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Asus ET2321IUTH review

Katharine Byrne
21 Nov 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
899
inc VAT

A stylish all-in-one, but it's underpowered for the price

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Specifications

1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U, 8GB RAM, 23in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 8

All-in-one PCs are a great way to save on space and wires if you don’t want a hefty tower taking up space in your living room, and the Asus ET2321IUTH is one the slimmest all-in-ones we’ve seen in recent months. It’s nowhere near as thin as an iMac, but the ET2321IUTH’s certainly not large. Instead of housing all its components in the base, as with previous models, everything’s now located behind the screen, allowing Asus to cut down on both the size of the stand and base and the overall depth of the PC.

Asus ET2321IUTH

This doesn’t mean the ET2321IUTH is any less versatile than previous models, as Asus has made good use of the space on the rear chassis. There are still five USB ports, three of which are USB3, an HDMI input so you can use external devices, such as a games console, an HDMI output for connecting the PC to an external display, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a DVD rewriter and a jack for the bundled subwoofer. There are also volume control buttons along the lower edge of the bezel next to the power button and menu controls for calibrating the screen, as well as a multi-format card reader, another USB port and separate headphone and microphone jacks.

Asus ET2321IUTH

It’s one of the most well-equipped all-in-ones we’ve seen, and the abundance of USB ports was a particularly welcome sight as the bundled wireless mouse and keyboard need a USB receiver in order to work. We’d recommend finding your own keyboard, as we didn't find it very comfortable to type on. The mouse, in comparison, was very responsive and a joy to use.

The integrated speakers were also some of the best all-in-one speakers we’ve heard. The bundled subwoofer provided plenty of bass and all of our test tracks produced rich, full sounds. There was even a good amount of bass when we disconnected the subwoofer, but we’d recommend keeping it plugged in for the best audio experience.

Asus ET2321IUTH

BENCHMARKING

Slimming down does have its downsides, as there’s often less space to pack in an efficient cooling system. This affects the types of processors manufacturers can use to prevent the PC overheating, and the ET2321IUTH suffers slightly because of it. While it’s one of the first all-in-ones we’ve seen to use one of Intel’s new Haswell processors, its 1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U processor is also an ultra-low voltage model that’s even more aggressive in its energy-saving than previous Ivy Bridge chips.

Paired with 8GB of RAM, this bore out in its rather modest score of 35 in our multimedia benchmarks. Even though this PC is slower than a lot of the competition, it’s still a perfectly capable PC if all you want to use it for is light office tasks and browsing the web. Just don’t expect it to handle demanding media editing software without some considerable grinding.

The ET2321IUTH’s main strength over other low-end all-in-ones is its graphics capabilities. It may not have a dedicated graphics chip, but the processor’s integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 chip can still play 3D games at a reasonable speed if you’re willing to lower the settings.

Unsurprisingly, it failed our Dirt Showdown test on Ultra quality at a 1,920x1,080 resolution, but we managed 24.7fps in the laptop version of the test on High quality at 1,280x720. This is much better than other integrated chips we’ve tested, and lowering the quality settings will increase the speed even further. We’d recommend sticking to a 720p resolution, though, as re-running the test at 1,920x1,080 on Low quality only produced 26.6fps.

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