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MSI Wind Top AE2400 - Connectivity, Peripherals and Audio
Connectivity on the AE2400 is virtually identical to the Wind Top AE2220, which is a good thing. There might not be USB 3.0, but most other standards are catered for. Around the back you'll find a recessed panel offering four USB 2.0 ports, eSATA and a Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as an antenna jack for the optional TV tuner card.
For audio we have 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks (though we would have preferred these at the side) and a digital optical output for hooking up a surround sound system. For video we have a slightly odd combination of VGA out and HDMI in. The latter is what we really want on an AIO PC like this though, allowing you to hook up consoles and the like to its Full HD screen.
Along the left side we have two further USB ports and a memory card reader, as well as a tray-loading optical drive (as mentioned, this will probably be a DVD rewriter on the model you buy).
Nestled neatly between the screen and speaker sections is a row of white-backlit touch controls which are sensitive and well-spaced, making them easy to use. As well as controlling volume, calling up Windows Media Center and switching between two Eco modes, there is a monitor OSD with full control over settings like brightness, contrast, colour temperatures and even separate RGB colour control. This and the button that turns the screen off are features lacking on surprisingly many AIOs, so kudos to MSI for its comprehensive implementation.
The bundled keyboard and mouse are decent enough as these things go though definitely have a rather lightweight, cheap feel. The optical mouse is curved for right-handed operation and has two buttons in addition to its rubberised scroll wheel. On its underside it also has a connection button and on/off switch.
MSI's keyboard is more attractive, sporting low-profile isolation-style matt black keys against a glossy black background. Layout is good and feedback surprisingly crisp, though typing is also somewhat noisy. Mouse and keyboard, which respectively use AAA and AA batteries, operate from a single USB dongle.
Due to indifferent styling and ergonomics, the generic Windows Media remote is not particularly pleasant to use but does the job, and uses twin AAA batteries. In other words, you can use rechargeable batteries for all the included peripherals.
Based on our experience with the Wind Top AE2220 we were hoping for a superlative audio performance from the 2.1 set here, and in many ways they deliver. Overall volume is plentiful, there's more bass than you'd expect given their size, and detail is impressive. However, suprisingly it's not quite as good as its smaller sibling and lacks the bass thump and finesse you'd get from a dedicated set of speakers. They should be adequate for a large majority of uses though.