Asus ET2701 review

29 Mar 2013

The separate subwoofer adds nothing to a run-of-the-mill all-in-one that is bettered by cheaper rivals

Price when reviewed: 
1,651(£1,651 inc VAT)
4

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.

Asus ET2701

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.

Asus ET2701

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £1,376
Price inc VAT £1,651
Overall rating 4
Performance 5
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 4

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 2,000GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB
Screen size 27.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency 3.10GHz
Processor socket LGA 1155

Motherboard

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Graphics card

Graphics card Nvidia GeForce GT 640M
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Medium
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GT 640M
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Seagate Barracuda 7200.14
Capacity 2.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 1.80TB
Internal disk interface SATA/600
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 64MB

Drives

Optical disc technology Blu-ray writer

Monitor

Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080

Case

Case format All-in-one
Dimensions 660 x 233 x 508mm (WDH)

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 2
eSATA ports 1
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

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 56fps
3D performance setting Medium
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.99
Responsiveness score 0.89
Media score 1.09
Multitasking score 0.99