ViewSonic takes on the iMac with £499 Atom PC

Written by Ben Hardwidge

April 23, 2009 | 10:56

Tags: #1gb #all #atom #attached #imac #in #monitor #n270 #one #price #ram #specs

Companies: #uk #viewsonic

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.
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