RM Desktop 311 review

18 Feb 2012

A high-performance desktop PC built to tackle anything a school can throw at it

RM Desktop 311
Price when reviewed: 
599exc VAT
5

The RM Desktop 311 is a high-performance PC with a fair bit of power under its bonnet, including a 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-2400 CPU and 8GB of RAM. In other words, it’s ideal for processor-intensive activities such as video editing or audio, although its 160GB hard disk isn’t especially generous.

Like all RM products, this PC is designed for the classroom and comes with a metal, graffiti-resistant case. It feels rugged, and can be used in both horizontal and vertical configurations. However, it’s hefty, so you’ll need quite a bit of desk space to accommodate it – and at 9kg, you won’t want to shift it around too often either.

RM Desktop 311

Our review sample came with Windows 7 Professional preinstalled, plus a full-sized keyboard, mouse and mouse mat – all of impressive quality. The front of the PC is designed so that almost everything you’ll ever need is close to hand, including headphone and microphone ports, two USB 2 ports, a FireWire port, DVD writer and 15-in-1 memory card reader. The result is that pupils can connect an array of devices to this PC including digital cameras, camcorders, music players and USB-controlled robots without ever needing to touch the back of the PC.

The rear of the Desktop 311 PC has a good selection of ports, too, including four USB 2, two USB 3, two eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet, DisplayPort and line-out and microphone audio sockets. However, while there are two DVI ports (Type I and D), there’s no VGA, which could be an issue if you’re using a legacy monitor. Luckily, RM has thought of this and includes a DVI-to-VGA adapter.

In operation, the Desktop 311 runs smoothly and quietly; it will run pretty much anything you throw at it with ease. The benchmark score of 0.93 is the best in this group. The only thing missing is 3D graphics capability: the Core i5 has a built-in GPU, but it can’t match the performance of a dedicated graphics chip, or even the GPU built into AMD’s A8 series APUs. If 3D matters, you may want to look elsewhere; otherwise, this is an excellent classroom PC that’s built to last.

Details

Price ex VAT £499
Price inc VAT £599
Overall rating 5
Performance 6
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4

Warranty

Warranty 1yr on-site

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 160GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 3.10GHz

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Graphics card

Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 3000

Hard disk

Capacity 160GB

Drives

Optical drive DVD writer

Case

Dimensions 359 x 416 x 135mm (WDH)

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 6

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7