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Advent AIO-156 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 480
inc VAT and delivery

The cheapest of the touchscreen nettops, the AIO-156's poor performance and lack of touch-aware software make it unappealing.

Specifications

1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, 1.000000 RAM, 15.6in 1,366×768 display, Windows XP Home Edition

Dixons

The AIO-156 is a smart, all-in-one nettop.

The main unit is built into the base of the monitor and is around the size of a box of chocolates, with a glossy black finish and chrome details. A chunky pivoting arm connects it to the 15.6in widescreen monitor. Resting on a desk, the screen sits over the front of the main unit and can’t be raised very high, but there are VESA mounts on the bottom of the main unit and the screen can swivel 90?, so you could mount it vertically on a wall to save desk space.

In fact, with its touch-sensitive screen, the AIO-156 could be ideal as a second PC in the kitchen or on an office reception desk. Windows XP has limited support for touchscreens, but the release of Windows 7 later this year should make the AIO-156 more attractive if you fancy upgrading it yourself. It’s a shame Advent hasn’t bundled some simple touch-enabled software, though, as MSI has done with its Wind Top.

With integrated Intel graphics, the AIO-156 isn’t able to play HD movies, but the display’s 16:9 resolution of 1,366×768 is ideal for DVD playback. The screen has a glossy finish, so it’s highly reflective, but colours are vibrant and accurate. There are no controls to let you adjust image quality, but this wasn’t a major problem since brightness and contrast were more than acceptable.

It’s good to see WiFi, but Draft-N isn’t supported. There’s also a useful memory card reader built in. Sadly, the rest of the specifications aren’t too impressive, with a 160GB hard disk, no eSATA port and only basic sound outputs. There are no built-in speakers as there are with MSI’s Wind Top, which would have been convenient. It’s worth noting that power consumption is the lowest of all the PCs tested this month.

While the touchscreen goes some way to justifying the high price, the lack of bundled touch-aware software means that the touchscreen will be of little benefit to most people. The AIO-156 isn’t a great performer, either, and will appeal only to those who need low power consumption or want to mount their PC on a wall.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Atom N270
Processor external bus 133MHz (533MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplier x12
Processor clock speed 1.6GHz
Processor socket Socket 437
Level 1 cache 56KB
Level 2 cache 512KB
Memory 1.000000
Memory type DDR2
Maximum memory 2GB
Motherboard chipset Intel i945GSE
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 18W
Power consumption active 25W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/3
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Internal Expansion

Case mini-ITX
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 0 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 0
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Hitachi HTS543216L9A300
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 160GB
Spindle speed 5,400rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s) Intel GMA 950
Graphics/video ports VGA

Sound

Sound IDT HD Audio
Sound outputs stereo line out
Speakers integrated

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Optical drive model TSSTcorp TS-L633A
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size 15.6 in
Screen model integrated
Native resolution 1,366×768
Screen inputs N/A

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Advent ACK-2033U
Mouse Advent wired optical mouse

Software

Software included none
Operating system Windows XP Home Edition
Operating system restore option restore partition

Buying Information

Warranty one year onsite
Price £480
Details www.dixons.co.uk

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