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Advent AIO-156 review

Barry de la Rosa
7 Jul 2009
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.

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Specifications

1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, 1.000000 RAM, 15.6in 1,366x768 display, Windows XP Home Edition

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 1,366x768 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***
ProcessorIntel Atom N270
Processor external bus133MHz (533MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplierx12
Processor clock speed1.6GHz
Processor socketSocket 437
Level 1 cache56KB
Level 2 cache512KB
Memory1.000000
Memory typeDDR2
Maximum memory2GB
Motherboard chipsetIntel i945GSE
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle18W
Power consumption active25W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/3
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Internal Expansion

Casemini-ITX
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)0 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports0
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Hitachi HTS543216L9A300
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity160GB
Spindle speed5,400rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Intel GMA 950
Graphics/video portsVGA

Sound

SoundIDT HD Audio
Sound outputsstereo line out
Speakersintegrated

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Optical drive modelTSSTcorp TS-L633A
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Screen modelintegrated
Native resolution1,366x768
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardAdvent ACK-2033U
MouseAdvent wired optical mouse

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows XP Home Edition
Operating system restore optionrestore partition

Buying Information

Warrantyone year onsite
Price£480
Detailswww.dixons.co.uk

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