Asus's latest all-in-one looks like a giant iPad. But with built-in Blu-ray and a big hard drive it might just be your home media hub…
With its rounded plastic bezel and flush-fitting multitouch screen, it's clear where the design cues for the 22in Eee Top ET2203T have come from. Suddenly the 10in iPad doesn't look so oversized.
It’s a good look, if slightly spoiled by the perspex frame that holds the whole thing together. When it comes to computers, clear plastic is almost always a travesty of taste best avoided.
If the see-through stand looks familiar to connoisseurs of Asus’s existing EeeTop series, what’s behind it certainly won’t. Unlike previous members of the family this isn’t powered by the netbook-favourite Intel Atom processor. Instead it’s driven by 2.2GHz dual core laptop chip.
Partnering that CPU is a 500GB hard drive, HDMI-in and built-in Blu-ray drive, which gives the ET2203T all the credentials it needs for a self-contained media centre. It even has a passable set of speakers behind the bottom grill, but you’ll probably want to attach an external kit if you’re going to use it much.
The 1920x1080 screen isn’t quite up to the same standard as the more expensive Sony Vaio L, but it’s far from being unwatchable if you’re using it for HD movies.
What the screen lacks in colour finesse, though, it makes up for in being one of the most responsive multitouch desktop panels we’ve seen so far – not that we’ve seen many, mind you.
Like other full-size machines, it works using optical infrared sensors rather than a capacitive or resistive surface, so it’s not quite up to the standard of mobile handsets. But isn’t far behind.
There’s not an awful lot you can do with it, mind, as Asus hasn’t even loaded the standard Microsoft multitouch apps onto it. It’s no great loss, as you do get some useful video software and 20GB of online storage which integrates to the desktop as well as Dropbox for free.
Until we get some decent multitouch programs for Windows 7, there’s a slimline keyboard and mouse to complement the ET2203T that pull off the hat trick of being goodlooking, ultra thin and practical enough to use as everyday work tools.
As likeable as the EeeTop is, though, its price is its undoing. For all its proud specs, it can’t compete with the much more powerful Acer Aspire Z5610 which is only about £30 more. That machine isn’t quite the entertainment all-rounder that the ET2203T is, but in every other respect it’s the obvious choice.
Asus EeeTop ET2203T review
Not the fastest for the price, but has some added extras you won’t find elsewhere.