Top critical review
34 people found this helpful
Good computer, nice space-saving design.. some annoyances
on 6 April 2014
This is good overall, BUT I'm going to tell you things I didn't like about it, so you can make an informed decision:
⦁ Yes, it's all-in-one but there's still a power brick. (Not really an issue, as it can be tucked away.)
⦁ The fan noise is a bit annoying, as is the hard drive noise. (Perhaps I'm just too fussy?) (You get used to it.)
⦁ I think the photos are a bit misleading about the thickness. It's chunky and heavy, but still, space-saving.
⦁ The screen starts to look crap if you look at it from the "wrong" angle. (It doesn't have IPS, In Plane Switching, but thankfully you can just tilt the screen if you kneel down or stand up). This is probably something most people won't even notice, to be honest; I'm just a nerd, being hyper-critical!
I did hate Win 8.1 but am warming to it! It's quite jarring moving between the new interface (with the live tiles) and the old school windows (x86). There's just not that much good software written for Win 8.1 (yet), but it's promising. There is some good stuff appearing in the App Store every now and then. (Now that I'm used to it, I do love the live tiles and colour schemes. Congratulations to Microsoft!)
As there's no touch sensitive trackpad, it's a bit weird navigating some of the interfaces. You use the scroll wheel on the mouse (which goes up and down) to scroll content that goes from side to side, in some places like the AppStore.
+ There's good integration with the "cloud". I use Microsoft's OneDrive which syncs docs between my PCs and Macs 
+ I didn't actually have to choose a username and password to set up this computer. I just use my existing Outlook.com password. 
+ What is fantastic is the upgrade-ability. (I've been eying up some upgrades on Crucial. A 240GB SSD is currently about £83, am saving up for it). You can just pop the back cover off and put in new RAM or a hard drive (or SSD). [It takes laptop sized upgrades..](I'll put a link in the comments so you can see what I mean).
This model makes for a good general or home office computer. It should last you a good long while. As memory prices fall, you can upgrade at your own pace.
Despite its shortcomings, I think it's worthy* of 4-stars. For £598, this is reasonable. [Is it as nice as an iMac? Not by a long shot! It's a different class entirely. But it is a fraction of the price... ]
(Let me be clear - an iMac is an order of magnitude better than this, because of the close integration of the hardware and software. This is a piece of crap compared to an iMac, to be very blunt!)
When you take usability into account, my rating is closer to 3½ stars.
 I now have Office365 on my iPad - Word, Excel and PowerPoint are now basically platform agnostic.
 If you don't know what outlook.com is, it's basically Hotmail. If you have an existing Microsoft email account, like Hotmail, it integrates really nicely with Windows 8.1.