Hug your monolithic tower one last time, because Asus is coming for it with its new range of Windows 8, all-in-one desktops. There are three fancy new models ranging from 21.5-inches right up to 27-inches of touch-based, Windows 8 laden goodness. Can the ET2701 slay your existing desktop?
Look And Feel
• Asus seems to have figured out a formula for making beautiful hardware. From the Asus Taichi convertible laptop/tablet through to the Transformer Infinity and the Nexus 7, Asus has cracked it. That beautiful design language carries over to the 27-inch ET2701. The bezel isn't at all distracting, the silver aluminium mixed with jet-black accents envelope the unit and make it worthy of hanging on a wall and the stand is unassuming and sleek. •The IPS panel shines out of the unit, bringing those awesome Windows 8 Modern UI colours to life. • Annoyingly, it's not a screen that allows you to tilt it so that it's flat and facing upwards at you. That sets it apart from the other all-in-ones Asus launched today. Don't try to fold it flat either. I nearly damaged the stand giving it a crack.
• The ET2701 can be specced up to the nines with an Intel Core i7 3.1GHz processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1GB NVIDIA GT640M processor. That sort of spec will set you back around $2699 -- a pretty penny if you're a fan of building your own gaming towers, for example. • The touchscreen on top of the 27-inch, 1920x1280 screen is sharp and zippy and supports 10-points of touch at a time. You won't be left wanting when it comes to a fast-response screen. • It's an entertainment machine at its core, with a Blu-ray combo-drive, nestled stereo speakers, TV tuner and card-reader as standard. • One issue I do have is that this flagship model has all the bells and whistles but it doesn't carry support for a Thunderbolt port. That's disappointing, especially considering the lower specced models in the range carry two each. • It also comes with a subwoofer which adds a bit of doof to your pleasant-looking all-in-one.