly placed webcam.

What exactly can it run?

One look at the specifications sheet, and you can tell what this machine is meant for.

My review unit is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8550U, 8GB of memory, and an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics chip. This setup means the Vivo AiO can handle light workloads such as Microsoft Office, Chrome, and Photoshop with ease, but anything visually heavy will make it struggle a bit.

Like most AiO computers, upgrading components is a pain, so you’ll have to settle for whatever configuration you pay for from the start, so choose wisely.

During my time with this unit, I didn’t experience any lag while browsing websites, writing articles, and editing photos — all at the same time. That’s largely thanks to the quad-core Core i7 processor with Hyper-threading, giving you eight logical cores in total.

It’s only when I fired up a couple of graphically demanding games when the system couldn’t keep up.

For kicks, I played some Final Fantasy XV on this thing. As expected, I was forced to endure the lowest graphics settings on 1080p. However, to my surprise, the game managed to run at a consistent 30 frames per second, which made it totally playable. Any title less power-hungry than Final Fantasy XV such as Fortnite or PUBG — will definitely run more smoothly.

Video editing on Premiere Pro is enjoyable on the large monitor and its powerful stereo speakers, but don’t expect rendering to be seamless. Still, I highly recommend getting a configuration with both an SSD and HDD to speed up the processing and provide you with enough storage, respectively. My setup has a standard 128GB M.2 SSD and 1TB HDD.

All in with the all-in-one?

In a nutshell, this is pretty much the Windows equivalent of an iMac. And like an Apple product, the Vivo AiO simply works. There’s no cumbersome setup process or annoying cables and dongles to deal with; plug it in and you’re set.

Who is this for other than iMac users wanting to jump ship? I’d say Windows users who want more screen real estate than what a laptop offers, yet need to save as much desk space as possible. An AiO like this is by far easier to transfer from one point to another compared to a traditional desktop PC with its separate monitor and multitude of cables.

Of course, this costs more than a custom-built PC spec-for-spec. You may buy a Vivo AiO with a starting price of US$ 1,000, but you could assemble a more powerful rig for less.

It ultimately comes down to convenience versus power. Which one will it be for you this time? Take a long look at your work space and decide from there.

Computers

Windows 10 will soon go full white with a light theme

To complement the new dark theme

Published

on

Image credit: Microsoft

All the buzz in today’s user interface bonanza is the dark theme. An all-black interface supposedly consumes less power (if you have an OLED display) and it’s also easy on the eye, especially at night. A number of mobile apps already have a dark theme and even macOS finally has it. As for Windows, the popular operating system doesn’t just want a dark theme, it wants a light one as well.

Microsoft just unveiled the light theme for Windows 10, but it’s only available for the new test build which is not meant for a major release yet.

Generally, Windows 10’s UI has always played with dark and light elements. It’s pretty inconsistent, so you get both dark and light at the same time. Soon, you can finally get either an all dark UI or a bright white UI.

The new system-wide light theme also comes with a slightly tweaked default wallpaper.

Again, the light theme is still undergoing tests, but it’s expected to come to the next major update of Windows 10 sometime in 2019.

The latest test build comes with a number of new features that’ll soon come as an update to Windows 10. You may head over to the source link below to know more.

Source: Windows

SEE ALSO: Apple’s macOS Mojave offers Dark Mode, new Mac App Store, and more

Continue Reading

Computers

2018 Mac mini: Price and availability in the Philippines

Transform any display into a Mac computer

Published

on

Apart from the MacBook Air, Apple also brought back to life another Mac device that is very much in need of an upgrade: the Mac mini.

The new Mac mini stays true to its purpose. It’s still a small computer that can be used with any display and peripheral you wish. When you need macOS but don’t like the iMac, this is the economical solution.

It now comes with the latest 8th-gen Intel Core processors and flash storage. The ports of the new Mac mini are not limited even though it has a compact body. It has four Thunderbolt 3, an HDMI 2.0, two USB-A, audio jack, and gigabit Ethernet.

The base model with a Core i3 processor and 128GB of storage is priced at PhP 49,990 in the Philippines. If you wish to have a more powerful portable Mac, there’s the six-core model running a Core i5 processor with 256GB of storage for PhP 67,990.

Availability starts by the third week of December, but you may already pre-order through Apple’s website.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s new Mac mini adds more processing cores for 5x faster performance

Continue Reading

Computers

2018 Mac mini: Price and availability in Singapore

As compact as it sounds

Published

on

If you need more power and ports compared to what the newest MacBook Air offers, there’s the fresh Mac mini to consider.

Even though it’s designed to stay plugged in on a desktop, it’s as small as ever, and more environmentally friendly, too. It’s made of 100 percent recycled aluminum like Apple’s other newly unveiled products.

For the lowest-end Core i3 chip with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage, you have to fork over SG$ 1,179 in Singapore. Shipping starts on November 7, but you can order as early as today.

There’s also a Core i5 model with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage for SG$ 1,619.

Both versions come with a host of ports, including gigabit Ethernet, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A, 3.5mm audio port, HDMI 2.0, as well as a T2 Security Chip for quick data encryption.

Continue Reading

Trending