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.
Microsoft’s new Windows 10 May 2019 Update is now available for download
Windows 10’s biggest update this year
Unsuspecting Windows 10 users might have been surprised about a new update available for download starting today. Microsoft has started the rollout of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update which includes a number of new features that consumers and developers will enjoy. The update, which was first released to testers last month, is assured to be free of major issues unlike the previous one.
In the update, Microsoft brings a new light theme for its desktop operating system along with Kaomoji support, a sandbox feature, and the separation of Cortana and Windows search. Officially, the May 2019 Update is known as version 1903 of Windows 10.
The update is pretty big, so it’ll take some time to download and install. That’s why Microsoft wants users to manually opt to download the update in the Windows Update section of the Settings menu. Simply select the “Check for updates” button and choose to download and install whenever you wish.
Another notification will pop up once the download has finished and is ready. It’ll ask for the right time (when you’re not actively using the PC) to finish the update since Windows needs to reboot to complete the installation.
For more information about the update, head over to the Windows Blog on Microsoft’s website.
AOPEN brings their budget-friendly and high-end gaming monitors to the Philippines
Backed up by Acer
With a growing gaming industry, the PC monitor segment continues its increasing competitiveness. The latest brand to enter the Philippine market is AOPEN. With a number of competitors already playing in the field, AOPEN wants to capture a piece of the market with their high-quality monitors sold at a reasonable price.
AOPEN is part of Taiwan’s Acer group. They aren’t new to the game, but it’s their first entry in the local monitor market. From entry-level displays to curved gaming monitors, AOPEN will cater to the needs of new and upcoming gamers. Additionally, they will supply display solutions for small businesses.
Most notably, AOPEN’s lineup boasts a six-color adjustment feature which allows users to “blend” the colors or shades that works best for them. Also, the monitors also come with a Low Blue Light feature that filters blue light to ease the eye strain with prolonged use.
AOPEN has four monitor series to offer in the Philippines. From high-end gaming monitors to budget-friendly consumer displays.@gadgetmatch #GadgetMatchLIVE #AOPEN #ImmersiveGaming pic.twitter.com/GqQjFzh3rZ
— Dan Morial (@danielmorial) April 25, 2019
To entice gamers, the high-end models have support for AMD FreeSync. Meanwhile, NVIDIA G-Sync certification is already in the works.
When it comes to after-sales, AOPEN will be supported by Acer’s technical expertise and existing network of repair centers. AOPEN is already available at partner stores in the country. All monitors have a comfortable three-year warranty.
Acer’s new Predator Orion 5000 goes up to 9th-gen Core i9, RTX graphics
Even more serious power
Acer’s well-received Predator Orion 5000 has gotten an upgrade, and it includes some of the best hardware you can find on any gamer-centric desktop PC to date.
The new Orion 5000 (model name PO5-605S) can now accommodate up to a 9th-generation Intel Core i9-9900K processor with a Z390 chipset and GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. That’s a seriously powerful combo, especially since the CPU can be overclocked thanks to Cooler Master’s liquid cooling system.
You also get up to 64GB of RAM and an assortment of SSD and HDD options on easy-to-swap expansion bays. 2.5Gbps Ethernet is available, as well as tunable RGB lighting visible through the mid-tower’s see-through panels.
“With the latest gaming technologies like a GeForce RTX GPU and overclockable 9th-gen Intel Core i9-9900K processor, the new Orion 5000 packs enough power to satisfy even the most demanding gamers,” said Jeff Lee, General Manager for Stationary Computing, IT Product Business, Acer Inc.
Acer also announced a new 43-inch Predator LFGD (large format gaming display) which features a 4K resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. Its VA panel offers Adaptive Sync and a wide color gamut of 90 percent of the DCI-P3 color space.
No exact pricing or availability dates have been mentioned, but these two products will definitely hit Asian markets in the coming months.
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