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Viewsonic VPC190 review

Barry de la Rosa
7 Jun 2010
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Viewsonic VPC190
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
468
inc VAT

The slim VPC190 won't take up much room and is a great choice if you need a simple and cheap computer for web browsing and basic office tasks.

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Specifications

1.66GHz Intel Atom D510, 2GB RAM, 18.5in 1,366x768 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

The VPC190 is an all-in-one PC with an 18.5in screen that's so thin it's almost indistinguishable from a normal PC monitor. It's only when you look and see the slot-loading DVD drive on the right side and a panel on the left with four USB ports, audio ports and a memory card reader that you notice it's a PC.

The VPC190's svelte profile is mainly due to the use of an Intel Atom processor. This computer uses Intel's brand-new D510. Although it has the same 1.66GHz clock speed as previous Atom chips, this model has two Hyper Threading cores, making it appear as a quad-core processor in Windows. However, it's far from quick and the overall score of 26 shows that this PC is best suited to light tasks, such as web browsing, email and office work.

As with all of Intel's new processors, the D510 also has integrated GMA 3150 graphics. These are incapable of playing games, although we found that they were good enough for playing 720p HD video on YouTube.

This is ideal for the screen's resolution of 1,366x768. Compare to a monitor shipped with monitor shipped with most desktop PCs it feels a little cramped, although it's enough resolution for web browsing and basic office work.

It has a matt finish which helps to reduce reflections from bright overhead lights, but which adds a fine grain to images. Colours were vivid and natural, and contrast was impressive with even backlighting.

Sound from the integrated speakers was clear and reasonably loud, good enough for watching films or listening to light music. You can plug a set of stereo speakers in via the headphone socket, or add a set of USB speakers, but for everyday use the internal speakers are fine.

As is the case with most all-in-one designs, there's no room for expansion. The 2GB of RAM is fine for the sort of applications that the processor is designed for, but we were disappointed with the measly 160GB hard disk. It's big enough to store office documents and a few photos, but large video or music collections will soon fill it up.

There are also few external expansion ports. There aren't any eSATA or FireWire ports, and you can't connect an external monitor. The memory card reader is useful for quickly downloading snaps from a digital camera and there's a basic webcam built into the top bezel that can be used to make video calls. There's wireless networking, but it's limited to the slower 802.11g standard.

Viewsonic doesn't sell the VPC190 with a keyboard or mouse, so you'll have to factor a set into the cost. Logitech's excellent Cordless Desktop Wave can be bought for as little as £29 and as a bonus it will only require one of the six USB ports rather than two: this is good, as Viewsonic's decision to place four of the six USB ports on the side panel means you can end up with lots of wires poking out the side, rather than out of the way at the rear.

If you're looking for a basic computer that won't take up a lot of room, the VPC190 is a great choice. Image quality from the screen is excellent and the decent internal speakers mean you can also use it to watch films. At well under £500 it is great value, and wins our Budget Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Atom D510
Processor external bus166MHz (665MHz DMI)
Processor multiplierx10
Processor clock speed1.66GHz
Processor socketSocket 559
Level 1 cache2x 56KB
Level 2 cache1024KB
Memory2
Memory typeDDR2
Maximum memory2GB
MotherboardFlextronics Cheetah
Motherboard chipsetIntel NM10

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)4/2
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input

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)Seagate Momentus 5400.6 ST9160314AS
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity160GB
Spindle speed5,400rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Intel GMA 3150
Graphics/video portsnone

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputsstereo line out
Speakersintegrated

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick
Optical drive modelSlimtype DL8ATS
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size18.5 in
Screen modelintegrated
Native resolution1,366x768
Response time5ms
Screen inputsnone

Other Hardware

ModemNo
Keyboardnone
Mousenone

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone-year RTB
Price£468
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.viewsonic.co.uk

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