Averatec recently announced an 18.4-inch All-In-One with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor. Today that snazzy system landed at our office for an exclusive hands-on. Now the Averatec All-In-One isn’t a netbook – it doesn’t have a battery, its got a large LCD display attached to it, and comes with a mouse and keyboard – but its $549.99 price point, specs, performance and its bottom base sure remind us of one. We have been playing around with the all-in-one for the last few hours and can say that it hands down beats the Eee Box. Check out our first thoughts and video below. Sleek Design, Solid Accessories We were impressed first and foremost with the Averatec’s sleek, contemporary design. The black glossy chassis is attractive and though prone to finger prints it comes with a cloth for wiping it down. The base of the system is about the size of a 14-inch laptop and is surrounded by all the must-have ports. The Avaratec comes with 5 USB ports, Ethernet, VGA Out, headphone, microphone, a 4-in-1 card reader, and an optical drive. The front of the base contains six buttons: power, brightness, volume up and down, mute and an LED power light. Of course you need the good old mouse and keyboard to navigate the All-In-One once it’s powered on. Averatec slips in a black glossy mouse in the box and a slim keyboard. The keyboard lies a bit flat but both do the job considering they are included in the package. Adjustable and Attractive Display The neatest feature of the All-In-One is its silver adjustable hinge which allows for adjusting the height of the display. You can even lower it all the way down to the bases height, for let’s say a child’s viewing. The screen also tilts forward and backwards so you can find that perfect viewing angle. The video below shows off the adjustable screen.
The 1680×945 resolution 18.4-inch display is sweet on the eyes. The widescreen was great for fitting two Web pages side-by-side. When we watched Finding Nemo on the built-in DVD player Nemo’s orange colors really popped and the blues of the ocean were crisp. Above the display is a 1.3-megapixel camera. Averatec preloads CyberLink’s YouCam software for taking still shots or recording video. Our picture appeared quite clearly even in dim light. The software also has some neat effects like Apple’s PhotoBooth which allow for distorting faces. Smooth Netbook Like Performance The All-In-One has similar specs to our favorite netbooks, including a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM and Windows XP. We found that the system preformed just as we would expect: it handled web browsing over Firefox while watching Anchorman on DVD. Browsing over our office Wi-Fi network was speedy: NYTimes.com loaded in 5 seconds, laptopmag.com in 7 seconds and Hulu.com in 7 seconds. The 120GB 5,400 RPM hard drive boots the system in a decent 45 seconds. Early Verdict We are really enjoying using the Averatec 18.4-inch All-In-One and are even happier with its $550 price point. However, until we get the benchmarks back we won’t really know how it holds up to other netbooks and nettops.