Chillblast Fusion Accelerate review
3.5GHz Intel Core i5-3450, 16GB RAM, 23in 1,920x1,080 display
Although the other Windows 8 PCs we've seen so far have been solid performance-orientated models, Chillblast has tried something a bit different with the Fusion Accelerate - it's a quiet PC with an Iiyama touchscreen.
While Windows 7 wasn’t easy to navigate with a touchscreen, Windows 8 is designed with touch interfaces very much in mind. The new Start screen consists of chunky, finger-friendly icons, and many of the new apps are optimised for touch. The Fusion Accelerate's Iiyama ProLite T2451MTS screen supports multi-touch gestures and it works brilliantly with some of Windows 8's built-in apps. We particularly liked flicking through news articles in the full-screen News app, scrolling side-to-side as if we were turning pages in a glossy magazine.
The touchscreen also works well in the Maps application thanks to pinch-to-zoom and we had fun with touchscreen games such as pinball and managed some casual web surfing with the onscreen keyboard. However, instead of responding to touch like the capacitive touchscreens of mobile phones and tablets, the T2451MTS's system works with optical sensors around the edge of the panel. This means you need a rather thick bezel, which makes Windows 8's touch gestures, which mainly involve swiping in from the edge of the screen, difficult to do. We found we mainly used the mouse to launch and close programs, and switched to the touchscreen once we were in one of Windows 8's touch-optimised apps.
The monitor has a glossy finish and that helps colours look pleasingly punchy, but you'll have to look out for the usual problems with reflections from overhead lighting. Our colorimeter reported the screen's colour balance as almost perfect out of the box, and we managed to get it exact with a couple of minor tweaks. After calibration, the colorimeter reported the screen as coming within 98% of the sRGB standard, which is what we've come to expect from a quality TN monitor. We did notice some light leakage at the bottom of the screen, which made blacks right at the bottom of the panel look slightly grey. If you’d rather not have a touchscreen, Chillblast will supply the Fusion Accelerate with an Iiyama ProLite X2377HDS 23in monitor for £949 including VAT. The X2377HDS has an IPS panel, and our calibration tests showed it to have similarly high colour accuracy to the touchscreen, but without any light leaking in at the bottom.
The Fusion Accelerate has a matte black Cooler Master case and it feels very well made. There are USB2 and USB3 ports at the front, alongside an SD card reader. The optical drive is hidden behind a magnetic door, and there's sound-insulating foam behind the door and the PC's side panel. The foam, the quiet processor cooler and the rear exhaust fan make this an extremely quiet PC.