BenQ nScreen i91 net-top PC
BenQ's nScreen i91 is an all-in-one, space-saving PC for basic tasks; just don't call it an iMac
- All-in-one design, adequate processing power, neat solution for a space-starved apartment
- Doesn't have 802.11n Wi-Fi, mouse is uncomfortable to use, needs more ports along the sides
The BenQ nScreen i91 is for the user who wants a basic, low-cost PC and monitor that won't take up much space, and which will be able to run the majority of software thrown on it (as long as it's not video editing or high-end photo editing software).
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
Following on from the success of the netbook, PC and notebook manufacturers are now turning their attention to low-cost PCs — enter the net-top. The net-top is an all-in-one PC that requires minimal effort to set up and which is designed to perform simple, everyday computing tasks. BenQ's nScreen i91 is the second net-top we've seen to date (the ASUS Eee Top ET1602 was the first). It has a very basic design and is reasonably stylish.
The BenQ nScreen i91 is basically an 18.5in widescreen monitor with built-in PC components. It's not much thicker than a traditional monitor so it won't take up a lot of space on a desk. On the inside it has an AMD Sempron 210U CPU (a single-core CPU with a 1.5GHz clock speed), 1GB of RAM and a 160GB, 5400rpm hard drive. This isn't a powerful configuration, but it runs Windows XP adequately and it's fine for everyday tasks such as browsing the Web, watching videos, listening to music and viewing and editing pictures.
It's a self-contained unit, which means there aren't any access panels for you to easily get to the RAM slots and hard drive bay; this means it's not the ideal unit for enthusiasts wishing to upgrade at a later date. The AMD CPU and 1GB of RAM give the BenQ nScreen i91 better performance than a PC based on the 1.6GHz Intel Atom. In our Blender 3D test, it was able to render a 3D image in 4min 39sec, while in iTunes it was able to convert 53min worth of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s in 4min 16sec. Compared to the ASUS Eee Top ET1602, it was almost twice as fast at encoding MP3s.
The BenQ nScreen i91's hard drive recorded a transfer rate of 16.65 megabytes per second, which is approximately 5MBps slower than a 5400rpm hard drive in an AMD-based laptop such as the HP TouchSmart tx2-1000.
The nScreen i91 doesn't have an expansion slot (an ExpressCard/54 slot, for example), but you can add more storage or a TV tuner via its USB 2.0 ports. It has six USB 2.0 ports, two of which are located on the left side and four which are located on the underside of the rear lip. They are next to the 10/100 Ethernet port and are hard to access. We'd prefer more of them to be located on the sides. You don't get much more in the way of connectivity apart from that; there is an SD card slot for quickly loading photos, a webcam, 802.11g wireless networking, and microphone and headphone ports.
The PC lacks any type of video out port, so you can't hook up a second monitor; then again, it's not designed for people who would even think of using a second monitor. It would still have been a nice option to have.
It uses an integrated ATI Radeon X1200 graphics card, which is a low-end model. It has 64MB of RAM, but also uses some of the main system memory. You won't be able to play any current games on the nScreen i91, but games from a few years ago might work. The native resolution of the nScreen i91 is 1366x768 and the screen is vibrant. It displays photos nicely and it isn't glossy, so reflections from room lights won't be a problem.
Using the nScreen i91 is simple: you just plug in the USB-based keyboard and mouse and press the large power button on the front bezel. It has a nice green LED instead of the super-bright blue LED found on many other PCs, and the power button is also the volume knob. When you change the volume, it adjusts Windows XP's master volume control, but annoyingly there is no on-screen indication that it is doing this. There is a built-in speaker, but it is not really suitable for listening to music or videos. You're much better off plugging in a set of speakers.
BenQ has supplied a lot of preinstalled software with the nScreen i91, a lot of which is bloatware. For example, you get a 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office, and Norton Internet Security. Some of the software provided is useful, such as the webcam and Skype utilities, and there is also a seniors mode, which softens high frequency audio to make it easier to listen to, and it also includes an on-screen magnifying glass to make it easier to read things on the screen.
A lot of people who saw this net-top PC wrote it off as an iMac wannabe. It seems inevitable that every all-in-one PC gets compared to the iMac, but the BenQ nScreen i91 isn't even competing in the same league as the iMac. It's for the user who wants a basic, low-cost PC and monitor that won't take up much space, and which will be able to run the majority of software thrown on it, as long as it's not video editing or high-end photo editing software.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
cloudandco Smart Cane
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Toys for Boys
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Xbox One X
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- macOS High Sierra ‘root’ security issue allows admin access to your Mac—but there's a fix
- Apple Roll Out High Sierra
- Traditional Aussie PC market defies global downward trend again
- ASUS' VivoMini VM45 gets upgraded to 7th Generation Intel processors
- NVIDIA Supercharges Rendering Performance with AI
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Western Digital My Cloud Home review: Take back the cloud
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- TPIT OfficerVIC
- TPOffice 365 Technical LeadQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- CCIseries Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- FTSystems Engineer - Identity & AutomationQLD
- FTMajor Incident SpecialistACT
- FTManagement Consultant - ConsultancyOther
- FTCustomer Service RepresentativeOther
- FTSystems EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- CCGeospatial Project ManagerNSW
- FTJD Edwards Principle/ Functional ConsultantVIC
- FTSenior Network Engineer (RUN-BAU)VIC
- FTScrum MasterOther
- CCSenior Program ManagerNSW
- TPSenior Project Manager (Applications/Business)NSW
- FTPython Developer - FinTech/TradingOther
- FTSpatial AnalystVIC
- FTRigger TechniciansOther
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- FTFront End DeveloperOther
- CCDrupal DeveloperNSW
- TPSystems EngineerNSW
- TPieMR Business Analyst - Sunshine Coast Hospital - $850/dayQLD