- Plenty of features, ships with a good amount of RAM
- Very glossy screen, poor gaming performance
The MSI Wind Top AE2280 is an all-in-one PC that isn't as attractive as its competitors, but it is nonetheless a solid home desktop computer with the added bonus of a touchscreen.
The MSI Wind Top AE2280 is an all-in-one desktop PC with a 21.5in, 1080p touchscreen, a fast Intel Core i5-650 processor, a 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD5430 graphics card, and a 640GB, 7200rpm hard drive. The AE2280 falls short when it comes to gaming, but it is ready to handle standard home and office tasks. It is a very well-rounded PC — albeit one with a slightly high price tag.
MSI Wind Top AE2280: Design, software and features
The MSI Wind Top AE2280 is bundled with a wireless keyboard, mouse and a remote control for the computer's inbuilt TV tuner. The keyboard and mouse are quite uncomfortable to use, however. The external power brick of the Wind Top AE2280 is bulky and heats up quite a bit, so you'll need to take care when choosing where to place it.
We don't like the MSI Wind Top AE2280's stand, which uses three feet and a spring-loaded tilt system like the AE1900 PC — it can cause headaches when you're moving it around. We would have preferred the classic Apple iMac (27in, mid-2010) stand, which is nicer to look at and easier to adjust.
The thick-bezeled screen of the AE2280 can also be hooked up to external video devices like the PlayStation 3 120GB (PS3 Slim) or Xbox 360, thanks to its HDMI and VGA ports. We'd recommend using it in a darker room if possible, as the screen is extremely glossy. The PC also features six USB 2.0 ports, wired Ethernet, 3.5mm audio output and input, an inbuilt 1.3-megapixel webcam, eSATA for connecting compatible external hard drives and a 6-in-1 card reader. It has all the connectivity we'd expect in a home desktop computer. The inbuilt THX TruStudio Pro speakers, which are rated at 10W, are passable but not especially clear or loud.
The PC is preloaded with a 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Home Premium, which includes the Microsoft Touch Pack software. The games included, such as Microsoft Blackboard and Rebound, make good use of the system's touchscreen (which is based on optical technology instead of capacitive or resistive). The touchscreen is responsive and is multitouch-aware, allowing you to easily drag and re-size objects and navigate your way through Windows. Despite being a nifty little feature, it does prove to be grippy on your fingers after a few minutes.
With an Intel Core i5-560 CPU clocked at 3.2GHz and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, the MSI Wind Top AE2280 performed better than we expected during our benchmark tests. Our Blender 3D test returned a score of 45 seconds, as did our iTunes encoding test. The hard drive recorded an average transfer speed of 44.16 megabytes per second, which is excellent (although it will slow down as it gets filled with more programs and data).
It will be a very capable PC for word processing, photo editing, Internet browsing, and for entertainment purposes. However, it only returned a 3DMark06 score of 3243, marking the AE2280 as an entry-level gaming computer. Most games, except for particularly taxing first-person shooters, will run without hassle when set to low graphical detail levels.
The Wind Top AE2280 is a solid but not spectacular performer. It will operate as a home desktop computer efficiently enough, but its design leaves something to be desired and its touchscreen isn't the best we have seen. This is still a decent all-in-one computer that is useful for tasks such as browsing the Web and word processing.
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