Asus ET2701 review
The separate subwoofer adds nothing to a run-of-the-mill all-in-one that is bettered by cheaper rivals
All-in-one systems are usually touted as media specialists, and the Asus ET2701 takes this to the next level – it includes an external subwoofer to place next to its 27in frame.
The subwoofer is a small, brushed-metal unit that’s partnered by two 3.5W speakers built into the all-in-one. In our tests, this setup proved disappointing; the sub delivered thunderous bass but overpowered the rest of the range.
Thankfully, the integrated speakers deliver just enough bass by themselves, but mid-range sounds lacked nuance, and higher tones were simply too quiet for our liking. The Dell XPS One 27, which has two 20W speakers and a 12W internal subwoofer, produced far better sound.
The ET2701’s 27in, 1,920 x 1,080 screen also looks good initially, with an average Delta E of 4.6 matching the Dell for colour accuracy. The top brightness level of 290cd/m[sup]2[/sup] is also up with its rival’s 297cd/m[sup]2[/sup] figure. However, smearing and blurring induced by the VA panel’s slow response times ruin the experience. The panel simply can’t cope with moving images as well as Dell’s IPS screen.
Under the hood, the Asus improves. It uses the same Core i7-3770S processor and Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics core as the Dell, and it returns similar benchmark results. Its 0.99 score in our test is just ahead of the 0.98 scored by the Dell, and the two are almost inseparable in our Medium settings Crysis test.
The Asus has a 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard disk that posted the quickest benchmark results we've recorded from a hard disk, with sequential read and writes of 175MB/sec and 171MB/sec. It's got the only Blu-ray writer we've seen in an all-in-one, plus 8GB of RAM and a good selection of peripherals. The Scrabble-tile keyboard has a firm key action, and the mouse is small but serviceable. The only major omission is a TV tuner.
The ET2701 mixes a glossy screen bezel with a striking, angled stand, but it can’t compete with its rivals for flexibility or build quality. The rear panel behind the screen feels plasticky, and lacks the solidity of the Dell. The plastic doors used to cover the ports on the left and the optical drive on the right feel flimsy. Also, the stand offers very little range of tilt.
We’ve had issues with the size of 27in touchscreens, and the Asus suffers from the same awkward touch operation.
Sheer size aside, good screen quality is marred by the panel’s response times and poor audio quality. The £1,699 Dell is a better option.
|Price ex VAT||£1,376|
|Price inc VAT||£1,651|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||4|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Total hard disk capacity||2,000GB|
|CPU family||Intel Core i7|
|CPU nominal frequency||3.10GHz|
|Processor socket||LGA 1155|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Graphics card||Nvidia GeForce GT 640M|
|Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?||no|
|3D performance setting||Medium|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce GT 640M|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Number of graphics cards||1|
|Hard disk||Seagate Barracuda 7200.14|
|Hard disk usable capacity||1.80TB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/600|
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray writer|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Dimensions||660 x 233 x 508mm (WDH)|
|USB ports (downstream)||2|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|3.5mm audio jacks||4|
Mouse & Keyboard
|Mouse and keyboard||Asus wireless keyboard and mouse|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 8|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||80W|
|Peak power consumption||156W|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||56fps|
|3D performance setting||Medium|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.99|