Review: 4 all-in-one PCs sip energy, save money

Save up to $60 a year in electricity costs

1 2 3 4 5 6 Page 3
Page 3 of 6

Averatec D1133

Rather than building an all-in-one PC around a slightly enlarged monitor case, as is the case with the other systems here, Averatec's D1133 goes its own way. Designers put most of its electronics in a small base, yielding an enviably thin monitor.

Averatec D1133
Averatec D1133

Available for around $500, it provides a lot of PC for the money, including the best graphics hardware in the roundup, but with the highest power use of the bunch.

Clothed in shiny black plastic with silver accents, the D1133 has an elegant appearance and takes up 17.5 by 8.5 in. of desk space, about average for the group. Its monitor is only two-thirds of an inch thick -- easily the thinnest of the group -- and is connected to the base with an arm that looks like a modernist sculpture.

The arm allows the monitor to not only pivot in and out but to move up and down for more flexible positioning than any of the others. Unfortunately, the monitor wobbles when bumped into.

The base has a convenient power switch up front, along with volume and brightness controls. Inside, its configuration mirrors the HP MS214's, with a 1.5-GHz dual-core AMD Athlon X2 processor, 2GB of RAM and a DVD Super Multi drive. Its 250GB hard drive is slower and has less capacity than that of the MS214.

The D1133 has a basic wired keyboard and mouse -- much less impressive than the MSI AE1900's keyboard with its instant-access buttons, media controls and volume keys.

The D1133 is equipped with the best graphics of this gang of four all-in-ones, with an ATI Radeon HD 3200 accelerator and 512MB of video memory, twice the level of the HP MS214's similar video hardware. As a result, its 18.4-in. display runs at a 1680-by-945 native resolution, 60% sharper than any of the other all-in-ones here.

On the other hand, its screen is the shiniest and picks up more reflections than the others. There's a webcam above the monitor, but the system's speakers sound tinny and distorted.

To make connections, the D1133 has four USB ports (two fewer than the HP MS214), an Ethernet port and a flash card reader, and it supports 802.11g Wi-Fi networking. The headphone and microphone jacks are inconveniently located on the side, but the D1133 has the bonus of SATA and DVI ports for connecting with a hard drive and a second monitor.

It all adds up to a competent PC that was slightly behind the HP MS214 in performance, with a PassMark Performance 7.0 score of 320.7. The Trainz simulation ran smoothly, with a good degree of background detail.

On the other hand, it had unimpressive energy use, consuming 48 watts of power, the highest of the group. It's still one-third the power draw of a traditional desktop PC, but expect to spend about $27 a year on electricity.

The D1133 is inexpensive but doesn't include much in the way of software other than Windows Vista Home Premium. It is easily the coolest-looking all-in-one of the lot and should satisfy most users, but it uses much more power than the rest.

1 2 3 4 5 6 Page 3
Page 3 of 6
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon