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ViewSonic VPC100 review

Alan Lu
21 Sep 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
398
including VAT

A stylish-looking all-in-one nettop, but there are better-value models available.

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Specifications

1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, 1.000000 RAM, 18.4in 1,366x768 display, Windows XP Home Edition

Monitor manufacturer ViewSonic is now selling PCs too.

This all-in-one nettop, the VPC100, is its first. It's a compact alternative to a full desktop PC for undemanding tasks, such as office work and web browsing, and it has some advantages over netbooks, including ViewSonic's own VNB101.

The 18.4in 1,366x768 widescreen display is spacious enough for working in a couple windows simultaneously. The matte finish reduces reflections, and while glossy screens usually haave richer colours, shades still looked bright and vivid here. Viewing angles are tight, though, and colour accuracy suffers unless you sit directly in front of the screen. As with other all-in-one nettops, it has no video outputs.

This nettop has a built-in DVD writer, so you can watch movies, install software from disc and back up your files. The rest of the specification is typical: 1GB of RAM, an Atom N270 processor and an integrated GMA 950 graphics chip. The lack of a dedicated graphics chip means the VPC100 can't play HD video, unlike Asus's Eee Box B204 and Acer's Aspire Revo.

It comes with a 160GB, 2½in hard disk, but if you need more storage, you can replace this with a larger model through a hatch at the back. You can also upgrade the RAM to a maximum of 2GB, although as there's only one memory slot, you'll have to dispose of the existing 1GB module. Its 1GB of RAM is enough for running Windows XP, a web browser and another program or two, but if you want to do more than this, you should consider buying a proper desktop PC.

The glossy black all-in-one design looks sleek, but the big reflective bezel under the display can be distracting. It's fairly easy to tilt and swivel, although it feels a bit wobbly. Two USB ports, the DVD writer and the memory card reader are located on the right side, while the rest of the ports are on the back. Wireless networking is built in, but it doesn't support Draft-N.

Typists will want to replace the spongy, cheap-feeling PS/2 keyboard, although the optical mouse is fine. The integrated stereo speakers are reasonably loud, even though they point away from you to the rear. They sound muddy, though, so music fans will want to add a dedicated pair of speakers.

If you're tempted by a netbook but only intend to use it around the house, a nettop could be a good alternative, since you get a DVD drive and a larger, higher-resolution screen. The VPC100 is a decent nettop, but eMachines' very similar all-in-one EZ1600 is slightly cheaper and we found its sleeker design more appealing. If you want to choose your own monitor and play HD video, the Aspire Revo is a better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Atom N270
Processor external bus133MHz (533MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplierx12
Processor clock speed1.6GHz
Level 1 cache32KB
Level 2 cache512KB
Memory1.000000
Memory typePC2-6400
Maximum memory2GB
MotherboardMSI MS-7437
Motherboard chipsetIntel 945GME
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle30W
Power consumption active35W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/2
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Caseall-in-one
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)Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD1600BEVT
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity160GB
Spindle speed5,400rpm

Graphics

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

Sound

SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputsstereo line out
Speakers2.0

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
Optical drive modelLG GT10N
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size18.4 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardViewSonic PS/2 Keyboard
MouseViewSonic Optical Mouse

Software

Software includedNTI Media Maker 8, NTI Backup Now Standard Edition 5
Operating systemWindows XP Home Edition
Operating system restore optionrestore disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£398
Supplierhttp://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk
Detailswww.viewsoniceurope.com

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