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ViewSonic takes on the iMac with £499 Atom PC

ViewSonic takes on the iMac with £499 Atom PC

ViewSonic's VPC100 packs a small, Atom-based PC into the same chassis as the 19in monitor.

While Apple is far from being the only company to put a computer and monitor in the same case, it’s the only company that’s successfully created a style icon out of the idea. However, with prices starting at £949, it’s not exactly cheap, which is possibly why ViewSonic has just launched its own all-in-one, called the VPC100, which will sell for just £499 inc VAT.

It’s worth noting that the basic design is where the similarities between the iMac and ViewSonic’s VPC100 end, however, as they’re otherwise two very different machines. The VPC100 is basically a low-powered netbook inside the same casing as the monitor. As such, the specs are very simple, with a 1.6GHz Atom N270 at the core, and 1GB of DDR2 memory. A 160GB hard drive and DVD burner provide storage duties.

The screen itself is a 19in active matrix LCD (18.5in viewable) with a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 and a 5ms response time, and graphics responsibilities are handled by a basic integrated Intel GMA950 graphics system in the chipset. All the basics are there, though, including wired Ethernet and 802.11b/g networking, as well as four USB 2 ports, integrated speakers and Windows XP Home.

As a point of comparison, the cheapest iMac might cost almost twice the price, but it has a fully-fledged 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM and twice as much hard drive space. Plus, it also has an Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics system and a 20in screen with a higher resolution of 1,680 by 1,050.

ViewSonic has already demonstrated the VPC100 at CES, but the PC has only just been officially launched in the UK with pricing and confirmed specs. As well as the VPC100, ViewSonic says that it also has plans to ship two “attached nettop PCs later on this quarter,” which it says “can transform any VESA compatible monitor into a cost-effective, space-saving and energy efficient PC.” In short, it looks as though you’ll just be able to attach a small nettop PC to the back of your monitor and create your own PC-and-monitor-in-one device.

ViewSonic says that the VPC100 will be available at UK retailers from the middle of May. Would you be interested in converting an old monitor into a basic PC with an “attached nettop PC”, and is £499 a reasonable price for the VPC100? Let us know your thoughts about all-in-one PCs in the forums.

11 Comments

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Mr T 23rd April 2009, 13:05 Quote
Wow that's expensive. I'm sure you could get a much higher spec machine for £500.
Abhorsen 23rd April 2009, 13:17 Quote
Well of course you can, but that's totally not the point?!

The same could be said of the iMac but again, not the point....
Paradigm Shifter 23rd April 2009, 13:39 Quote
It has a niche for those who want an all-in-one system that doesn't need three power leads plus associated other wires hanging out the back and the desk space usage of a separate monitor+CPU+speakers setup.

It's about all that a websurf/e-mail/word processor needs, provided they don't bog it down with bloatware.

I'd think about it for non-PC-gamer family, but really I find anything lower than 1680x1050 too low a res for comfortable desktop organisation.
MrWillyWonka 23rd April 2009, 15:51 Quote
You may as well get a higher spec laptop for the same price or cheaper. Its an even more all in one solution which has a keyboard and mouse in the case!
devdevil85 23rd April 2009, 16:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWillyWonka
You may as well get a higher spec laptop for the same price or cheaper. Its an even more all in one solution which has a keyboard and mouse in the case!
That's a good point. It's even mobile! But do most laptops within this price range include a 19" display?
Stompy 23rd April 2009, 21:06 Quote
No, but most of them have a higher resolution than 1,366x768!
You can get a 17" HP laptop with a higher spec than this and a 1,440x900 resolution for under £400!
Pricester 24th April 2009, 08:32 Quote
Didn't Asus already do this? I'm thinking of the Asus EEE Box, which has similar specs and a VESA mounting point...
interzen 24th April 2009, 08:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricester
Didn't Asus already do this? I'm thinking of the Asus EEE Box, which has similar specs and a VESA mounting point...
No - the EeeBox is just another small form-factor machine, kind of like the Dell Studio Hybrid.

I can think of a fair few people who'd find the ViewSonic useful - my sister is a good example; she does all the usual PC stuff as well as the occasional game (nothing cutting edge - I'm thinking The Sims etc.) but doesn't really have the space for a full-on rig. Something like this would sit nicely in the corner of the living room or similar. Me, I'd either keep saving for a 'proper' iMac or get a refurbed model from Apple.
Pricester 24th April 2009, 08:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by interzen
No - the EeeBox is just another small form-factor machine, kind of like the Dell Studio Hybrid.

Huh, I'm sure I read here somewhere that the EeeBox had a VESA mount... I can't find the article on Bit-Tech, but Wikipedia backs me up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_Box) and there was also the Eee Monitor (http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2008/07/03/eee-monitor-is-in-the-works/1) - although I think the later never made it fully to market, since I can't find any online shops carrying it...
interzen 24th April 2009, 10:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricester
Quote:
Originally Posted by interzen
No - the EeeBox is just another small form-factor machine, kind of like the Dell Studio Hybrid.

Huh, I'm sure I read here somewhere that the EeeBox had a VESA mount... I can't find the article on Bit-Tech, but Wikipedia backs me up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_Box) and there was also the Eee Monitor (http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2008/07/03/eee-monitor-is-in-the-works/1) - although I think the later never made it fully to market, since I can't find any online shops carrying it...

Oh ... so it does. I stand corrected.
It also seems that some enterprising souls have been using various tricks and bodges to attach the EeeBox to the backs of their TVs - neat idea.
Abhorsen 24th April 2009, 23:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by interzen
No - the EeeBox is just another small form-factor machine, kind of like the Dell Studio Hybrid.

I can think of a fair few people who'd find the ViewSonic useful - my sister is a good example; she does all the usual PC stuff as well as the occasional game (nothing cutting edge - I'm thinking The Sims etc.) but doesn't really have the space for a full-on rig. Something like this would sit nicely in the corner of the living room or similar. Me, I'd either keep saving for a 'proper' iMac or get a refurbed model from Apple.

Forgive me if i'm wrong but i'm fairly certain that this would struggle to run the Sims, and certainly not the Sims 2.

Agreed with the above about getting a laptop instead especially if the 19'' screen of the viewsonic has such a poor resolution.

I feel the Viewsonic won't be a success.
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